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Winegrower's Blog

Belinda Christensen
 
December 28, 2012 | Belinda Christensen

Rainbows for 2013

I am usually the one behind our blog posts each week, reminding fellow employees it's time to post, finding photos to add to their words, making suggestions on topics, and getting it up on the website.  This week, with well earned vacations, I thought I would post the last blog of 2012.

As 2012 is almost over and we are about to ring in the New Year, it is time to reflect and at the same time look forward to what 2013 will bring.  On Thursday, which was a sunny and very cool, breezy day, we were surprised by the site of this lovely, bright rainbow displayed across the vineyards and mountains here at Talley Vineyards.  I take it to be a sign that 2013 is going to be a spectacular year!

Wishing you all a year of joy, prosperity and lots of rainbows!  Happy New Year!

Andy McDaniel, 2007-2013
 
December 21, 2012 | Andy McDaniel, 2007-2013

A Great Year

With a little over a week left before we celebrate the coming of 2013, I wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year! While it is not my style to get sentimental and reminisce about highlights of the year gone past, 2012 is a little bit different. In the most succinct terms possible, it really was a great year.

As it pertains to my life and what I’m passionate about, two amazing things happened this year. First, and most importantly, this is the year I married my amazing wife, Erin. On April 14th, the Talley family was gracious enough to allow us to host our small, intimate wedding ceremony in the barrel room. After six years of dating and now over six months of marrage, I am happy to be able to tell everyone that married life is great!

Secondly, 2012 was an awesome vintage for just about every region of California, especially here on the central coast. While I am proud to have been a part of Talley Vineyards for what has been a really excellent string of vintages (2007-2012), this year is special because it is the first year in a while with both high quality and above-average yields.   Some of you may know that I dabble in wine production.  This is the second year that the Talleys have allowed us to tend a section of vines in Edna Valley and make a small batch of wine. I, my wife, and co-workers, Mike and Ken, harvested twice the fruit as last year and so far we think the wine may be twice as good! Furthermore, now that some of the wines in the barrel room have had a few months of age, we are really starting to see that the Talley chardonnays and pinot noirs are going to be very special wines. 

For a wine geek like myself, there is no better feeling than knowing that I can stock up on the 2012 vintage when they come out and be assured that the quality of the wine is going to reflect the way I feel about the year in which the fruit was grown. Since we have some time before those wines come out, I’m going to go back to my first vintage here at Talley and enjoy a bottle of 2007 Rincon Vineyard Pinot Noir for Christmas. For the rest of you, I suggest that you pull out a great bottle and share some stories with loved ones about the special things that happened in your lives this year. Cheers!

Brian Talley, Vintner
 
December 14, 2012 | Brian Talley, Vintner

Chardonnay Sunset

Regular readers of this blog know that I pay special attention to the weather.   In my line of work, the weather is critically important—rain, heat, frost, fog, and wind all profoundly affect our activities and ultimately the quality of our products. 

Sometimes, especially this time of year, I can simply observe and enjoy the weather and associated phenomena.  Lately, we’ve had a series of beautiful sunsets.  One of my favorite things to do is sit outside with Johnine, watch the sunset over the Pacific and enjoy a glass of wine.  Our daughter, Elizabeth, captured the moment especially artfully this past Sunday evening as we shared some chardonnay.

During the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, I hope you too can sit with those you love and appreciate what makes life so special.  Best wishes for a joyous holiday season!

Anna Heacock, 2007-2013
 
December 7, 2012 | Anna Heacock, 2007-2013

A Company Christmas Party, Talley Style

Last night we had our annual Talley staff Christmas party at Giuseppe’s Restaurant in Pismo Beach- and no, the night didn’t end with karaoke.  As you can imagine, this is an exceptionally fun event where we have the amazing opportunity to taste a wide variety of rare, old vintages of Talley single vineyard wines.  Even better, the wines are all from large format bottles which are not only festive, but are known to age better than small format bottles.  The only difficult part is pacing oneself enough to fully appreciate what you’re tasting.

We kicked off the night with a 5 liter bottle of 2001 Rosemary’s Vineyard Chardonnay- which in the words of our direct sales manager Alyssa Ball, “Smelled and tasted rich, nutty, and delicious like a perfectly aged chardonnay”.    I totally agree with her, and I’ll add that it was a wonderful complement to the creamy stuffed mushroom appetizer they were serving.  That bottle disappeared pretty quickly (there were a lot of us), so we moved on to another 5 liter bottle, the 2007 Rincon Chardonnay.  The Rincon was surprisingly fresh and citrusy, showing very youthful.  If you have this wine in your cellar, it is drinking well now, but it definitely has a lot of years left to age.

So, with dinner on the way, we needed to fill our seats and our glasses- this time with a few pinot noirs.  It was a moment I was waiting for, the ceremonious opening of the 9 Liter bottle of 2001 Rincon Vineyard Pinot Noir.  We recently revisited this wine in our library tastings and I remember it scoring top rankings.  The larger format bottle didn’t seem to differ from its 750 ml equivalent.  It had very distinctive earthy characteristics, and the palate was silky and smooth. 

Since I don’t have room to fill in the details about all the wines we shared, I would like to finish with the highlight of my evening, the 1999 Rosemary’s Vineyard Pinot Noir.  This wine had bright and distinctive fruit with perfectly balanced acidity and a silky, tannin structure.  This delicate yet robust pinot noir is still a star after roughly 12 years in bottle. 

Once again, I was reminded of what a wonderful producer we work for.  Even though those incredible wines were all made before my time at Talley Vineyards, it was very special to get to experience these vintages with the family that produced them.