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Talbott is made in Monterey County. Robert Talbott Vineyards is the story of one family's commitment to strict standards of excellence, belief in the value of hard work, recognition of the wisdom of simplicity, and devotion to the family as life's center. Robert Talbott Sr., his wife Audrey, and their son Robb (Robert S. Talbott) moved to Carmel, California, in 1950 where they started a tie company. The Talbotts became interested in fine wines when they visited French and Italian vineyards during buying trips to Europe for their growing tie business. Wine was an important part of the Talbott family's lifestyle.
Robert Talbott Vineyards was founded in 1982 when son Robb and his family began planting the 24-acre Diamond T Estate vineyard at their home in Carmel Valley, California. The Chardonnay at Diamond T was planted in almost soilless conditions of shale and granite with vines close-spaced in the Burgundian tradition. The Talbotts knew the vines would have to struggle mightily to survive at Diamond T and believed that struggling would result in Chardonnay of great intensity. History has proven them correct.
By 1989 the Talbotts had produced several very successful vintages and earned considerable praise from the wine community. Robb Talbott increased the family's vineyard holdings in 1994 with the purchase of the renowned Sleepy Hollow Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands. Fruit from this location had produced some of Talbott's finest wines for many years.
Sleepy Hollow consistently produces Chardonnay with intense tropical fruit character, which exhibits both richness and finesse. Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay is considered by many as one of the quality standards for California Chardonnay. Vineyard Manager and Winemaker Sam Balderas keeps yields low to increase concentration and minimizes the handling of the wine to preserve the fruit's natural essence. This wine is 100% barrel fermented in French Oak and aged on the yeast lees to impart a rich, toasty, complex character to the wine. Talbott - Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Chardonnay has excellent aging potential, and in the November 1, 1997, issue of the Wine Spectator, the 1990 vintage was tasted by Per-Henrik Mansson and achieved a perfect score of 100 points.
Cuvée Audrey is an unfined and unfiltered selection of the best lots from Talbotts' Diamond T Chardonnay. The wine is named for Audrey Talbott, mother to Robert S. Talbott and grandmother to Sarah Case, Logan and Kalin Hart. Extremely limited by the harsh growing conditions in this small high altitude vineyard, this wine is a limited release from an already limited production wine.
This is a very special property of the Talbott family. Diamond T is 100% barrel fermented and has full lees contact for over one year. The wine spends a total of 16 months in French Oak and then is bottle aged for an additional 18 months before release. The end result is an elegant Chardonnay with intense varietal character virtually exploding with rich, complex, concentrated flavors and aromas of tropical fruit, citrus, minerals, and oak that is often compared to the finest Grand Cru Burgundies. Excellent aging potential.
Named after Cynthia Talbott, mother of the Talbott children, this wine results from the very careful selection of a few special barrels from the Sleepy Hollow Estate Vineyard. Winemaker Sam Balderas searches for barrels that are especially concentrated and intense for the Cuvée Cynthia. This big, rich, creamy barrel-fermented Chardonnay is allowed to go through full malolactic fermentation and is aged in French Oak barrels for a full year on the yeast lees. The wine is then bottled without fining or filtration. The result is a wine of great intensity, elegance, and concentration. Production of Cuvée Cynthia Chardonnay is extremely limited. Crafted for near term enjoyment.
Case Pinot Noir is named after the Talbott's eldest daughter, Sarah Case. Grapes for Case Pinot Noir come from the finest sections of the acclaimed Sleepy Hollow Vineyard. Traditional Burgundian methods, including hand picking and sorting; long, cool fermentation in small open-top tanks; and punching down the cap by hand, result in a full-bodied wine with a massive velvety texture. The wine is aged in French Oak. Case Pinot Noir has excellent structure and ample soft tannins, which make it an ideal candidate for extended aging, yet the wine's ripe, forward fruit make it an excellent wine to enjoy upon release.