Thursday, August 4, 2011


Talley Vineyards

Day two in Arroyo Grande had us leaving Craig & Candace’s charming cottage above the creek for a long walk along the Pacific coast...

all the way to Pismo Beach.   

That would have been a great walk, but noooooo, we then had to walk back.  Candace is in way better shape (as is Richard) than I am, so by the time we returned to the car two hours later, every old knee, hip and joint injury I ever suffered from dance or cheerleading or volleyball or tennis or softball decided to make an unwelcomed appearance.  A few Advil later and a fabulous cheeseburger lunch (my not so NuAtkins reward – hey, I burned a lot of calories, right?!) made it all worthwhile.

It was now time for wine tasting.  First on our itinerary was Talley Vineyards – so it was tally ho and go (I know, I know – my hound, if I had a hound, made me write that).

The tasting room, a lovely Spanish structure w/ a manicured courtyard...

is surrounded by acres of grapevines.  The setting definitely set the mood.

Anna, our lovely and knowledgeable barista set wine glasses in front of us and began the pour.  

Private Tasting Room
Our first taste was the 2010 Bishop’s Peak Riesling ($16) – Estate grown, this was one of the closest Rieslings for me to the really good, dry Rieslings we had when Richard and I were in Germany.  Fruity aromas w/ hints of honeysuckle and vanilla and fresh tastes of citrus w/ only a slight sweet finish.    Delikat!

Next we tried the 2009 Talley Vineyards Edna Valley Chardonnay ($19.20) – a nice, medium-bodied, oak-y wine w/ citrus flavors that made me think how much I’d love to be sipping this as I cracked the shell of a steamed lobster and dipped the meat in warm clarified butter. 

The 2009 Talley Vineyards Estate Chardonnay ($26) aged 30% in new French oak had all the fruit aroma bells and whistles, but w/ a little roasted almonds thrown in.  Smelled good – tasted even better.  A good wine paired w/ cheese, fish or chicken.

Our last white was 2009 Oliver’s Vineyard Chardonnay ($32) aged 16 months in 30% French oak.  It had that creamy finish I love in a chardonnay.

Our first red was the 2009 Bishop’s Peak Pinot Noir ($20) – a really nice silky wine w/ cherry notes and a hint of anise for the nose.  Notes and nose.  I think there’s a song there somewhere.  Cole Porter where are you when we need you?  It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s de-lovely…

2009 Talley Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir ($36) – this is an earthy, lush, but not heavy, red that has aromas of cherries and figs – even a hint of lavender.  Lavender festivals of the world, take note of this nose.

The 2007 Bishop’s Peak Rock Solid Red ($14) is a blend of 60% syrah, 20% cab franc, 10% cabernet sauvignon, and 10% petite syrah – this is a delicious, “big” red table wine.  Want to have it w/ your grilled steak or burger?  Perfect.  And what a pairing it would make w/ pizza or lasagna.  It’s a yum from me.

Last but not least was my favorite of the Talley wines – the 2008 Bishop’s Peak Petite Sirah ($25) – a deep royal purple-y red in color, it was a wine fit for the royals.  Breathing in the wine like Paul Giamatti in “Sideways” I smelled the cedar and dates and maple syrup and strong dark fruits.  I don’t know which was more satisfying – the aroma or the rich fruit taste w/ soft tannins.  It was the finest wine among fine wines.

After 25 years in the wine making business, Talley Vineyards has definitely learned its craft and can be found nationally or ordered online through its wine club.

It was time to say good bye to Anna… but Talley Vineyards was a great way to start the day’s wine tasting adventure.

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