Robert Talbott Vineyards2002 Chardonnay, Diamond T Estate
Robert Talbott of designer tie fame established Talbott Vineyards in 1982, planting the Corton-Charlemagne clone of Chardonnay on a rocky piece of land above Carmel Valley. That vineyard, which is at 1,200 feet, became the Diamond T Estate, and the Chardonnay it produces is Talbott’s flagship wine. There’s very little soil at Diamond T, mostly chalky shale, and the vines struggle. Yields are typically around a ton an acre. As a result, the Chardonnay is intensely flavored with a noticeable minerality, and it tends to age well (it also gets extended aging in barrel and bottle before it’s released).
The 2002 vintage was warm, so the wine, which sells for $65, is a little riper than the typical Diamond T Chardonnay. The aromas show some age, but the flavors are still quite fresh, with ripe pear and mineral, accented by some nutty, creamy notes. The finish is very long. The winery recommends aging it for three to five years more, although I found it extremely interesting right now. Drink it with a seafood or chicken dish that has some richness.
Reviewed May 7, 2007 by Laurie Daniel.
Laurie Daniel, wine columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, has been reviewing wine for more than 10 years. She doesn’t use numbers, preferring to describe her recommended wines and let consumers decide for themselves. Laurie believes that bigger isn’t necessarily better; she’s partial to wines of balance, finesse and character. Her particular interests are Pinot Noir (versions that really taste like Pinot, that is) and aromatic whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Gewürztraminer.