Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Winning Winery

     There's a fun new wine tasting venue in Carmel Valley--Talbott's Vineyards.  Talbott's has moved from its original cozy little corner to a much larger space in Paloma Gardens, which also houses the Georis Cowgirl Winery. 
     The property is a divine destination.  With a little vineyard, a rambling fountain pond, pétanque courts and a view of the Santa Lucias, where else would one want to be on a sunny summer afternoon.
      Plus, the inside of the Talbott tasting room has all kinds of other eye candy.  Robb  Talbott is an avid collector of vintage motorcycles, many of which line the tasting room.  Then there's the collection of old pedal carts which hang from the ceiling.  Sarah, one of the Talbott daughters, showed us an old newspaper photograph of her as a little girl riding in one of them. 
     As if all these visual delights were not enough, there's the wonderful wine.   Served around a large u-shaped bar, two tastings are offered.  We decided to share a premium tasting for $15.  This included six wines, three Chardonnays and three Pinot Noirs.  And, because it was such a beautiful day, we decided to sit outside on the patio to do our "research."
     One of our favorite wines was the Diamond T Pinot Noir.  Using our very extensive and sophisticated wine vocabulary, we said it was "nice."  It was also fruity, spicy, and balanced.  The Sarah Case Pinot Noir was our second favorite.  It was made even more special because Sarah, after whom the wine was named, served it to us.  Rich and complex, this wine we, again in our most sophisticated way, said was "delish."
     After our tasting, we had what is still one our favorite Talbott Chardonnays, the Kali Hart Chardonnay, which felt like the perfect light accompaniment to a summer day (and at $20 a bottle, still one of the best quality buys in the valley).  We are apparently not the only people who like this wine--it won 97 points, Best of Class, and a Gold Medal at the 2013 Los Angeles International Wine Competition, "The highest scoring Chardonnay in the 74-year history of the competition."  Way to go!
     We highly recommend a visit to the new Talbott's tasting room.  Located at 25 Pilot Road and open daily, it was hopping with lots of happy folks the day we were there and for good reasons--the wine is good, the venue inviting, and the setting idyllic.  A happy summer place to be.


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