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Saturday, 16 May 2020

Gallo Fine Wine Virtual Tasting with Edouard Baijot

A tasting of Gallo's premium wines from California with Edouard Baijot

- I like them big, I like them plumpy (Plumpy)
Moto Moto, Madagascar: Escape to Africa (2008)

There's no getting away from it, California is a warm place, so the wines are inevitably bigger than classic European styles.

Warm-climate conditions give more fruit, substance and plumpness, so there's plenty to like as long the wines are also harmonious and balanced.

These Gallo Fine Wines wines are, rather like a former Governor of California, big, classy and crowd-pleasing.
The Talbott range was founded in 1972 by the owners of a fashion label who had spent time in France for work and fallen in love with Burgundy.

They now grow Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the Santa Lucia Highlands, one of California's cooler regions, producing Kali Hart (a blend) and the single-vineyard Sleepy Hollow. We finished with a distinctively packaged Zinfandel which at 15% is considered light by Cali standards.

Talbott Kali Hart Chardonnay, Monterey, 2015 (£23 - £25) tropical fruit, ripe apple and butterscotch tarte tatin flavours; rounded and spicy with a little judicious new oak. Concentrated and intense; textbook New World chardie from a good year.


For me, this wine is just ready for drinking now and will improve with further aging; Edouard noted, however, that traditional American palates prefer more primary fruit and less secondary savouriness, so would consider this already past its best.

Talbott Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands, 2016 (£36) more intensity and higher acidity than the Kali Hart; floral and vibrant, complex and structured with a mineral-saline finish.

Very Good, will age for 10 years+ from vintage.

Edouard described this as a Côte de Beaune-style Chardonnay with European austerity and elegance.

Talbot Kali Hart Pinot Noir, Monterey, 2017 (£23 - £25) red fruits, boysenberry and spice; warming with ripe fruits and balanced freshness. Gentle extraction and very deft.


Talbott Sleepy Hollow Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands, 2017 (£36) cherry and plum fruit, with some toasty oak, sweet spices and florality; structured and concentrated. At 14%, it feels big, warming and fruit-forward but not in a clumsy way.

Very Good.

Bear Flag Zinfandel 2017 (£25) mostly Zin with a dash of Petite Sirah with fruit from Dry Creek Valley and Sonoma Valley; ripe, jammy fruits with smoky-spicy toastiness and the impression of sweetness; juicy and fruit-forward with old vine concentration. A cowboy that wipes its feet before asking "Excuse me, ma'am, did I leave my boots under your bed?"


All the wines will be available in Wine Rack and / or Majestic from June 2020.

Edouard Baijot MW on redefining E&J Gallo’s super premium range: http://www.the-buyer.net/people/edouard-baijot-mw-on-how-ej-gallo-has-redefined-its-super-premium-wine-range/

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