Established in 1984, the Monterey AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in eastern Monterey County, California. With approximately 40,000 acres under vine, this large wine region encompasses the entire Salinas Valley, as well as part of Carmel Valley. The northern portion remains rather cool with a relatively long growing season lending itself to Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir grapes. The southern part of the Monterey AVA can reach up to 100 degrees at times and is known more for wines produced from traditional Bordeaux red varieties according to our Monterey Wine Guide. Within Monterey are the smaller sub-regions of Arroyo Seco AVA, Hames Valley AVA, San Bernabe AVA, San Lucas AVA, Santa Lucia Highlands AVA which are mostly known for their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines as noted in our Monterey Wine Ratings. With a focus on tourism and hospitality, Monterey was also named one of the top 10 Wine Travel Destinations by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Check out our Monterey Wine Guide below for more information on the region.
This tiny-production, best-of-barrels bottling is ncredibly rich, and not unlike grand cru Burgundy. There are similarities in the Baroque structure and complex, layered lemondrop flavors that new oak so flatters. There’s a tight, minerally acidity; it’s a little leesy-sour right now, and all the parts haven’t come together, but for sheer dazzle, you can’t beat it…
This has typical Talbottian heft, a gigantic Chard enormously rich in oak and munificent in flavor. Light pressing has captured the quintessence of cool-climate Chardonnay, heavenly rich and powerful, a flood of pineapple tart, Key lime pie, crème brûlée, smoky meringue and vanilla cinnamon toast.
A lush, rich Port with a smooth texture and flavors that range from black cherry, blackberry, cassis, cinnamon, anise, chocolate, toffee, butterscotch and thyme. It’s complex yet delightfully easy to drink.
The Audrey Cuvée brings extra richness to the regular Diamond T Estate Chard. It’s an enormous wine that has honeyed sweetness. The flavors are of apricot jam, pineapple tart and lemon meringue, and new, smoky oak plays a prominant part. This Chard calls for careful pairing with food, since it’s so rich, almost a dessert wine.
An exceedingly fine Pinot, as juicy as they get. Oodles of elaborate cherry, raspberry, root beer, gingerbread and mocha flavors, oaky and spicy, wrapped in a silky texture, with clean, bright acidity. Shows real complexity and finesse.
There’s a depth of Burgundian flavor, a forest floor and mulch note in this rich, earthy Pinot Noir. It explodes with red and black cherry, licorice, tangerine zest and cola flavors, with a superb tannin structure. Beautiful now, and should develop for up to eight years.
No winery in California has explored this French variety more than Cambiata, and with the ’06, they’ve produced another interesting wine. It has weight and body and tannins, with wild black and red berry, currant, cherry liqueur, Provençal herb, tobacco and roasted meat flavors that finish with sweetness, although the wine is totally dry.
Just when this Chard seems simple and sweet, the fruit is overtaken by acidity and minerality, taking the tangerine, lime and mango flavors to the next level and making the wine complex and fascinating. Shows how exceptional winemaking can result in exceptional wine.