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Talomas Winery Profile

"Talomas wines represent an unorthodox approach to winemaking in California… creating a complex stylistic wine," says Philip Shaw, company winemaker for Southcorp Wines, owner of Rosemount Estate, about his dual-hemisphere collaboration with Ian Shepherd and Tim Mondavi. The Robert Mondavi and Rosemount Estate partnership, which was founded in 2000, has appointed the Australian-born Ian Shepherd as the winemaker to produce wines in California and in Australia.

The California wines of the venture are named Talomas, after an indigenous Californian word meaning "wildcats," while the wines made is Australia carry the name Kirralaa, an Australian Aboriginal word meaning "star." The Talomas wines showcase the Australian philosophy of cross-varietal and cross-regional blending as applied to Robert Mondavi's vineyards. The partnership crafts its Talomas wines by aggressively farming vineyard estates to enhance and concentrate flavor, by cross blending base wines to express enhanced multi-regional complexity and finally by blending different varietals. Initially, the Talomas range will comprise a Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah, and the abovementioned Cabernet Sauvigon/Merlot, followed by a Chardonnay/Viognier in July 2003. Talomas California Wines showcase the venture's array of diverse, pristine and low-yielding vineyard estates, which span California's microclimates (from Mendocino, Napa, and Sonoma through to Monterey, Paso Robles and Santa Barbara). Traditional notions of "single varietals" are eschewed in favor of multi-regional and multi-varietal blends.

Talomas and Kirralaa wines are the culmination of a 30-year dream for Robert Mondavi, who has long recognized that Australia's diverse regions and climate held great winemaking potential.

Address: Southcorp Wines, 2700 Napa Valley Corporate Dr., Napa, CA. 94558
Phone: 707-258-8755

Talomas 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot

2000 Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot
Varietal/Style: 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot
Origin: California
Vintage: 2000
Winemaker: Ian Shepherd (Tim Mondavi and Philip Shaw)
Rating: 14/20
Retail Price: $15

Tasting Notes: Careful vineyard lot selection and winemaking expertise have crafted a wine with beautiful color, good body and moderate tannin levels. Red berries greet you joyfully, followed by chocolate and a hint of mint. Very pleasant in the mouth, with a smooth and progressive finish. Careful use of wood lets the grapes express themselves. At $15 a bottle, you could be doing much worse. (Date tasted: 03/07/03)

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(Updated: 10/22/09 SV)

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