Brian Talley runs one of the most impressive side projects in the Central Coast. His Bishop's Peak wines represent some of the best under-$30 wines made anywhere on the planet. Even Robert Parker considers Bishop's Peak wines an "excellent value" from an "outstanding winery."
The reason for Bishop's Peak's success is simple: Brian devotes as much time and energy to this second label than many estates put into their top bottlings. Brian's from a family of farmers who taught him early on that great wines are made in the vineyard. Before his father, Don, launched Talley Vineyards the family's Talley Farms produced some of California's finest specialty vegetables.
When it comes to winemaking, complete control over all phases of winegrowing is the guiding principle: planting of vines that are ideally suited to each vineyard site, and using techniques that result in low yields and minimal processing. For years, Brian has been recognized as one of the California wine industry's leading advocate for farm laborers' rights and fair pay. It's no surprise that he leads a team of the most loyal, dedicated vineyard workers you'll find anywhere in the state.
Paso Robles's warm climate and alluvial soils make it an ideal place to grow Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes used in this wine were sourced from three vineyards around Paso Robles, the majority of the blend harvested from the Boland Five Oaks Vineyard, which Brian purchased in 2005 and renamed Hazel Talley Vineyard. Cabernet Franc, also from this vineyard, makes up 7% of the blend, adding spice and structure. And an additional 7% Merlot from Stillwater Vineyard contributes to the wine's texture and mouth feel.
The 2004 Bishop's Peak Cabernet Sauvignon features aromas and flavors of black currant with a touch of oak and eucalyptus. It's dry yet ripe with firm chalky tannins and offers very good balance and persistence in the mouth. This is a youthful Cabernet meant for consuming now. Don't be fooled though. The wine is uncommonly full and rich and would benefit from being in a nice big glass to let the wine properly aerate.
Suggested Food Pairing:
Try it with grilled Angus steak with wild mushroom sauce and thinly cut fries.