This year we have the pleasure to once again review the new releases of the Gary Farrell Winery for our readers. Gary Farrell is one of California’s preeminent producers of distinctive vineyard designated Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Although Gary Farrell sold his winery in 2004, the new Vincraft Group of investors led by Bill Price, a partner in Kistler Vineyards, has maintained a deep commitment to the highest quality standards at Gary Farrell Winery.
Since the early 1980s, the Gary Farrell Winery has maintained close relationships with its growers like the Bacigalupi family, Westside Farms, Hallberg, Martinelli and many others in the Russian River Valley. Outside the Russian River, it has developed relationships with Durell Vineyards and Gap’s Crown Vineyard in the Sonoma Valley, Bien Nacido Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley, and others ,including growers of old vine Zinfandel.
The new releases reviewed here are from the 2014 vintage, one of the earliest and best in the past decade, despite the ongoing drought conditions in California. Yields were low, berries smaller than usual, and flavors were both ripe and concentrated.
Winemaking at Gary Farrell remains in the capable hands of the talented Theresa Heredia, (below ) who joined Gary Farrell in 2012.
Gary Farrell 2014 Chardonnay Russian River Valley Bacigalupi Vineyard ($50) 92 The 2014 Chardonnay Russian River Valley Bacigalupi Vineyard is a fresh and vibrant wine offering lemon zest, apple and minerals on the nose. Aged 8 months in 40% new French oak, it reveals a creamy mouth feel with concentrated melon flavors, and lightly toasted oak. It has excellent balance and acidity and a superb finish.
Gary Farrell 2014 Chardonnay Russian River Valley Rochioli Vineyard ($60) 93 The Chardonnay Russian River Valley Rochioli Vineyard displays rich yet subtle lemony aromas with hints of toasted oak on the nose. On the palate it is packed with citrus and orchard fruit flavor and is crisp and fresh tasting and beautifully delineated with perfect acidity and balance. A work of art.
Gary Farrell 2014 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley ($65) 91 The 2014 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard displays aromas of spicy pomegranate, cherry with a hint of earth. On the palate it shows excellent depth and breath of red berry fruit favors, tobacco and leather, soft round tannins, high natural acidity and a delicate and refined finish.
Gary Farrell 2014 Pinot Noir Hallberg Vineyard Dijon Clones Russian River Valley ($60) 91 The Pinot Noir Hallberg Vineyard displays a medium ruby color with dark ripe fruit, earth and mushrooms. On the palate it offers more ripe dark fruit with good density of flavor and excelent overll dense and concentrated flavor.
Gary Farrell 2014 Pinot Noir Toboni Vineyard Russian River Valley ($55) 91 The Pinot Noir Toboni Vineyard offers aromas of ripe black cherry and herbs on the nose. Dense and lush on the palate, it is mouth filling with good natural acidity, pure fruit flavors and hints of sauvage on the long finish.