These new releases from the Gary Farrell Winery are mainly from the 2015 vintage, which was another great year for the winery and Russian River Valley. While the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay crops were small to moderate in size, the quality was excellent. The Pinot Noir Rochioli Vineyards is one of the finest we’ve tasted. The Chardonnay fermented in concrete is also first-rate and beautifully balanced and Macon-like in character. The 2015 Zinfandel sourced from the 80+ year old Maffei Vineyard is nicely concentrated and elegant. It is among the better zins we tasted for a recent report. Included among the new releases is a 2016 Sauvignon Blanc hat is crisp and citrusy, not unlike some Loire Valley Sauvignon Blancs and is a welcome style.
Gary Farrell 2015 Rochioli-Allen Vineyards Clone 76 Concrete Chardonnay Russian River Valley ($60) 92 This magnificent Chardonnay exhibits understated richness and flavor. The grapes were sourced from the outstanding Rochioli-Allen Vineyards and fermented 9 months in 80% Concrete and 20% neutral French oak. The wine exhibits lovely white flowers, minerals and crisp acidity. It is beautifully balanced and rather unique, perhaps more reminiscent of a Macon.
Gary Farrell 2015 Pinot Noir Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley ($80) 94 The 2015 Pinot Noir Rochioli Vineyard is an exceptional wine exhibiting remarkable purity of red berry fruit flavors with complex hints of earth, mushroom, cigar box and underbrush, It is beautifully balanced, velvet smooth, and delicate with crisp acidity and tremendous overall length.
Gary Farrell 2015 Zinfandel Maffei Vineyard Russian River Valley ($50) 90 The 2015 Zinfandel Maffei Vineyard is a rich and densely flavored wine with red plum and black fruit flavors and a variety of earthy notes. It is nicely concentrated and has excellent acidity with firm round tannins. A light but excellent vintage.
Gary Farrell 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley ($32) 89 This Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from a two-acre parcel of the Patient Terrier Vineyard in Russian River Valley. It is fruit forward and fresh tasting with good density of flavor and notes of wet stone/slate. Aged in concrete and neutral French oak for nine months.