Gary Farrell 2010
Russian River Valley Chardonnay & Pinot Noir

Farrell BottlesGary Farrell Vineyards & Winery is one of California’s most famous Burgundy houses, producing some of the state’s most elegant and flavorful Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs from special vineyards located in the Russian River Valley AVA. In this article we review several of the 2010 new releases. The 2010 vintage was exceptionally cool and wet with a late bud break, a very cool summer, and extended hang time that ended with a warm, late harvest and phenolically ripe fruit. As our reviews below show, the resulting wines are elegant, flavorful and superbly balanced.

Gary Farrell made his first Russian River wine in 1982 and went on to create one of California’s best wineries focusing on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, sourcing fruit from the best vineyards in the Russian River Valley. He sold the winery in 2004, but as our tastings show the current owners—The Vincraft Group—has maintained his lofty standards. Gary, meanwhile, is making wines at Alysian Wines in partnership with Bill Hambrecht; we recently reviewed his new releases.

HerediaWe were pleased to hear that in 2012 the Gary Farrell Winery employed Theresa Heredia as winemaker. While the wines tasted below weren’t made by her, we’re sure she’ll continue the fine winemaking tradition of Gary Farrell. We visited Theresa while she was winemaker at Freestone Vineyards and, as we wrote, were impressed with the lush Chardonnays and pure Pinot Noirs she made at that Sonoma Coast winery. We look forward to tasting the 2012 wines that will be the first to reflect her deft winemaking.

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