We’ve been tasting and reviewing Gary Farrell Vineyard wines since before Theresa Heredia joined as winemaker in 2012, and we’ve been tasting Theresa’s wines since her time at Joseph Phelps’ Freestone Vineyards on the Sonoma Coast. We’ve consistently admired Theresa’s winemaking, and we try to visit her at the winery and taste Gary Farrell Vineyard’s newest releases whenever we’re in California. In this article we review new releases from the 2016 vintage. Use the search function on our home page to find all the other articles we’ve written on Gary Farrell and the wines of Sonoma County.
Gary Farrell 2016 Chardonnay Bacigalupi Vineyard Russian River Valley ($55) 93 The fruit for this fruit rich, lush and juicy Chardonnay includes head trained vines planted in 1967 in the Bacigalupi Vineyard, which provided fruit for the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that won the 1976 Paris Tasting. It offers a sumptuous nose of white stone fruit and honeysuckle. The richly flavored palate is fat and juicy with lively acidity and a lingering aftertaste. Aged 9 months in 35% new French oak.
Gary Farrell 2016 Chardonnay Rochioli Vineyard Russian River Valley ($65) 94 The Rochioli Vineyard Chardonnay is consistently one of our favorite wines from Gary Farrell. Made of optimally ripened fruit, it offers a lively and intense bouquet of lemon citrus and tropical fruit along with notes of flint like minerals and hazelnut that carry over to a deeply flavored and admirably concentrated palate. Juicy, lemony acidity gives the wine an appealing freshness. Made from gently pressed fruit matured in 35% new French barriques and puncheons.
Gary Farrell 2016 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley ($70) 92 Sourced from the famed Bien Nacido Vineyard’s Q Block, this Pinot Noir displays the Pommard selection’s spice and purity of fruit. It offers tantalizing, spicy aromas of vanilla-inflected cherry and good depth of rich, dark berry and cherry fruit flavors complemented by refreshing acidity. Matured 15 months in 40% new French oak.
Gary Farrell 2016 Pinot Noir Hallberg Vineyard Dijon Clones Russian River Valley ($60) 93 Sourced from 777 and 667 clones of the Hallberg Vineyard located in cool, foggy Green Valley, the Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir delivers aromas and flavors of dark cherry with savory herbs and notes of underbrush and bright red raspberry. There’s good depth and richness on the palate, fine tannins, and a persistent finish. It sees 10 months in 40% new French oak.
Gary Farrell 2016 Pinot Noir Toboni Vineyard Russian River Valley ($55) 92 This Pinot Noir comes from the Toboni Vineyard, planted on the Santa Rosa plain in 2001. It’s an expressive, juicy wine showing Black Forest cake aromas and flavors of black cherry and cocoa with a savory, loam-like note and a light touch of toasted oak. Aged 10 months in 40% new French oak.
Gary Farrell 2016 Fort Ross Vineyard Pinot Noir Fort Ross-Seaview ($75) 93 Made of fruit grown high above the Pacific in a cool, even climate, this wine reveals its terroir. It has an earthy, herb and rose petal and lavender nose and a complex palate of red berries, pomegranate, and a hint of forest floor. It offers firm tannins and a persistent finish. Matured 15 months in 40% new French oak.