Alysian Wines

Owner(s) Gary Farrell, Bill Hambrecht
Web site www.alysianwines.com
 
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Alysian Wines

Gary Farrell is considered by many the father of Russian River Pinot Noir. Since the 1980s, his wines have been among the best from the Russian River Valley. After making his first wines at Davis Bynum, he started his own label in 1982. That year, Farrell made the first Pinot Noir for Rochioli Vineyard and Winery and his first Gary Farrell Pinot Noir consisting of 50 cases of a blend of Rochioli West Block and Allen Vineyard. It sold for $80 a case. His 1985 Pinot Noirs, which offered elegance yet intense and nuanced flavors, low alcohol levels and generous acidity, really spurred my enthusiasm for the potential of California Pinot Noir.

Farrell was to sell his eponymous label and Westside Road winery to Allied Domecq in 2004. Subsequently, it was sold it to Beam Wine Estates. Gary Farrell Winery was then acquired by Ascentia Wine Estates who sold it to Vincraft in 2011. Farrell, now 57 years old, had difficulty working under corporate ownership and was unable to remain connected to all phases of winemaking. He left the winery in 2006 to return to his roots as a micro-producer of Pinot Noir. Farrell has partnered with Bill Hambrecht to found his own new label, Alysian Wines (ah-liss-ee-uhn). Alysian refers to an endeavor arising from intuitive creativity and artistic resolution. The goal is small amounts of “no compromise” Pinot Noir. A new winery will be built at the Floodgate Vineyard along Trenton-Healdsburg Road.

The first three 2007 releases are scheduled for September 2009 release (Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, Floodgate Vineyard Pinot Noir) followed in early 2010 with vineyard designates from Rochioli Vineyard, Starr Ridge Vineyard East Terrace and Hallberg Vineyard Crossroads. Total production in 2007 was 3,000 cases. The wines are sold through a mailing list. 707-431-4410. I was fortunate to be able to sample the first three wines before release. These are marvelous wines and I am sure they will achieve cult stardom quickly.

Update: In 2013, Farrell told me he was leaving Alysian to concentrate on his hobby of buying and selling collector cars. His remarks did not indicate if he would return or whether the brand would continue. His last vintage was 2012. Floodgate Vineyard was subsequently sold.

Reviewed Wines

2012 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard North Face Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc

14.0% alc., pH 3.10, TA 0.735, 317 cases, $20. · Very pale gold color with a slight green tinge. Typical grassy nose with hints of tropical fruit including papaya and banana. Less grassy on the palate with a slightly creamy mouthfeel, good acidity and a dry finish. Light on its feet, and slipping off the back end gracefully, the wine offers flavors of hay, dried herbs and tropical fruits. Sauvignon Blanc is not my favored cup of tea but this is a stellar example of a food-friendly type. Good (+) Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Alysian Russian River Valley Selection Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.2% alc., pH 3.30, TA 0.73, 607 cases, $36. · Light straw color and clear in the glass. Very shy aromas of lemon curd with the slightest hint of oak. Flavors of lemon and grapefruit with complimentary oak in the background. Lacks depth and complexity but straightforward and easy to drink. Good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard Clone 95 Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.1% alc.,pH 3.35, TA 0.7, 239 cases, $40. · Enticing aromas of lemon pie, green apple and baking spice. Appealing richness and body with a full-flavored core of apple, citrus, caramel and vanilla flavors. Very smooth on the palate with slight dry tannins and a dry, uplifting finish. Very good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Alysian Russian River Valley Selection Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.38, TA 0.685, 2,195 cases, $40. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of Bing cherries, baking spice and briar. Light weight core of cherry and cranberry fruits with a leafy, green side note. Reasonably good mid palate flavor with mild tannins and some finish. Forward drinking and a bit on the under ripe side. Good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Alysian Westside Farms Clone 4 Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.0% alc., pH 3.38, TA 0.72, 158 cases, $40. 100% barrel fermented, 35% MLF in barrel. Aged 7 months in 35% new and 65% one and two-year-old French oak barrels. · Light straw color in the glass. A nose of interest with aromas of Meyer lemon curd, grilled peach, lychee, cream soda and almond. Green apple and lemon-lime flavors with a complimentary hint of nuttiness and toasty oak. Almost steely with grippy acidity that leaves a high-strung, operatic finish. This acid-driven wine reflects the cool vintage. Can be an excellent food wine, particularly with white fish in a butter or cream sauce or goat cheese. Good. Reviewed February 27, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard Origins Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 238 cases, $55. Martini 12 clone planted in 1972. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure aromas of wood-kissed red berries and baking spices including nutmeg. Lean, slightly confected red fruits clothed in soft tannins and supported by lively acidity show up most on the soprano finish. Pleasant, but not special, with better acid integration than the Hallberg bottling. Score: 87. Reviewed January 20, 2014 ARTICLE »

2010 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard Rock Hill Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.69, 158 cases, $55. Dijon clone 777. Average Brix at harvest 22.8º. 100% de-stemmed. Combination of wild and cultured yeast fermentation. MLF fermentation in barrel. Aged 10 months in 40% new and 60% one and two-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Very shy nose initially, opening slowly to reveal aromas of red cherries, cranberries, dried rose petals and grassy oak. The cherry, red berry and red plum stuffing really explodes on the mid palate, finishing with great intensity and nervy acidity that makes the drinker want another sip. Very easy, seamless drinking. The wine gets better over time in the glass - always a good sign - and was even more aromatic and flavorful the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Not the power of the 2009 vintage, but a beautiful reflection of the cooler 2010 vintage. Gary Farrell is a winemaker you can bank on every vintage to make superb wines that are intensely flavorful, yet bright and crisp and very food friendly - just the way Pinot Noir is meant to be. Reviewed February 27, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Alysian Hallberg Vineyard Crossroads Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.66, 156 cases, $55. Dijon clone 777. Average harvest Brix 23.6º. 100% de-stemmed. Combination of wild and cultured yeast fermentation, MLF fermentation in barrel. Aged 12 months in 40% new and 60% one and two-year-old French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy, slowly evolving aromas of dark berry jam and complimentary oak. Mid weight tasty flavors of blackberries, plum sauce and cola, robed in modest dusty tannins, and brought into focus with bright acidity, and finishing with a long dark-fruited finish with a citrus undertone. Very well crafted and reflective of the cool vintage. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This is a terroir-driven wine displaying the dark fruited character that is the signature of this vineyard. Very good (+). Reviewed February 27, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Alysian Hallberg Vineyard Crossroads Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc.,156 cases, $55. · Moderately dark reddish purple hue in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, shaved oak and fennel lead to lean, dilute flavors of black cherry and plum with a citrus-infused cranberry finish. Hi-voltage acidity underlies the wine’s tartness, and the barely ripe fruit is austere. Score: 85. Reviewed January 20, 2014 ARTICLE »

2010 Alysian Rochioli Vineyard Allen-Rochioli Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 238 cases, $65. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. A hint of cherry jam is overwhelmed with aromas of oak vanillin and biscuit. Light and juicy, with an array of red cherry and berry fruits accented with a touch of oak and vanilla. Smooth in the mouth with supple tannins and a vibrant cut of acidity on the finish. Score: 88. Reviewed January 20, 2014 ARTICLE »

2009 Alysian Russian River Selection Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.41, TA 0.73, 2,231 cases, $40. Fruit from Rochioli (Pommard). Allen (777), Starr Ridge (115 and 777), Floodgate (Martini and Dijon clones), and Hallberg (Cruz clone and 828). 100% de-stemmed, aged 10 months in 40% new (Francois Frères and Rousseau) and 60% one and two year old French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Bright aromas of Bing cherries, cola and baking spice rise out of the glass, persisting over time. Moderately concentrated flavors of cherries wrapped in supple tannins and framed by bright acidity. Fat in the mouth with a richness only Russian River Valley Pinot Noir can deliver. I love this wine for its pure exuberance. Like cherry pie day at cooking school: cherries, baking spice and very interesting results. Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Alysian Russian River Valley Selection

13.8% alc., pH 3.41, TA 0.73, 2,231 cases, $40. Multiple vineyard sources (Rochioli, Allen, Floodgate, Starr Ridge and Hallberg). Clones Pommard, 777, Martini, 115, Cruz and 828. 100% de-stemmed, aged 10 months in 40% new French oak barrels. Gary points out, “While we love the vineyard-specific wines for their purity and focused expression of each individual property, the Russian River Selection often displays greater complexity and (to some) is a more complete and satisfying offering.” · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Bright aromas of Bing cherries and strawberries with good volume. Exuberant flavors of black cherries, dark red berries, tea leaf, cola and clove with a slight herbal note contributed by sweet oak. Full-bodied yet not overbearing, with reserved tannins, and admirable length. I agree with Gary that this is his finest Alysian Russian River Valley Selection to date. Exceptional flavor and intensity at a modest alcohol level: the holy grail of Pinot Noir. Very good (+). Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard Origins Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.35, TA 0.73, 240 cases, $55. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Dreamy aromatics with intense and vivid aromas of fresh Bing cherries, raspberries, spice and vanilla. Flavorful, but juicy and easy to drink, offering tastes of red cherries, herbs, sandalwood and graham, picking up intensity over time in the glass. Very elegantly crafted with soft, dry tannins, lively acidity and generous length. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard Rock Hill Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.40, TA 0.705, 159 cases, $55. Floodgate is located in the heart of the Middle Reach. Rock Hill (Block 16) was planted in 2000 on one of the rockiest knolls on the property resulting in low vigor). Dijon 777. 100% de-stemmed. Wild and cultured yeast fermentation following a 5-day cold soak. Aged 13 months in 45% new (Francois Frères and Rousseau) and 55% one and two year old French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of underbrush, dark red cherries and berries and dark red rose petals. Think wild cherries sprinkled with herbs and flowers. Discreetly concentrated core of dark cherry and cranberry flavors strike an impression on the mid palate and linger with a pleasing citrus-flavored berry finish. Great cut and vibrancy. Not as luscious as the Russian River Selection, but more nuanced, offering a different experience with each sip. Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard Rock Hill Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.40,TA 0.71, 159 cases, $55. From an estate property in a sub appellation of the Russian River Valley known as the Middle Reach. Rock Hill is a tiny block planted on one of the rockiest knolls on the property. Dijon clone 777. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is a fruit wonderland. Intense fragrance of spiced Bing cherries, raspberries and plums. Richly flavored but light on its feet, with alluring flavors of black cherries, black raspberries, herbs and spice. So good you want to bite into it. Refreshing acid spine, gossamer tannins and a memorable finish of uncommon length. Crazy good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Alysian Hallberg Vineyard Crossroads Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.38, TA 0.72, 196 cases, $55. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Inviting array of aromas including dark cherries, dark red berries, pepper and baking spice. Mid weight flavors of dark red cherries and berries with a citrus-imbued cherry finish of noticeable length. More body and structure than the Floodgate bottlings. Perfectly composed with well-proportioned tannins. Again, showing the elegance that is always evident in a Gary Farrell Pinot. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Alysian Rochioli Vineyard Allen-Rochioli Blocks Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.35, TA 0.68, 122 cases, $65. · Brooding aromas of black cherries and black raspberries with a hint of spice. Intense mid palate attack of delicious black cherry and black plum fruit accented with cola and spice. The most linear and undeveloped of the 2009 Alysian wines, but clearly the one with the most long term potential for greatness. Develops more intensity and interest over time in the glass and was much better two days later from a previously opened and recorked bottle. A pretense to seduction. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Alysian Rochioli Vineyard Edgewater Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.37, TA 0.71, 240 cases, $65. Only Williams Selyem and Alysian receive allocations from this vineyard. Clones 115, 777 and Pommard. 100% de-stemmed. Wild and cultured fermentation lasting 11 days with manual punch downs daily. Aged 13 months in 45% new (Francois Frères and Rousseau) and 55% one and two year old French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Riper, darker fruited aromatic profile consisting of a complex melange of deep red and purple stone fruits with a hint of potpourri. Mouth filling presence with well-proportioned tannins and acidity keep the wine in line. Reasonably assertive but light on its feet. Impressive persistence on the finish highlighted by citrus-flavored cranberries. Unlimited long-term potential. Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Alysian Rochioli Vineyard Edgewater Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.37, TA 0.71, 240 cases, $65. Clones 115, 777 and Pommard. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Bright aromas of dark red pie berries and spice. Delicious Pinot extract, featuring perfectly ripe flavors of dark cherries, raspberries and strawberries accented with spice cake. Intense mid palate presence and amazing finishing length and intensity. Gorgeous without being overwrought. Perfect balance with supple tannins and juicy acidity. You want to chew on this one. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Alysian Russian River Selection Pinot Noir

Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy but pleasing array of red fruit aromas including strawberry, cherry and cranberry. Soft and elegant on the palate with bright flavors of Bing cherries, baking spices and cola. A beautiful wine with bright acidity that drives the refreshing finish. Very good. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy but pleasing array of red fruit aromas including strawberry, cherry and cranberry. Soft and elegant on the palate with bright flavors of Bing cherries, baking spices and cola. A beautiful wine with bright acidity that drives the refreshing finish. Very good. Reviewed July 23, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Alysian Cresta Ridge Vineyard Taurin Block Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.1% alc., pH 3.47, 378 cases, $38. Gary Farrell’s 2008 lineup of wines are very impressive. Sourced from a Green Valley vineyard. 100% barrel fermented, 50% MLF in barrel. Aged 10 months in 40% new and 60% one and two-year-old French oak barrels. Sold only through a mailing list. · Light straw color in the glass. Fresh aromas of white stone fruits, butterscotch and buttered toast. Delicious and persistent moderately rich mix of flavors including pears, white peach, green apple, biscuit and maple syrup framed by lively acidity with a subtle note of oak in the background. Uncommon tenacity of flavor for a Chardonnay. Everything is singing in harmony and this wine is just my style. Reviewed November 24, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Alysian Cresta Ridge Vineyard Taurin Block Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.1% alc., pH 3.47, 378 cases, $38. I opened a bottle of this wine recently that was first reviewed in November 2010 and I still find it compelling. 50% MLF in barrel. Aged 10 months in 40% new and 60% one and two-year-old French oak barrels. · Light straw color in the glass. Crisp and flavorful, balanced and refreshing. This wine sings with aromas of citrus fruits and baked pear, echoed on the palate with additions of pale caramel, brown butter and the right touch of oak. Drinking perfectly now and as fresh as it was upon release. Should be good to go for another five years at least. Reviewed February 27, 2013 ARTICLE »

2008 Alysian Starr Ridge Vineyard Clone 95 Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.3% alc., $38. · Very shy aromas of apple, pear and honey. Restrained and lean with demure flavors of Asian pears, white peaches and vanilla caramel. Smooth and silky and easy to cozy up to. Good (+). Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard Rock Hill Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.42, 233 cases, $55. Dijon clone 777. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 13 months in 45% new and 55% one and two-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Brooding aromas of dark fruits and forest floor. Earthy and savory on the palate with shy but charming flavors of plums and boysenberries that sail smoothly and silky to the refreshing finish. Delicately styled but thoroughly satisfying. Not showing everything now. Much better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle offering brighter fruit aromas and flavors. Plenty of pinotosity for the long haul. Reviewed November 24, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard West Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.46, TA 0.69, 201 cases, $55. This vineyard is located in the Middle Reach and is one of Alysian’s estate properties. The West Block was planted in 1971 and is one of the oldest known plantings of Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley. Yields are less than one ton per acre but Farrell insists that the vineyard be preserved. Martini clone. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Clean and pure aromas of fresh berry tart and plum sauce. Tasty core of black cherry and blackberry flavors with a hint of vanilla. Packed with flavor, yet crisp and light on its feet. Seamless, with a creamy mouth feel and spectacular persistence of perfectly ripe fruit on the refreshing finish. Still solid the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. The whole package. Reviewed January 11, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Alysian Hallberg Vineyard Crossroads Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.46, TA 0.67, 160 cases, $55. This vineyard is located in a cool region with Goldridge sandy loam soil and was developed 10 years ago by noted Sonoma County viticulturist Kirk Lokka. 50% Dijon clone 777 and 50% Cruz Clone. Aged 11 months in 45% new and 55% one and two-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy aromas of black cherries, red berries, spice, sandalwood and forest floor. Generously flavored with mixed berries clothed in fine-grain tannins and framed by balancing acidity, offering a soft, silky and sensual mouthfeel and a finish that is ridiculously long. In one word, terrific. Very good (+). Reviewed July 23, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Alysian Hallberg Vineyard Crossroads Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 160 cases, pH 3.46, TA 0.67, $55. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Really impressive fruity nose offering vibrant aromas of ripe cherries and strawberries with hints of graham, BBQ and sandalwood. Mid-weight essence of fresh cherries and strawberries with a subtle nutty note in the background from oak. Dry, fine-grain tannins provide support for this pretty wine that exudes charm. Very Russian River Valley in character, a more restrained interpretation of this vineyard source, and a wine of exemplary pinotosity. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Alysian Starr Ridge Vineyard East Terrace Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 157 cases, pH 3.43, TA 0.69, $55. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Darkly fruited with aromas of graham and spice. Black cherry, black raspberry and strawberry flavors with the slightest hint of oak show up in a moderately rich format with restrained tannins, brisk acidity and a refreshing, slightly brambly finish. The silky soft composure is appealing. Much better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, when my wife and I finished the bottle over dinner. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Alysian Rochioli Vineyard Allen-Rochioli Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.44, TA 0.665, 159 cases, $65. Dijon clones 115 and 777 and Pommard 4 from Rochioli Vineyard and Dijon clone 777 from Allen Vineyard. Aged 14 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is a bit awkward, picking up aromatic interest over time in the glass. Scents of dark red cherries and berries with notable oak spice and char. Well-endowed with a sappy core of black cherry, dark red raspberry and dried cranberry fruits brightened with vivid acidity and caressed by soft, dry tannins. The biggest Pinot Noir in the Alysian stable. A Lolita that is still in the awkward stage and only hinting at its potential. Even after 24 hours, an opened bottle is reserved. Very good. Reviewed January 11, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Alysian Rochioli Vineyard Allen-Rochioli Blocks Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.44, TA 0.665, 159 cases, $65. Dijon clones 115 and 777 and Pommard 4 from Rochioli Vineyard and Dijon clone 777 from Allen Vineyard (farmed by Rochioli). Aged 14 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. With swirling, exotic aromas emerge including scents of wild berries, black cherry tart and wood spice. Rich and bold on the palate with flavors of dark red Pinot fruits that coat the mouth, persisting on the invigorating finish that delivers a zing of acidity. This is a serious, potentially orgasmic wine that needs several years in the cellar. Very good. Reviewed July 23, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Alysian Rochioli Vineyard River Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.46, 233 cases, $65. Pommard, Dijon 115 and 777. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 14 months in 45% new French oak barrels. · A bright and glorious perfume of Bing cherries, wild strawberries and sandalwood. Delicate and crisp flavors of raspberries, cranberries and cherry skins. Smooth and seamless with soft-hewn tannins and a bright kiss of acidity on the uplifting finish. Quintessential Middle Reach. Reviewed November 24, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Alysian Rochioli Vineyard River Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.46, TA 0.675, 233 cases, $65. Dijon clones 115 and 777. Aged in 45% new French oak barrels for 14 months. · Alluring scent of fresh ripe raspberries and plums. Striking intensity on the palate of berry and plum flavors which coat every nook and cranny, persisting on the soft ending. The tannins are supple, the bright acidity provides vim and vigor, and the whole package is beautifully balanced. Approachable now, but will be a cause for celebration a few more years down the road. Very good (+). Reviewed July 23, 2011 ARTICLE »

2007 Alysian Cresta Ridge Vineyard Taurin Block Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.3% alc., 469 cases, $38. Heavy bottle. · Heavenly scented with honey and biscuits. A classy wine with vivid flavors of lemon curd, pear, banana and smoky oak with a slightly creamy texture. Perfect fruit and acid balance. I have been tasting over 50 premium California Chardonnays for an upcoming feature and this wine was one of the top three I tasted. Reviewed August 17, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Alysian Cresta Ridge Vineyard Taurin Block Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.3% alc., $38. Pronounced “ah-liss-ee-uhn,” referring to an endeavor arising from intuitive creativity and artistic resolution. The inaugural Chardonnay from Gary Farrell’s new label. · A very pretty wine with aromas of honey and warm biscuits. Juicy flavors of lemon curd, pear and banana with a sidecar of smoky oak. Perfect fruit and acid balance with a seductively creamy texture. This one has the whole package. Reviewed September 5, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Alysian Cresta Ridge Vineyard Taurin Block Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.1% alc.,pH 3.47, 378 cases, $38. 100% barrel fermented, 50% MLF. Aged 10 months in 40% new and 60% one and two-yearold French oak barrels. · Aromas of grilled pineapple, baked pear, lime, sawdust and hay bale. The flavors echo the nose with added notes of baked apples and lemon zest with a faint woody note. Nice harmony and well-crafted, but the aromatic profile is strange. Not nearly as good as a bottle I had last year that I rated highly. Decent. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2007 Alysian Russian River Selection Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 1,524 cases, $48. · Pleasant but delicate aromas of black cherries, strawberries and savory oak. Soil-infused black cherry fruit layered with herbs, loam, cola and oak with a grapefruit note on the finish. Still sporting some dry tannins that need resolution and not as showy as it will be in another year. Reviewed August 17, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard West Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 444 cases, $55. The packaging makes a statement with a very heavy bottle incorporating a large punt and sporting a classy label. · Perfumed with violets, Bing cherries and sandalwood. Opulent and layered, ephemeral yet gutsy. Cherries jubilee with touches of raspberries, vanilla and citrus. Impeccably balanced t n’ a for age ability. An endless echo of scent and fruit on the finish. This is a heart throb and a 2009 All-American for me. Reviewed August 17, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Alysian Hallberg Vineyard Crossroads Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.41, 230 cases, $55. Hallberg Vineyard is located in the Green Valley AVA. This vineyard was developed in 2000 by Kirk Lokka, a skilled viticulturist. Dijon clones 777 and 828. 100% destemmed. Aged 14 months in 45% new French oak barrels. · Shy dark stone fruit aromas emerge slowly in the glass offset by scents of oak and toasted brioche. With patient swirling, a tasty array of earth-infused blackberry and plum fruit emerges backed by a hint of lemon zest most evident on the crisp finish. A big-boned wine balanced nicely by lively acidity and very silky in the mouth. Tasted much better 8 hours later from a previously opened and recorked bottle. Reviewed June 8, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Alysian Starr Ridge Vineyard East Terrace Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.44, 231 cases, $55. This vineyard is owned and farmed by Gary and Debbie Farrell and consists of 23 acres planted to Dijon and Pommard clones. This wine is composed of Dijon 115 and Pommard 4 clones. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 14 months in 45% new French oak barrels. · Deeply colored. Beautiful black cherry fruit on the nose with Provencal herbs in the background. Vivid black cherry, raspberry and pomegranate flavors with a hint of iodine. A lively lift of acidity sparks the refreshing finish. Good. Reviewed June 8, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Alysian Rochioli Vineyard Allen-Rochioli Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.40, 171 cases, $65. Pommard 4 clone from Rochioli Vineyard and Allen Vineyard (farmed by Rochioli). 100% de-stemmed. Aged 14 months in 45% new French oak barrels. · Savory aromas of green herbs and cigar box with restrained fruit scents. Moderately rich but very tight, opening a little over time in the glass. Linear fruit flavors of cherries, berries and plums with a slight oak underpinning and a persistent citrus tang on the finish. I expect significantly more will be forthcoming from this wine with time in the bottle. Good. Reviewed June 8, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Alysian Rochioli Vineyard Allen-Rochioli Blocks Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $65. · Welcoming perfume of dark Pinot fruits with hints of mocha and toasty oak. Rich and vivid array of ripe, sweet red and black fruits with an undertone of earth, savory herbs and dark chocolate, nicely framed by fine-grain tannins. This beauty possesses the Rochioli fruit spirit in a more extracted style atypical for a Gary Farrell Pinot. Very good. Reviewed November 24, 2010 ARTICLE »