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Latest Releases of Gary Farrell Pinot Noir

If you want to hang your hat on a top-notch producer of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, you couldn’t do better than Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery. Gary Farrell’s legacy lives on in the capable hands of winemaker Theresa Heredia, who joined the winery in 2012 and has raised the quality of the wines to new heights, capturing the bright perfume, supple flavors and acid-driven freshness of Pinot Noir that connoisseur’s dream about. The Chardonnays are of equal acclaim, sourced from the Russian River Valley’s top vineyards including Rochioli, Bacigalupi and Ritchie.

I have written extensively about this winery and reviewed many wines dating back to 2004: The Gary Farrell style is easily recognizable: fresh, vivid, juicy with minimal tannins and a grip of refreshing acidity on the long finishes.

The winery’s Russian River Valley Selection Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are widely distributed while the vineyard-designates are sold primarily to wine club members and those who visit the winery to taste (by appointment). Inquiries at The Sip and Savor Through Sonoma tasting taking place via Zoom is a terrific interactive experience that includes a tour, tasting and food pairing.

2017 Gary Farrell Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $70. One of the few wineries to source Pommard clone from the legendary Q Block, considered the most prestigious Pinot Noir block on this famous vineyard. · Light garnet color in the glass. The scent of dark red cherry and berry, oak spice and floral perfume leads to a mid-weight infusion of oak-kissed Bing cherry and dark strawberry fruit flavors. Fresh and satisfying without noticeable tannins, silky in texture, and offering an arrow of acidity that drives a lip-smacking, extended finish. Tasted twice, Score: 93

2017 Gary Farrell Martaella Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $65. Released May 2020. Exclusive Wine Club Release. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of earth-bound cherry, blueberry, purple grape, dried herbs and bark. Lighter weighted and elegant with an expressive core of dark red cherry fruit that enlightens the mid palate and carries through to a regal, long finish. A very open and giving wine with a silky mouthfeel, well-integrated oak and a lip-smacking finish. Score: 92

2017 Gary Farrell Rochioli-Allen Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $80. Exclusive Wine Club Release, May 2020. Sourced from the renowned Rochioli Vineyard and Allen Vineyard, both farmed by the Rochioli family. The blend is composed primarily by a Pommard selection from the old 1974 and new 1996 Allen Vineyard North Hill blocks and the balance is Pommard from the Rochioli Vineyard. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Alluring fragrance of Bing cherry, strawberry, baking spice and worn leather. Fresh and juicy on the palate in a mid-weight style featuring a charge of dark cherry and raspberry fruit flavors. Silken tannins and uplifting acidity with a faint compliment of oak in the background. Less sap than the Hallberg bottling but more finesse and demure charm. Like biting into a ripe cherry. Score: 93

2017 Gary Farrell Hallberg Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $55. 100-acre vineyard nestled in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley. A blend of many of the best blocks on this cool, foggy vineyard site including clones 667, 777, “828,” Pommard and a suitcase selection. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Terrific array of aromas including black cherry, blackberry, red rose petal, cardamom spice and a hint of vanilla. The impressive harmony strikes a chord with the first sip. Mid-weight plus flavors of dark cherry and raspberry that stand out for their freshness. A big mouthful of fruit let lithe on the palate with fine-grain tannins and amazing fruit intensity that lingers on the finish. Score: 94

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