Gary Farrell Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2016


Gary Farrell Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2016


Winemaker Notes: A wine with mouthwatering acidity, this blend of unique Russian River Valley vineyards offers an enticing bouquet of citrusy herbs, zesty lemons and subtle baking spices. Expressive layers of aromas offer a playful nose of bright citrus, floral notes and under ripe tropical fruits. The palate opens up with a gentle kiss of lemon verbena, white peach, tart pineapple and an undertone of buttery shortbread, all the while sustaining its acute yet elegant structure.

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Vineyards: Our Russian River Selection bottlings are quintessential Russian River Valley wines blended from some of the winery’s top vineyard sources. They are beautiful expressions of their varietal type and of the appellation’s unique terroir, each blend capturing the richness, purity and elegance that are Gary Farrell Winery’s trademarks. This layered and complex Chardonnay brings together fruit from several of our favorite Russian River Valley vineyard sites. Anchored by the naturally balanced character of Westside Farms and intriguing floral and stone fruit notes from Bacigalupi Vineyard, the wine’s great concentration and structure derive from the nearby Rochioli and Allen vineyards. Olivet Lane Vineyard, featuring the Wente clone, adds refreshing citrus tones and excellent acidity.

Vintage: The 2016 vintage was an exceptional year for Russian River Valley wines. Harvest seems to start early every year now in Sonoma County, and this season was no exception. Much needed winter rains alleviated some of the drought pressure and vine development was able to begin early. This, coupled with a remarkably slow and steady ripening season, gave the grapes plenty of time to develop perfect balance, structure, and an amazing complexity of flavors. The 2016 Chardonnay crop was medium in size, while the quality and overall integrity of the fruit was among the best that we’ve ever seen at the winery. Cooler than average daytime highs and cold nights gave us the opportunity to pick the fruit exactly when it was ready, giving us wines that have tremendous concentration, finesse, and beautiful natural acidity. We were fortunate to experience another spectacular vintage in the Russian River Valley, and are excited to see how the wines evolve as they age in our barrel cellar.

Winemaking: The grapes were harvested in the cool morning hours at ~21-23° Brix. A quick pass was made through our rows a few days prior to harvest in order to drop fruit that didn’t express the optimal flavor concentration. As anticipated, the grapes that were delivered to the winery were packed with delicious, vibrant, varietally expressive characteristics. After a very careful hand-sorting, we combined all the fruit in the press, and used a gentle program to extract only the most desirable solids and phenolics. The resulting juice was left in tank to cold-settle overnight before transferring to 35% new and 65% one to three-year-old neutral French Oak Barrels for fermentation and aging, where it remained for 9 months on its primary lees until it was time to bottle in June. A portion of this blend was also fermented and aged in a concrete egg-shaped tank, which offers increased lees contact, lending to more richness and depth place. The wines were racked off the primary lees only once, just before bottling.


Appellation Russian River Valley

Vineyards Westside Farms, Bacigalupi Vineyard– Goddard Ranch, Olivet Lane Vineyard, Rochioli Vineyard, Allen Vineyard, Lazy W Vineyard, Martinelli Vineyard– Parnell Ranch, Pratt – Cornerstone Vineyard

Composition 100% Chardonnay

Aging 9 months in 35% new French oak

Alcohol 13.4%

pH / T.A. 3.33/6.5gm/L

Production 5,203 cases