Gary Farrell’s first release was a 50-case production of Pinot Noir in 1982. Today, this Sonoma Valley producer offers a portfolio predominantly based on Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, with the majority of the grapes harvested from vineyards in the Russian River Valley. With the cool breezes and nighttime fog found in this American Viticultural Area, the grapes tend to yield higher acidity, ultimately creating bright wines with fresh fruit qualities. Gary Farrell’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines consistently score the highest, according to our ratings. For more information on this producer’s wines, visit our Gary Farrell Wine Reviews.
Toast and chocolate blend seamlessly with bright cherry fruit in this crisp, energetic offering. The finish is still a bit rough and acidic, but shows plenty of juicy fruit that should come to the fore with a few months of cellaring.
A presently reined-in wine with exotic elements, showing a ginger, saffron and green apple bouquet. It’s well-balanced, with lively apple and citrus flavors. It has good acidity and a firm structure that should hold it together for three or four years. With aging, it may integrate and develop further.
An outdoorsy bouquet of forest floor, soil and dried spice, plus some blackberry and cocoa, play on the nose. The blackberry, oak and cocoa, plus some black plum, make encore appearances in the mouth and on the finish. Well-balanced with nice tannins in the mouth; finishes with an oak and white pepper tang, and chalky, earthy goodness. —D.M.
California Chardonnay doesn’t get much leaner or tarter than this acid-filled bottling by a vintner known for picking early. The idea is to streamline the wine, so instead of peaches and pineapples, you get minerals, dried herbs and citrus. It’s a good food wine.
Gary Farrell is indifferent to prevailing trends, and this Cab is a good illustration. Where most ’01s are rich and hedonistic, this one’s tight and firm in acids and tannins, almost undrinkable now. However, it has good prospects, for there is a tremendous core of fruit. Hold until 2007.
A tasty Sauvignon Blanc, with crisply acidic grapefruit, pineapple and lime juice flavors, touched with oak. A nice appetizer sipper, with some complexity. Good with asparagus risotto, bruschetta with goat cheese, a nice roast chicken with sautéed new potatoes and rosemary.