Failla Valley Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir 2009
Pinot Noir from Russian River, California
#14 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011
As always, the fruit was destemmed into open-topped fermenters, punched down twice-a-day during fermentation, and aged sur-lie in French oak barrels, one-third of which were new. Epitomizing the Russian River Valley "terroir", the '09 Keefer offers archetypal pinot aromas of sour cherry, sous-bois, and glove leather with jammy undertones. Velvety texture and juicy fruit belie the structure of this wine's spicy, present tannins. Will age well for 7-10 years.
Wine Spectator - "Beautiful pure, ripe, riveting aromas of wild rose, black cherry, blackberry, wild raspberry, mineral and spice lead to a medium- to full-bodied palate, turning silky and elegant on the finish, with just the right touch of acidity and tannins. Drink now through 2019."
Wine Enthusiast - "Failla has been working with the fruit from this coveted vineyard for a long time, and has figured it out better than anyone. How they take basic Russian River Valley cherry, raspberry and cola flavors and uplift the wine into the extraordinarily exotic is inexplicable. But they do. An amazingly complex, compelling young Pinot Noir. Drink now–2019, at least."
International Wine Cellar - "Good full red-ruby. Ripe black raspberry, violet and black tea on the nose. Sweet, dense and fat with crushed dark berry, mocha and underbrush flavors. Boasts a lush middle to support its broad, dusty tannins. This sexy, youthful wine finishes long and pure, with excellent acid grip. According to owner/winemaker Ehren Jordan, this is the first vintage under 14% alcohol for this cuvee in a while. 92+ points"
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While the history of Failla (pronounced FAY-la) is short it is not without its complexities. Founded as Failla Jordan in 1998, it took its name from the husband-and-wife team of winemaker Ehren Jordan and fellow debtor Anne-Marie Failla. That year we planted our Estate vineyard on the Sonoma Coast and began buying fruit for our first releases, the very Rhône-style '98 Alban Vineyard Viognier and '98 Que Syrah Syrah. View all Failla Wines
About Russian River
The Russian River Valley is named as such due to its proximity to the Russian River, the river itself named for the Russian fur traders who came down from Alaska in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Russian River is agricultural land. While there is a focus on wine, beyond the vineyards are many small, family-owned farms cultivating everything from cattle to Christmas trees.
Notable FactsThe proximity of this cool river and the rolling fogs from the Pacific Ocean make the area amenable to cool-climate grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In fact, the region is quite known for its full-bodied, yet elegant Pinot Noir, as well as their ripe, yet lean Chardonnays. Within Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. Chalk Hill is the warmer of the two and furthest from the ocean, while Green Valley is cooler and closer to the water.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.