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Failla Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2011

Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
  • WE92
  • WS92
  • WW92
13.8% ABV
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  • RP91
  • WS90
  • WE93
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13.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#49 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2013

This is the second vintage in which 20% of Failla's young-vine Chardonnay blend was fermented and aged in concrete egg vessels. The remainder fermented and aged for 10 months in French oak, only 15% new and barely perceptible in the finished wine's flinty nose balanced with citrusy scents of grapefruit and lime filled out with a hint of jasmine and oyster-shell. The textural contributions of the concrete-fermented lots nicely balance the wine's vibrant mouth-watering acidity.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
This is firm in acidity, bracing in minerals and bone dry. That makes it sound austere, but you’ll find delicious apricot, lime and citron flavors, enhanced by sweet oak.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Pure, clean scents of ripe apple, melon, pear and subtle citrus form the core of this bright, elegant, delicate version. Subtle oak comes through on the finish.
WW 92
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
A top effort, the zesty 2011 Failla Sonoma Coast Chardonnay shows up as a true example of what this highly-touted AVA can produce. This wine offers tart apple and bracing minerality on the palate. The wine's crisp and lively finish pairs it well with simply adorned shellfish. (Tasted: August 1, 2017, San Francisco, CA)
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Failla

Failla

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Failla, California
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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.
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Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

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Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

CHMFLJ1201011_2011 Item# 121783