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Failla Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
  • JD92
  • RP91
13.5% ABV
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  • WE93
  • WS90
  • WE91
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

In Failla's ongoing quest for purity of expression, the winery continues to shift toward more neutral élevage for this enjoy-it-young chardonnay -- splitting half of the fruit between concrete egg and stainless steel vessels. The remainder fermented and aged in french oak, only 15% new, and barely perceptible in the finished wine’s aromas of wet-stone, lime and oyster-shell. Malolactic fermentation provides a round, glycerin finish that balances the wine’s vibrant mouth-watering acidity.

Critical Acclaim

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JD 92
Jeb Dunnuck
Starting out with the appellation Chardonnay, which was bottled in June of last year, the 2016 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast sees a shorter élevage as well as a smaller percentage of new oak. It’s a terrific Chardonnay that has clean, classy, layered notes of orchard fruits, pineapple, and citrus, with hints of leafy herbs. It’s a great introduction to the wines of this estate.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Chardonnay Estate is scented of lemon tart, grapefruit and white peaches with an orange blossoms and allspice undercurrent. Medium-bodied, elegant and refreshing in the mouth, it has great intensity of citrus flavors and a satiny texture, finishing long and perfumed.
Rating: 91+
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Failla

Failla

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Failla, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, 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 Coast

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A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.

Contained within the appellation are the much smaller Fort Ross-Seaview and Petaluma Gap AVAs.

The Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah. The wines have high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and balanced ripeness.

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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.

CHMFLJ1201016_2016 Item# 507822