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Failla Valley Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir 2009

Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • WS95
  • WE95
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

#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.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 95
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.
WE 95
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.
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Failla

Failla

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Failla, , California
Failla
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.

Santa Barbara

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With a dry and mild climate cooled significantly by breezy ocean fog, Santa Barbara County is a grape-grower’s dream. Part of the larger Central Coast appellation, Santa Barbara is home to six separate AVAs—Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and its four sub-AVAs Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District, and Happy Canyon. The conditions here provide an opportunity for nearly effortless production of high-quality cool-climate wines. This is also the site of the 2004 film Sideways, which caused Pinot Noir’s popularity to skyrocket and brought new acclaim to the region.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of Santa Barbara, marked by trademark racy acidity, crisp Sauvignon Blanc, and savory Syrah. The region is also home to many young and enthusiastic winemakers eager to experiment with less common varieties including Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Trousseau Gris, Gamay, and Cabernet Franc, making it an exciting area to watch.

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’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based 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. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

STC755142_2009 Item# 110974

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