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Flat front label of wine

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, Russian River, 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.

Russian River

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, The Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river which flows through the region. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, further from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

STC755142_2009 Item# 110974