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Gary Farrell Russian River Chardonnay 2012

Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • TP91
  • WE90
14.1% ABV
  • WE95
  • WE95
  • WS90
  • W&S93
  • WS91
  • WE90
  • WS93
  • WS89
  • CG89
  • WE94
  • W&S92
  • WE91
  • WS93
  • WE90
  • WE89
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14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine is a great example of what low yields, cool weather and meticulous farming practices can produce in a difficult season. Enticing aromas of stone fruit, honeysuckle and lemongrass fill the glass, followed by a flavor profile of exceptional intensity and vibrant acidity, balanced by a rich, creamy texture that comes from extended lees stirring during malolactic fermentation. This wine expresses pure, unadulterated Russian River Chardonnay intermingled with distinctive cool-climate notes such as lemon oil, citrus peel, honey, lime and excellent acidity.

Critical Acclaim

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TP 91
Tasting Panel
Silky and smooth with bright pear and citrus, long and elegant, balanced and juicy.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
A mix of fruit spanning across the Russian River Valley, this complex Chardonnay is so inviting and approachable. Brimming in ripe Gravenstein apple and baking spices, it conveys alluring and lush crispness as well as balanced fruit and floral aromas.
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Gary Farrell

Gary Farrell

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Gary Farrell, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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A 35-year pioneer in the Russian River Valley, Gary Farrell Winery crafts small-lot artisan wines that capture the balance and stylistic elegance of some of the finest vineyards in the region, including Rochioli, Allen, Bacigalupi, Hallberg, Ritchie, Durrell, Gap’s Crown and Bien Nacido. Our legacy, producing Burgundian-styled, varietally expressive, site-specific Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, is being expertly tended by winemaker Theresa Heredia, who works closely with our growers to showcase the exceptional fruit from their vineyards. A specialist in cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Theresa came to Gary Farrell from Joseph Phelp’s Freestone Vineyards on the Sonoma Coast, where she achieved significant critical acclaim, including “Winemaker to Watch” honors from the San Francisco Chronicle. The Recipient of 352 90+ Scores 2013-2017, including Top 100 Wine and Top 100 Cellar Selections, numerous Editor’s Choice and Cellar Selection Designations, Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery was named "2015 Winery of the Year" by PinotReport and “2016 Winery of the Year” by PinotFile.

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.

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.

PIN369830_2012 Item# 137665