2017 Gary Farrell Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir

2017 Gary Farrell Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir

¥10,230 (incl. tax)

The unique qualities of the Hallberg vineyard make it an obvious choice for a vineyard-designate wine. The Green Valley sub-appellation of the Russian River Valley sees little shift between daytime and nighttime temperatures, remaining so consistently cool that grapes can ripen slowly and steadily. Vine roots can extend so deep into the Goldridge Sandy Loam soil that the vineyard can be farmed without irrigation. These conditions produce fruit with deep, dark color, great structure, silky tannins, dark fruit flavors and earthy characteristics. A careful yet “hands-off” approach in the cellar turns great fruit into awesome wine. In 2017, a couple of heat waves and a later-than-usual harvest forced the vineyard and winery crews to pick and process the grapes fast. However, according to the winery, “the resulting fruit yielded copious quantities of bright red & blue fruit flavors and aromas. The wines are fresh, vibrant and concentrated, despite the challenges, with lifted aromas that could trick one into thinking this was a much cooler vintage.” This is a wine with lovely acidity, mineral freshness and tannins that suggest plenty of hedonistic pleasure for years to come!


Winery Description

On trying the first wine Gary Farrell made (a 1978 Davis Bynum Pinot Noir) in a wine competition, the renowned Russian-born enologist, André Tchelistcheff was said to remarked, “whoever made it, he knows Pinot Noir.” Since that time Farrell went on not only to make excellent Pinot Noir, but to play a key role in the transformation of rural Russian River Valley into a world class producer of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Young and self-taught, Farrell served as winemaker for Bynum as well as Joe Rochioli and continued to receive Rochioli fruit on a handshake basis long after founding his own winery in 1982. Throughout the 80s and 90s, Farrell set a high bar for small-lot, Russian River Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Though he sold the winery in 2004 (and retired from the wine business in 2013), his legacy is alive and well at the Gary Farrell Winery. Owned by the Vincraft Group since 2012, the winery remains true to Gary’s belief in vineyard-designated Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from such “Grand Cru” properties as Rochioli, Allen, Westside Farms, and Hallberg. In recent years, the winery has added more storied, heritage vineyards to its portfolio, such as Ritchie, Bacigalupi and Martinelli in RRV, as well as the Durrell Vineyard in Sonoma Valley and the Bien Nacido Vineyard, in the Santa Maria Valley. Because of variations in soils, micro-climate, orientation, clones, and age, these vineyards offer the winery the opportunity to produce wines of place and unique character. Since 2012, the winemaker has been Theresa Heredia, a chemistry researcher-turned-winemaker who arrived with several years’ of experience in cool-climate winemaking at Freestone Winery, the Sonoma Coast operation owned by Joseph Phelps. She has evolved the Gary Farrell house style toward even greater elegance and balance with such “innovative” (actually old!) techniques as early picking, extended maceration, fermentation with whole clusters and native yeasts, aging in large-sized (500 L) puncheons and even some old-fashioned foot treading. Improvements at Gary Farrell have not gone unnoticed by the press. Food and Wine Magazine chose the 2015 Russian River Selection Pinot Noir as one of the PNs “to drink if you want to be an expert,” while Wine Enthusiast selected the 2015 Russian River Selection Chardonnay as its No. 1 of the Enthusiast Top 100 in 2017. 

About this Wine

Country USA
Region California
Appellation(s) Russian River Valley (Sonoma)
Winery Gary Farrell
Vintage 2017
Color Red
Varietal(s) Pinot Noir
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 8.5 x 30.0
Case Size 36.0 x 27.0 x 32.0
Alcohol 13.8%
Product Code GF17HBP
UPC 837434000302

Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

95 points – Wine Enthusiast.

A generous nose of bing cherries, strawberries, and blackberry jam gives way to a palate that interplays savory black tea, wild mushrooms, and tobacco with red toned notes of pomegranate and cranberries. The sensation of power and finesse continues through a long silky finish. 



After hand-harvesting early in the mornings, a large percentage of the grapes were destemmed and transferred to open-top fermenters with additional fruit added as whole clusters. The must was treated to a 6-day cold soak before fermentation and 7 - 10 days of extended maceration after. After racking to 40% new oak barrels, the wine aged for 15 months. 

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