2019 Gary Farrell Russian River Selection Chardonnay

2019 Gary Farrell Russian River Selection Chardonnay

¥7,260 (incl. tax)

Intense aromas, lively citrus, a mineral-driven texture, persistence and loads of energy. That would seem to sum up Gary Farrel’s 2019 Russian River Chardonnay. But how to capture the way the wine evolves over time in the glass or from the first through the last sip? The secret to this wine may be the many premier vineyards in the blend. Even though Westside Farms, Bacigalupi, Olivet Lane, Rochioli, Allen, and Olivet Lane vineyards are located within the same AVA, they exemplify what’s special about the Russian River Valley: incredible diversity within a small geographical area. Each vineyard adds a special nuance whether borne of its particular micro-climate, soil type, clone or vine age. That each one of these vineyards is great enough to be used in high-end single-vineyard bottlings is a testament to the deep relationships Gary Farrell has forged with local growers over the years. Brie cheese, lobster salad, lemony risotto, or baked chicken with taragon are among the many dishes that would pair well with this crisp, invigorating Chardonnay. 


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 2019
Color White
Varietal(s) Chardonnay
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 8.5 x 30.0
Case Size 36.0 x 27.0 x 32.0
Alcohol 13.7%
Product Code GF19CH
UPC 837434000050
MLF 100%

Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

94 points – Wine Enthusiast; 90 points – Wine Spectator.

Enticing aromas of nectarine, honeysuckle, lemongrass and brioche lead to a rich and mineral-driven palate of crisp citrus, ginger, tangy acidity and lingering spice. An energetic wine with plenty of acidity and fleshy mouthfeel. 



After hand harvesting, careful sorting and gentle pressing, the juice was fermented and aged in 30% new French Oak Barrels for 9 months. The wine was racked off primary lees just once before bottling.

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