Medium gold color; lemon, grapefruit, honeydew melon on the nose; Meyer lemon, lime, grapefruit, peach, apricot, apple, honey, minerality on the palate.
Dry; excellent acidity (3.28 pH). Some oak influence from eight months in 30% new French oak. The wine lay on the lees during the nine months in barrels and puncheons (large barrels that may contain 132 gallons). Medium body with fleshy texture. Balanced. Quality throughout, from initial attack through extended finish. Superb structure and depth. Unexpected flavors from a chardonnay provide drama and pleasant surprises. 13.3% ABV
Balance and restraint is hallmark of this effort. The fruit presents as understated opulence. The alcohol is food-friendly. The acidity is perfect. The mouthfeel urges you to pour a second glass even if you are drinking this without the benefit of food pairing. Precise with a touch of salinity and spice on the finish. Several wine critics in addition to me went adjective-heavy ecstatic over this wine, and a glass or two will inform you why.
Gary Farrell is superb expression of its place. The website explains: “This layered and complex Chardonnay brings together fruit from several of our favorite Russian River Valley vineyard sites. Anchored by the naturally balanced character of Westside Farms and intriguing floral and stone fruit notes from Bacigalupi Vineyard, the wine’s great concentration and structure derive from the nearby Rochioli and Allen vineyards. Olivet Lane Vineyard, featuring the Wente clone, adds refreshing citrus tones and excellent acidity.”
Theresa Heredia is the winemaker. She earned a biochemistry degree from Cal Ply, then continued to the chemistry and enology PhD program at U.C. Davis. She joined Gary Farrell in 2012 and has earned more than 400 90-plus scores for her Gary Farrell wines. Nancy Bailey is the general manager. She earned a masters in international relations at Tufts University and worked at marketing and management at wineries in Napa and Healdsburg before joining Gary Farrell.
Gary Farrell Russian River Selection Chardonnay 2018 is fresh, tasty, silky-creamy, smooth, graceful. Nice equilibrium of superb fruit, acidity, oak nuances. Classic, quintessential top-tier Russian River Valley chardonnay. A winemaking success; excellent QPR (quality-price ratio).
Pair with rich fish—halibut, cod, salmon; shellfish; lobster or scallops with butter and cream; seafood bisque; subtly-flavored pork and poultry; vegetarian fare; fettuccine alfredo; creamy pasta primavera; brie, fontina, ricotta cheese. $30-35