Gary Farrell Russian River Selection Chardonnay, Sonoma County 2021

Medium gold color; nectarine, Meyer lemon, grapefruit, honeydew melon, peach, lime, green apple, bread roll, honey, minerality on the nose and palate.

Gary Farrell Russian River Selection Chardonnay, Sonoma County 2021

Dry; rich and complex. Superb acidity (3.20 pH). Some oak influence from 10 months in 30% new French oak, but it is a background fugue, not the dominant element in any of the sequences of the presentation. The wine lay on the lees during the 10 months in barrels and puncheons (large barrels that may contain 132 gallons) to produce complexity of flavor notes. Medium body with fleshy texture and tangy, extended finished. Balanced. Quality throughout. Superb structure and depth, which has been a consistent characteristic in my previous tasting of this wine. 13.5% ABV

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.”

Gary Farrell vineyard

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 winemaker Theresa Heredia

Bill Price, the managing partner of Kistler Vineyard, is the owner of Gary Farrell. Price also controls Three Sticks, The Adobe, Lutum, Alysian wine labels, and the Durell and Gap’s Crown vineyards. Price and Kistler Vineyard focuses on pinot noir and chardonnay from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County. This is a pleasing example of their chardonnay expertise.

Gary Farrell Russian River Selection Chardonnay, Sonoma County 2021 delivers impressive complexity; brisk and exciting with engaging tartness, especially from mid-palate through delightfully prolonged finish. Quality grapes from premier region are adroitly managed by a skilled winemaking team. Classic, consistent, quintessential top-tier Russian River Valley chardonnay. Pair with rich fish—halibut, cod, salmon; shellfish; lobster or scallops with butter and cream; seafood bisque; New England clam chowder; subtly-flavored pork and poultry; vegetarian fare; fettuccine alfredo; creamy pasta primavera. Cheese—big flavors, not too salty; sheep’s milk cheeses; sharp cheddar, gruyere, washed-rind, parmesan, brie, ricotta, fontina. $38-40

Gary Farrell website

Gary Farrell GM Nancy Bailey
Gary Farrell vineyards
Gary Farrell vineyard