Gary Farrell Russian River Selection Pinot Noir, Sonoma County 2021

Medium ruby color; raspberry, cherry, boysenberry, forest floor, violets on the nose; cherry, raspberry, strawberry, plum, oak spice on the palate.

Gary Farrell Russian River Selection Pinot Noir, Sonoma County 2021

Dry; firm tannins for a pinot, balancing acidity. Medium-full body. Plenty of red fruits parade across the palate. Richer and more assertive than some other Gary Farrell efforts. Flavorful, dynamic, fruit-forward, richly satisfying rather than an etherial, soft and deferential pinot noir. Finish nicely lingers while still assertive. Another demonstration of Gary Farrell’s range and expertise in quality pinto noir. 13.9% ABV

The website explains: “Imagine a winemaker region just hours north of San Francisco rich in diversity and distinctive terroir, a well-kept secret tucked among the towering redwoods and influenced by the Pacific Ocean. Over half a century ago, pioneering growers recognized the Russian River Valley as a place that just might produce pinot noir that rivaled the villages of Burgundy. After decades of winemaking and selective planting, our valley has become internationally known for producing Pinot that is distinctly American and reflects the natural influences of our terroir.”

Gary Farrell vineyard

Russian River Valley pinot typically is slightly richer, heavier than Burgundy and Oregon. This reflects that predilection, but also reflects Gary Farrell’s attention to subtlety and refinement. Farrell makes some less assertive pinots. He rolls his sleeves up a bit with this effort, but remains restrained to stay in the varietally correct pinot noir lane.

Gary Farrell winemaker Theresa Heredia

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 GM Nancy Bailey

Gary Farrell Russian River Selection Pinot Noir, Sonoma County 2021—Tasty, fuller body than other Gary Farrell efforts—a Gary Farrell pinot with a bit of an attitude. Will cooperate with richer, more flavorful fare. Still, refined. A fit athlete in a tuxedo. Pair with beef; veal; venison and wild game; turkey and poultry; salmon and fleshy fish. This will work with comfort food, but at this level of quality and price, aim a bit higher. Cheese—fresh cheeses, mixed milk cheeses, soft goat cheeses; burrata, mozzarella, feta, mascarpone, rocchetta. $40-50

Gary Farrell website

Gary Farrell vineyard
Gary Farrell vineyards