Gary Farrell Winery

Russian River Selection Chardonnay 2017

Russian River Valley, California

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The Russian River Selection bottlings are quintessential Russian River Valley wines blended from some of the winery’s top vineyard sources. They are beautiful expressions of their varietal type and of the appellation’s unique terroir, each blend capturing the richness, purity and elegance that are Gary Farrell Winery’s trademarks. This layered and complex Chardonnay brings together fruit from several of our favorite Russian River Valley vineyard sites.

VINEYARD

The Russian River Selection bottlings are quintessential Russian River Valley wines blended from some of the winery’s top vineyard sources. They are beautiful expressions of their varietal type and of the appellation’s unique terroir, each blend capturing the richness, purity and elegance that are Gary Farrell Winery’s trademarks. 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.

WINEMAKING

The grapes were harvested in the cool morning hours at ~21-23° Brix. A quick pass was made through our rows a few days prior to harvest in order to drop fruit that didn’t express the optimal flavor concentration. As anticipated, the grapes that were delivered to the winery were packed with delicious, vibrant, varietally expressive characteristics. After a very careful hand-sorting, we combined all the fruit in the press, and used a gentle program to extract only the most desirable solids and phenolics. The resulting juice was left in tank to cold-settle overnight before transferring to 35% new and 65% one to three-year-old neutral French oak barrels and puncheons for fermentation and aging, where it remained for 9 months on its primary lees until it was time to bottle in June. The wines were racked off the primary lees only once, just before bottling.

VINTAGE

Harvest began on August 21st, the day of the total eclipse, 11 days later than the year before, so hang-time was in keeping with historical averages, but it commenced in a flash. Seven percent of grapes came in the first week, followed by 53% the second week during a severe heat wave. The remainder of harvest after Labor Day seemed to steady a bit as the weather cooled down slightly. The final fruit of the season came in on the last day of summer and the last day of sorting was September 22nd. We find it curious that we started on the day of the total eclipse and wrapped up with our last day of sorting on the Autumn Equinox. Planning ahead and pre-scheduling picks before the heat wave, in addition to overnight refrigeration and overall team efficiency smoothed over a lot of this rapid harvest’s bumps. Thanks to our grower partners and our own hard work, the flavor and ripeness of the wines is excellent. To our pleasant surprise, ~95% of the grapes came in on target, between 22-24.5 Brix, which is miraculous given the extreme conditions. This is definitely an indication of our overwhelming dedication to quality, but it is also a great reward for the hard work and long hours that went into making the 2017 vintage wines.

TASTING NOTE

It is a true testament to thoughtful winemaking that even in such a warm vintage, this wine shines as brightly as the acidity laced within. It begins with intense aromatics of fresh cut lilies, chive blossoms, zesty lemons, limes and pithy white grapefruit. The abundant citrus on the nose persists on the palate as you are greeted with invigorating notes of freshly squeezed lemon juice, jasmine green tea and spicy wasabi arugula. This all comes together seamlessly on a silky palate with delicate undertones of crème fraîche and Marzipan.

Color

White

Grape Varieties

Chardonnay

Appellation

Russian River Valley, California

Alcohol

13.7%

Reviews

"Richly spiced"

Wine Spectator - "Richly spiced with a voluptuous mix of apple pastry, dried apricot and lemon-curd flavors that are well-structured. Citrus rind and dried sage on the finish."

"Textured and mineral-driven"

Wine Enthusiast (Editor's Choice ) - "This is a wonderfully tart, textured and mineral-driven white from multiple sites across the appellation. Crisp apple and pear wrap around a core of lemon, nutmeg and lemongrass, finishing on a bite of wet stone."

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Trade Materials

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