Quick notes on the wines from the Gary Farrell Russian River Valley cross-section media Zoom with the winemaker, Theresa Heredia. As per my usual, I opened them the night before, scribbled some notes, merely re-visiting them during the presentation. This is really the only way to get an accurate grip on the wines, as one hour is far, far, FARRRR too short of time to spend talking about 7 wines. I know these media things are dedicated mostly to *the story* and not the actual wine, but hey: they invited me, and they should know I’m about the bottle contents. A few things became more pronounced overnight, a couple things smoothed out, but no significant changes to my notes. None, in fact. All I’m adding are commas.
2017 RITCHIE VYD CH 14.3 N: Sweet, creamy and yeasty, T: clean earth and tropical, piss and sweat, acidic and tannic.
2017 ROCHIOLI VYD CH 13.5 N: Rich and elegant, grassy, effects of wood apparent, wilted flower and Christmas spice. T: Sweet and herbaceous, nice spicy Chard, good fruit and tannin
2017 OLIVET LANE VYD CH 13.8 N: clean light floral, yarrow and fern, so light, barrel pronounced, “Petit Chablis until you taste it” T: Rich, saline, acidic, funkily edged in gloss, classic chard RRV while lighter bodied
Nicely done Chardonnays. All tasted hi-50’s to 60° Very impressed. Haven’t tasted Gary Farrell in many years and this winemaker is doing a LOT of things right. Do I have to pick a favorite? See: if I were score-bro, I could just throw something starting with 9 on those three and walk away. But that’s shallow and un-intelligent.
2017 BACIGALUPI VYD PN 14.1 N: Light color, dark toasty, roasted cherry, funk, milk chocolate T: Rich and full despite color, dirty baby diaper, probably the highest AL? dusty tropical and lily, oak seems more pronounced.
2017 HALLBERG VYD PN 13.8 N: No nose. Just vague pinot. This wine has no nose. T: rich flabby fruit, sharp briar, tannin, one-dimensional, bitter, what? where?
2017 MARTAELLA VYD PN 13.2 N: Dirty and grimy until tasting. More plum than cherry, minor funk. T: Powerhouse mouth, good acid, ++tannin, sweet and luscious, Vibrant creamy dark fruit but bright. Longest aged.
2017 McDONALD MOUNTAIN VYD PN 13.3 N: Cinn nutmeg allspice broken twig bell pepper. T: Dog park gravel, DG, “””match-head””” but serious euc around wet-sandpaper core and chunky fruit, Possibly most *burg*, awkward.
OK, so I’m gonna run through these things fast again while I’m waiting for the chard to warm up (I accidentally put them in the fridge today after the ZOOM) but I’m already gonna call it between Baci and Mart for me. Yup, Hallberg just gets vaguer and Mac just gets weirder, but man oh man choosing between Baci and Mart is impossible. The barnyard in the Bac and the toasty coffee stuff in the Mart. These are two STUNNING pinots, so rich and ripe and succulent and structured. I’m gonna give the Bacigalupi the edge because GOOD BURGUNDY SMELLETH OF SHIT.
Back to the Chards, again: IMPOSSIBRU to choose between Ritchie and Roch. But again, going to give the slight nod to Ritchie for funk.
I’m honestly quite impressed with these wines.