Gary Farrell Winery

Russian River Selection Chardonnay 2018

Russian River Valley, California

Download Listen

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 30% new and 70% 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

After several years of drought, heat and early harvests, 2018 was a breath of fresh air and a return to a more normal harvest onset. The season began with a cold, wet winter, which set the pace in that it delayed vine development by 3-4 weeks. Budbreak began mid to late March, followed by a mild, sunny spring. When bloom ensued in mid to late May, the weather was just right, with very little wind and no rain to damage the delicate flowers. When growers saw the generous potential cluster count after flowering, they knew it was going to be an ample crop. The nearly perfect weather throughout the summer months led to a very large, yet excellent quality crop. The month of August yielded typical, foggy Russian River Valley mornings, with sun finally breaking through late morning and vanishing again late afternoon. Harvest commenced on August 30th and we were finished by September 29th, just before the rain came. Despite the quantity of clusters per vine, flavor, concentration and tannin levels were quite excellent. Canopy management was extremely important in that fruit thinning was necessary at multiple stages of vine development.

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

13.3%

Reviews

"Should be on everyone’s go-to list"

Wine Enthusiast - Editors' Choice “This wine offers such tremendous value and quality – it should be on everyone’s go-to list for Russian River Valley Chardonnay.  Lime, fig and grapefruit rind flavors ride along a lifted character of crushed stone texture and bright acidity.  This wine is impressive from the detailed start to the lengthy finish.”

Best Buy

Wine & Spirits - Full Review to be Published in December, 2020

More on Russian River Selection Chardonnay 2018

Wine Picks: Gary Farrell Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2018

November 5, 2020 - The Capital Gazette recommended Gary Farrell 2018 Russian River Selection Chardonnay in this week's wine column. Writer Tom Marquardt says, "you get a lot of good chardonnay for the money…

Gary Farrell ‘Russian River Selection’ Chardonnay 2018, Sonoma County, Calif.

November 5, 2020 - Vinepair contributor Ed Deitch wrote a glowing review of the Gary Farrell Winery 2018 Russian River Selection Chardonnay in a dedicated post. Deitch describes this Gary Farrell expression as bright,…

Trade Materials

Other Wines by this Producer

Olivet Lane Chardonnay

Russian River Valley, California

Pellegrini’s Olivet Lane Vineyard was planted in 1975 to Wente selection on AXR rootstock. The vineyard sits on 65 acres of sloping bench land in the Santa Rosa Plain, in between the warmer Westside Road region and the cooler Green Valley,where warm summer days are moderated by cool breezes and chilly evening temperatures. The combination of low temperatures, regular fog intrusion and well drained loam, clay soils create an excellent environment for growing Chardonnay that develop cool-climate characteristics and impeccable acid at fairly low sugars.The wines from this vineyard simultaneously express power and finesse, and they do so with tremendous balance. 

Russian River Selection Pinot Noir

Russian River Valley, California

The Russian River Selection bottlings are quintessential Russian River Valley wines blended from some of the region’s top vineyards, taking advantage of varied climates and unique site characteristics.  Undoubtedly showcasing a beautiful expression of the varietal and of the appellation’s unique terroir, this Pinot Noir blend captures the richness, purity and elegance that are Gary Farrell Winery’s trademarks.

Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir

Russian River Valley, California

Named for its previous owners, the 100-acre Hallberg Vineyard is today owned and managed by wine industry veterans including vineyard manager Kirk Lokka. Nestled in the Green Valley sub-appellation, the site enjoys refreshing daytime breezes and cool nighttime temperatures. The strong marine influence means less severe daily temperature shifts so the vines never completely shut down, producing fruit with deep, dark color, great structure, silky tannins, darker fruit flavors and earthy characteristics. This blend is a composition of many of the best blocks on this cool, foggy vineyard site, which include clones 667, 777, 828, Pommard and a mysterious “suitcase” selection.