#WineWednesday Review: Gary Farrell Russian River Selection

Winemaker Gary Farrell founded his eponymous brand in 1982 after working Russian River Valley vintners such as Davis Bynum, Joe Rochioli, Tom Dehlinger and Robert Stemmler.   He along with the aforementioned gentlemen pioneered world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay produced from newly recognized (1983) Russian River Valley AVA.

With Farrell’s experience, talent and drive, the winery was very successful crafting terroir-focused Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  Farrell sold the brand in 2004.

Today, Gary Farrell Winery continues to source fruit from many of the same growers they’ve worked with for 30 years.  And they continue to focus on crafting wines that capture the unique character of the vineyard.

Theresa Heredia joined the Gary Farrell Winery team as winemaker in May of 2012. Prior to then, she spent many years as winemaker at Freestone Vineyards (where they made some damn fine Pinot and Chard from Sonoma fruit!) in Sonoma County.

In addition to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay Gary Farrell currently produces Zinfandel, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc.

The Wines

The wines of the Russian River Selections are sourced from vineyard throughout the Russian River Valley, which is renowned for being a great appellation for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Our Russian River Selection bottlings are quintessential Russian River Valley wines blended from grapes from the winery’s top vineyard sources. They are beautiful expressions of their varietal type and of the appellation’s

unique terroir.


The Pinot Noir is sourced from the Toboni, Hallberg, Archer, McIntyre, Stilling, Floodgate, and Rochioli vineyards.  The wine is aged in French oak (40% new) for 8 months.

The Chardonnay is sourced from the Westside Farms, Rochioli-Allen, Starr Creek, and Floodgate Vineyards.  It is aged in French oak (40% new) for 7 months.

Wine Wednesday Review; Gary Farrell  RRV Selection

My tasting notes and ratings follow:

2010 Gary Farrell Pinot Noir Russian River Selection

Ruby color with cherry, cola and brown sugar aromas. On the palate, it’s light-medium bodied with vibrant acidity, an silky mouthfeel,and ripe cherry, and spiced oak flavors. Medium+ finish. (B+) 14% alcohol| 6,842 cases produced.  SRP – $42

>>Find this wine<<

2010 Gary Farrell Chardonnay Russian River Selection

Light straw color with aromatic lemon zest, apple, and a hint of white flower aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied with good acidity, pear, apple, citrus, and mineral flavors with a kiss of butterscotch on the back palate. Medium-finish. (B+) 14.2% alcohol| 2,752 cases produced.  SRP – $35

>>Find this wine<<

Media sample(s) – Many thanks to Folsom & Associates for providing the wine.

Ratings Key:
(A+) – 98-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 94-97/Outstanding
(A-) – 90-93/Excellent
(B+) – 86-89/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail

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