I am loving the Zoom life! It has afforded me the option of listening to some awesome educators and winemakers.
Last week I had the pleasure to attend an online tasting with Winemaker Theresa Heredia of Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery. Theresa has worked as winemaker at Gary Farrell since 2012. She brings her experience of cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as well as single small-lot and single vineyard wines. Theresa has a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She was a Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry before she decided to follow her dream to become a winemaker. I always say, I love when people know and follow their passion!
I cannot tell you how excited I was to finally taste the wine! We totally geeked out on 7 wines from Gary Farrell’s 2017 vintage. Three 100% Chardonnays and four 100% Pinots from the Russian River Valley. I love the sleek dark blue and gold stripped labels.
I enjoyed every single wine. I know Thanksgiving is this week but any bottle from this lineup would have been perfect at the Thanksgiving table. Or you can ship them directly to your family to sip over a Zoom dinner. I asked Theresa her two favorites she might enjoy with Thanksgiving dinner, her response was the limited edition Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay and the fruit forward Bacigalupi Vineyard Pinot Noir. Excellent recommendations!
Tasting the wine
These wines are from the same vintage but different vineyards within the Russian River Valley. Theresa believes in the “Russian River Valley’s capacity to consistently produce world-class wines.” The area has three different soil types – volcanic, sandstone and alluvial. These soils help provide essential water drainage and help nourish the vines during the growing season. It also helps that there is a cool breeze coming from the Pacific Ocean. All perfect combinations for world-class wines.
2017 Olivet Lane Vineyard Chardonnay (ABV 13.8%):
100% Chardonnay. Grapes are sourced from the Olivet Lane Vineyard. The weather creates the perfect environment for growing Chardonnay. Aged in 35% new French oak for 9 months. Notes of floral, apple, pear, spice and honeysuckle.
2017 Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay (ABV 14.3%):
100% Chardonnay. Grapes are sourced from the Ritchie Vineyard, which is regarded as one of the best sites for California Chardonnay. Aged in 35% new French oak for 8-9 months. Notes of Meyer lemon, green apple, apricot and peach.
2017 Rochioli Vineyard Chardonnay (ABV 13.5%):
100% Chardonnay. Grapes are sourced from the Rochioli Vineyard. Even though the temperatures were in the 100s (during the 2017 vintage), 95% of the grapes were perfect. Aged in 35% new French oak for 9 months. Notes of lemon, peach, white flowers and baking spices.
2017 Bacigalupi Vineyard Pinot Noir (ABV 14.1%):
100% Pinot Noir. Grapes are sourced from Bacigalupi Vineyard. The Bacigalupi family grapes were in Chateau Montelena’s winning entry in the 1976 Judgement of Paris. Aged in 40% new French oak for 15 months. Notes of tart cherries, strawberries, violet and mushrooms.
2017 Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir (ABV 13.8%):
100% Pinot Noir. Grapes are sourced from Hallberg Vineyard. Hallberg Vineyard enjoys daytime breezes and cool nighttime temperatures. Perfect for growing great structured Pinot. Aged in 40% new French oak for 15 months. Notes of cherries, strawberry, blackberry and mushrooms.
2017 Martaella Vineyard Pinot Noir (ABV 13.2%):
100% Pinot Noir. Grapes are sourced from Martaella Vineyard. The vines yield smaller berries and smaller clusters likened to vines planted in Burgundy. Aged in 40% new French oak for 15 months. This wine needs time to open up (decant or let sit in your glass for 30-45 minutes). Notes of tart cherries, blueberry, raspberry and floral. *my favorite
2017 McDonald Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir (ABV 13.3%):
100% Pinot Noir. Grapes are sourced from McDonald Mountain Vineyard. This vineyard practices dry farming. Aged in 40% new French oak for 15 months. Notes of earth, cranberry, strawberry and tobacco.