2011 Failla "Fort Ross - Seaview, Estate" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deceptively medium in body, the 2011 Chardonnay Estate Vineyard stands out for its big, broad-shouldered frame. The aromas and flavors are very much on the citrus, white flower end of the spectrum, but the overall impression is of a white with the structure of a red wine, much in the way the same can be said of some white Cortons in Burgundy. A round, finely textured finish rounds things out nicely. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2019. Ehren Jordan is one of those people who are maddeningly talented at many things. Jordan recently left his post at Turley, where he spent nearly 20 years making a dizzying array of superb Zinfandels. At Failla, which Jordan owns with his wife Anne-Marie, the focus is on cool-climate Chardonnays and Pinots, rendered in a range that approximates Turley when it comes to the number of different bottlings. Did I mention Jordan is versed in the classics and is also a licensed pilot? Jordan wants to spend more time at Failla, and I believe it, given the breadth of this range. Frankly, I canít imagine how Ehren took care of similarly large portfolios at both Turley and Failla while maintaining a sense of sanity. It will be interesting to see how things develop at Failla. The wines are already stellar, as I hope these notes amply demonstrate. Simply put, Failla is a reference point winery for the Sonoma Coast. This is as good as it gets.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(Fort Ross-Seaview is a new appellation within the Sonoma Coast area): Bright lemon-yellow. Perfumed aromas of lemon, yellow peach, dusty herbs, menthol, ginger and clove. Then ripe and rich in the mouth, offering more texture than the preceding examples along with a strong note of bay laurel. Finishes broad and very dry.