2011 Failla "Haynes Vineyard" Napa Valley Chardonnay
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Faillaís 2011 Chardonnay Haynes Vineyard, from a site in Coombsville, is another wine endowed with serious class. Bright citrus, crushed rocks and white flowers are given an extra kick of energy by the long, cold growing season. In 2011, the Haynes is all about tension and wiriness. Ideally, the 2011 needs another year or two to settle down a bit. This is another site planted with head-trained vines, in this case on St. George rootstock, also dry farmed. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2021. 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
Bright yellow. Aromas of lemon and orange blossom, mirabelle, menthol and medicinal herbs. Superripe and densely packed, with a slightly edgy character to the youthful flavors of mirabelle, spices, tangerine, crystallized lemon peel and wet stone. Then tightens up dramatically on the dusty, tactile, bracing finish. Best on the nose today, but this distinctive chardonnay shows a certain delicacy for all its richness. I'd like to revisit it in five years. 91(+?) points