2013 Gary Farrell "Russian River Selection" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (Elsewhere $40)

SKU #1231477 95 points Wine Enthusiast

 *#12 in Wine Enthusiast's The Enthusiast 100 of 2015, Editors' Choice* This might be one of the best values on the market, given the quality. Equal parts pretty and funky, it’s a tightly wound, savory, fruity wine that’s elegant and compelling. The tannins and oak are lightly imprinted around strawberry-rhubarb and fresh-cut rose, and the texture seductively silky. This is a delicious treat of a wine that should also age. (VB)  (12/2015)

Connoisseurs Guide

 *One Star* Perhaps, because it is not quite so severe, we like this bottling a tad better than its mate below. It is, of course, made in the style of the winery with pert red cherry fruit and plenty of balancing acidity on the positive side of the ledger. And while there is little on the other side, the wine is positioned as an easier early choice for current consumption. Yet, that said, there is no reason why putting some bottles by for a few years of peaceful maturation would be anything but a good idea.  (10/2015)

Wine Spectator

 Starts tight but eases into a juicier mix of berry and cherry flavors. Elegant, refined and delicate on the finish, where this turns gravelly and dusty. Drink now through 2022. (JL)  (12/2015)

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Price: $34.99
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Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/18/2016 | Send Email
A few years back when Gary Farrell sold his winery we were all pretty bummed out. We thought, “Well there goes another iconic name down the drain.” Honestly time told us we were wrong. Why they may have had some growing pains when Gary finally left in 2007, the last few years the wines have been tremendous, especially since Theresa Heredia (Joseph Phelps, Freestone, Domaine de Montille ) became their full time winemaker in 2012. Since she has taken over we have been incredibly impressed with how the wines are at once delicate and powerful, fruity yet serious and ripe but fully dry. The 2013 Russian River Selection had plenty to offer and wildly overshot its $37.99 price point, and since I originally wrote this the price has come down even further! In fact I’ve tasted plenty of $60 pinots this year that couldn’t hold a candle to this wine. Anise laced cherry fruit, wet red clay, boysenberry, white pepper and a touch of mocha combine on the wonderfully complex and powerful nose. Pliable and soft on entry with an expanse mouth feel this has both tons of fruit but also a skyscraper-like structure. Red and black berry fruits combine with well meshed oak toast, some bay leaf and an acid structure that is reminiscent of fresh farmer’s market persimmons. Blood orange, rhubarb, savory meaty qualities, and a return of the anise found on the nose squeeze into the packed and lovely finish. I’d love to see how this develops over the next 6-10 years; this will only grow into something even more special than it already is.

Staff Image By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/29/2015 | Send Email
Gary Farrell is one of my go-to Pinot Noir makers in the Russian River Valley, consistently producing excellent wine at a reasonable price. The 2013 vintage was another long ripe year here, which was good for Pinot Noir. A little more acid in this vintage gives the wine more lift and bright cherry, raspberry notes and a longer finish. A lovely, lighter style Pinot Noir, this wine should last a few years and can be enjoyed now or later.

Staff Image By: Dave Genevro | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/25/2015 | Send Email
This bottling of Gary Farrell is great. Generous fruit, with well integrated tannins and a smooth and elegant finish. I can see why this wine is so loved by our guests vintage after vintage. A steal from the highly sought after AVA that helped put California Pinot Noir on the map. Enjoy!

Additional Information:


Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.1