2014 Gary Farrell "Russian River Selection" Russian River Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1287011 95 points Wine Enthusiast

 Dark yellow in color, this wine shows tangy green apple and a richer, more concentrated element of applespice cake, with supportive, balanced acidity. With a bright, lifted finish, this less-expensive offering compared with many of the producer’s single vineyard designates never lets up on complexity or deliciousness.  (2/2017)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Features a tight mix of leesy, pithy citrus, pineapple skin and blood orange rind flavors. Complex, with a long, sustained finish. (JL)  (12/2016)

Wine & Spirits

 Drawn from seven Russian River vineyards, including pedigreed sites like Rochioli and Allen, this is a lush, concentrated chardonnay with an almost caramelized edge to its sunny yellow fruit. Bring on the fried soft shell crab.  (12/2016)

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Price: $29.99
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Staff Image By: Gary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/17/2017 | Send Email
2014 has, thus far, been an incredibly strong vintage for white varietals on the West Coast. Yet for some reason I've been mildly underwhelmed by a couple Chardonnays produced in the Russian River lately. Thankfully things changed in that realm shortly after I tasted the latest release from Gary Farrell. It's quite linear and driven, with notes of Satsuma orange flesh, stone fruits and pronounced notes of minerals on the finish.

Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/9/2017 | Send Email
“Russian River Selection,” just what exactly does that mean? Well in the new 2014 Gary Farrell bottling it means that they have used fruit from some of the best vineyard sites in the valley. Bacigalupi, Olivet Lane, Rochioli, Allen, Martinelli and Westside Farms are all vineyards that make up this stunning value in the world of Chardonnay. These cream of the crop sites have led to a full bodied, juicy and aromatic wine that is more about the fruit than the winemaking, which these days is less and less common not only in Chardonnay but in the world of wine.
Golden fruited with edges of clover honey and white flowers this is lifted and complex on the nose. Bursting on entry with Fuji apple, nectarine and white pineapple this slowly builds on the palate adding layer after layer of flavor and a subtle, non-toasty, oaken heft on the back end all the while being incredibly agile on the palate. The balance here is superb and at $30 is head and shoulders above 99% of the Chardonnays in this price point. This is simply one of the best Chards we have in the shop for under $50.

Staff Image By: Anthony Gittings | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/11/2017 | Send Email
This is one of the better Chardonnays that I have tried in a long time. Green apple notes are layered with just the right amount of fig and lemon. A touch of soft oak helps enhance and delight the palate, while showcasing the elegance and purity. Balanced acid and a soft creamy texture make this wine complete from beginning to end. This would be fantastic accompaniment with any seafood dish, or a rich wheel of brie.

Staff Image By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/11/2017 | Send Email
This stood out at a recent staff Chardonnay tasting. The fruit, sourced from a lot of the top-billed vineyards in the Russian River area, was notable for its freshness and focused acid, while still offering the classic Russian River richness and depth…the best of both worlds at a price far below its stature.

Staff Image By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/10/2017 | Send Email
This is an extraordinary achievement. Gary Farrell has managed to secure unbelievable fruit sources for their Russian River Selection Chardonnay and it shows in the finished product. There is great lively acidity, ripe apple and pear notes, and ample fresh cream without overwhelming heft and oakiness. A really well balanced California Chardonnay.

Additional Information:



- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

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.


- 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.
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.