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2015 Gary Farrell "Russian River Selection" Russian River Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1329489 95 points Wine Enthusiast

 *#1 in WE Top 100 Wines of 2017* A scent of French butter offers an immediate invitation to this excellent wine. Austerity on the palate gives way to a juicy core of invigorating tangerine and white peach flavors. The gravelly minerality on the midpalate finishes softly and with ease.  (11/2017)

K&L Notes

***Wine Enthusiast #1 Wine for 2017*** Over the years, Gary Farrell Russian River Chardonnays have been anchored by three iconic Russian River Valley vineyards: Rochioli, Allen and Westside Farms. More recently, vineyards like Olivet Lane, Bacigalupi and Durell have also been a part of the mix. The 2015 marries several outstanding vineyards from around the Russian River Valley, taking advantage of varied climates, with each vineyard contributing its unique site characteristics to the extended layers of richness and complexity.

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Price: $29.99
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Staff Image By: Illya Haase | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/30/2017 | Send Email
Gary Farrell was my entry and love into California wine - really propelled me into the wine industry. I guess you can blame Gary Farrell for that. Tasting the 2015 Gary Farrell "Russian River Selection" Chardonnay really brought all those wonderful memories back! What finesse!! This is an amazing glass of wine. Please don't try to pigeon hole it into a new world-old world thing. Captivating nose that dances back and forth with toasted notes and bake apple, then crisp apple and grapefruit notes. Great lift and acidity on the palate. Cinnamon and clove lead to this great mineral, saline-like character seamlessly intertwining together. This is one heck of a wine no matter what the price.

Staff Image By: Stephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/30/2017 | Send Email
No wonder Wine Enthusiast named this wine #1 for 2017... It's beautifully balanced with bold fruit flavors, bright acidity and a supple mouthfeel that is sure to please a crowd. Honey, citrus and butter aromas are paired with a touch of oak spice and nuttiness that linger in the finish. Overall, a satisfying wine, especially for the price!

Staff Image By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/30/2017 | Send Email
Vivid citrus fruit and great texture make the 2015 Gary Farrell "Russian River Selection" reminiscent of an orange creamsicle. There’s a silky mouthfeel but the bright acid clearly reflects the cooler climate, plus just enough toastiness to the finish to remind you that this is California Chardonnay. Just in time for the holidays, here is a balanced, enjoyable option from a classic producer – at an astounding price.

Staff Image By: Mari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/30/2017 | Send Email
​​​It's only natural when you taste a California Chardonnay this good that you instinctively begin to compare it to its Burgundian counterparts, but this Chardonnay is in a class of its own! This Chardonnay is everything I love about a well made California wine. California has the ability to produce wines that possess intense fruit matched with vibrant acidity, rich texture paired with focused flavors, and power and depth balanced with elegance and precision - and the Gary Farrell is all that! There's a reason why this wine is #1!

Staff Image By: Anthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/29/2017 | Send Email
Bruised apple, pineapple, orange peel, and a touch of vanilla grace the nose. Great supple texture that seems to melt on the palate. Balanced oak that adds to the nuances without covering anything up. Number one on Wine Enthusiast's Top 100? At this price? Nothing more I can say.

Staff Image By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/29/2017 | Send Email
I mean, "WOW!" I haven't had a chardonnay from California this engaging and expressive in a long time. Especially without paying $75. Beautiful layers of pineapple, lemon rind, Granny Smith apples and cardamom erupt from the glass. The oak is beautifully integrated offering just a light dusting of spice, adding yet another layer. Not a big and buttery bomb, this wine has acidity and probably offers its greatest appeal for fans of a more French style. Not to say it won't bring pleasure to people who love a classic Cali Chard. This is reminiscent of some of the greats from Montelena, Talley, Talbott and Stony Hill. And let's not forget Gary Farrell, they were making great Chardonnay for a long, long time. It's a pleasure to see this winery making wines in this style again.

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/29/2017 | Send Email
For many years this wine has been a staple for us at K& fact upon checking I noticed that we have carried this wine each and every vintage since the 1999 release. The list of vineyards that go into this regional bottling reads like a who's who of Russian River vineyards - Olivet Lane, Rochioli, name but a few. The 2015 bottling is a beautiful marriage of richness and restraint. The nose is full of ripe orchard fruit, Bosc pear, baked pie crust and fresh squeezed citrus. On the palate the wine has weight, mouth filing texture and power but then draws into a beautiful linear, focused finish with more juicy citric nuances, toasted grains and minerals. Winemaker Theresa Heredia's time at Domaine de Montille in Burgundy is on full display here focusing the regions bountiful fruit and power into a focused laser beam of flavor and intensity. Impressive wine that will give many MUCH more expensive wines a serious run for their money.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Trey Beffa | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/29/2017 | Send Email
There are very few California Chardonnay’s that I can drink more than 1 glass of. Even with oaky Chardonnay’s slowly coming out of fashion, I still find many of them a bit too heavy for my tastes. The Gary Farrell Russian River Chardonnay remains as one of the wines I can enjoy multiple glasses of. It’s cool climate roots are able to maintain plenty of acidity and freshness for my tastes, along with the use of only around 35% new oak. This is a delicious mouthwatering wine that is sure to please people with different tastes.

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.