2015 Gary Farrell "Russian River Selection" Russian River Valley Chardonnay SKU #1329489


WE 95

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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.

Staff Reviews

  • Illya Haase
    By: Illya Haase
    K&L Staff Member
    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.
  • Stephanie Vidales
    By: Stephanie Vidales
    K&L Staff Member
    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!
  • Diana Turk
    By: Diana Turk
    K&L Staff Member
    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.
  • Mari Keilman
    By: Mari Keilman
    K&L Staff Member
    ​​​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!
  • Anthony Russo
    By: Anthony Russo
    K&L Staff Member
    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.
  • Keith Mabry
    By: Keith Mabry
    K&L Staff Member
    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.
  • Ryan Woodhouse
    By: Ryan Woodhouse
    K&L Staff Member
    For many years this wine has been a staple for us at K&L...in 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, Martinelli...to 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!
  • Trey Beffa
    By: Trey Beffa
    K&L Staff Member
    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.


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