Friday, March 13, 2009
I Did What Gary Farrell Told Me
A few years ago, I visited the winery of vaunted Sonoma Country winemaker Gary Farrell, he of the prized and pricey pinot noirs.
Poor as usual, I could only afford to take away one bottle. I liked the taste of the Russian River label, but before deciding I asked the advice of the pour girl behind the counter of the amazingly roomy (and empty) tasting room. "Well, what do you plan to do with the wine?" she asked. "Are you planning to wait a couple years before you drink it?" She held the bottle I was interested in in her hands. Her eyes looked slightly alarmed. I had the idea that she wouldn't let me have the wine unless I agree to cellar it for at least 24 months. I said, "Yes. Of course," and I bought the bottle.
I was as good as my word. I drank the wine on Feb. 19, 2009, nearly two and a half years after I purchased it. My patience was admirable. And it was rewarded.
I'm not a big fan of the fat, heavy pinots coming out of Sonoma. And Farrell's clocks in at 14.2% alcohol. But I have to hand it to Gary; it was great drinking. It had a lovely medium rudy/brick color, and a super-fragrant nose of spice, pepper, plum and brandied cherries, with faint hints of raisin. The body was medium. There were pronounced by not harsh tannins along the edges, and a metallic mid-palate. The wine was strong but subdued, with notes of plum, cherry and cherry blossoms (if you can believe it). An elegant and complex wine.
Thanks, pour girl.