Thursday, April 29, 2010
Gary Farrell Returns to Russian River Valley
For years there, Gary Ferrell was once of the golden names in Russian River Valley pinot noir, making juicy, sought-after wines prized by collectors and those fond of Parker-astic, big-ticket reds. Then he sold he winery in 2004 and cleared out.
Now he has returned with Alysian, his new "back to his roots" wine. Again, his stomping ground is the Russian River Valley, and again he's producing pinots. He's just released his initial 2007 vintage of Alysian, including two pinots. If Ferrell is going back to his roots, they dig into artistic ground remarkably similar to what he left behind at his big commercial winery. In other words, fans of the Farrell style won't be disappointed. The wines are alcoholic, fruity, fragrant and juice, the single-vineyard Floodgate Pinot Noir 2007 (only 440 cases) slightly more restrained than the sweet, big-boned Russian River Pinot Noir 2007. The Chardonnay was not available for tasting at the event I attended, but, at 14.1%, and 10 months in new and used French oak barrels, I wouldn't expect a lot of subtlety.