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Wine of the Week: Gary Farrell 2018 Sonoma Valley Selection Chardonnay-$35

Gary Farrell is Year's Best California Chardonnay

Dwight Casimere | 10/15/2020, 2:16 p.m.
Gary Farrell 2018 Chardonnay brings taste of the harvest to you
Gary Farrell winemaker Theresa Heredia samples new wine from the barrel

Gary Farrell 2018 Russian River Selection Chardonnay has been called the Year's Best California Chardonnay. After tasting this voluptuous wine, it’s easy to see why. It opens up with a nose full of ripe tropical fruit and exotic flowers, followed by tangy citrus and star fruit on the tongue. The wine literally dances down your throat with a balanced grace supplied by ample stone fruit; white peaches, nectarines, ripe Asian pear and a nice hint of earthiness to remind you of where it came from.

Winemaker Theresa Heredia sourced the fruit from the Olivet Lane Vineyard. “ This is a wine that keeps you on your toes,” she opined. “It is a pure expression of penetrating acidity, moderated by layers of rich, velvety baking spices with crisp apple and citrus notes throughout.”

Heredia’s style of winemaking follows no precise formula. She lets the grapes and the vineyards they come from speak for themselves. “I try to capture the essence of a place.”

The bouquet of the wine unravels to reveal some decadent aromas of shortbread, French vanilla beans and a nice, warm Apricot tart. There’s even a nice splash of fresh kumquat and lemongrass, which you don’t often find in a Chard.

Heredia created a complex wine with impeccable structure, yet, its not fussy.

Gary Farrell Sonoma Valley Selection Chardonnay can be enjoyed now, with your choice of light vegetarian dishes and fall meals that incorporate the bounty of the harvest; everything from a fancy Pheasant feast, to a simple Spaghetti Squash with butter and Fresh Sage dish. Pumpkin or Butternut Squash-filled Raviolis, a Caprisi salad made with fresh Heirloom tomatoes, Fresh Basil and creamy Mozzarella, or your favorite Sonoma goat cheese are all perfect pairings. Or try it as I did, just on its own, lightly chilled while watching a movie or live-streaming concert on your Smart TV. Sounds like an evening to me!

Fall is a great time to visit the wine country, but if COVID restrictions prevent you from making the trip this year, Gary Farrell winery offers a unique virtual tasting experience custom-made to illustrate terroir: the Russian River Valley Neighborhoods Package. Estate Sommeliers Tiffany Kuhn and Kevin Patterson lead participants through a virtual at-home tasting of six single vineyard wines, including one from Hallberg Vineyard.

Also available is the Beyond the Russian River Valley Package, featuring four wines from around Sonoma County, which includes the Fort Ross-Seaview wine mentioned above. For more, visit garyfarrellwinery.com.