Gary Farrell 2009 Chardonnay, Westside Farms - Review
Russian River Valley, California
Our Selection for Wine of the Week January 14, 2013
Vintner Gary Farrell launched his namesake brand in 1982, producing just 50 cases of Russian River Pinot Noir that year. With Farrell's experience and talent, the winery grew quickly and is now looked upon as a pioneer in Chardonnay as well as Russian River Pinot. Farrell sold the winery in 2004 (it is currently owned by Vincraft), but thanks to the winemaking skill of Theresa Heredia, it remains one of the region's favorites among critics. In addition to several Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, Gary Farrell currently produces Zinfandel, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc. Fruit for the 2009 Westside Farms comes from a 40-acre vineyard on the banks of the Russian River. Big and well balanced, this is a luscious, distinctly American Chardonnay. Its complex array of aromas includes crisp apple, banana, toasted oak and a hint of anise. A plush wine on the palate, its flavors include apple pie, ripe pear, lemony citrus and a note of baked bread. The finish lingers reasonably long with a closing note of vanilla. Pair it with roast pork and apples, white fish with lemon butter or a white bean stew. It would also work with a simple dessert of nut-flavored biscotti.