WINE REVIEW: Gary Farrell 2018 Pinot Noir, Hallberg Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Co. ($60)
by Andrew Chalk
Gary Farrell is a leading producer of Sonoma County pinot noir and this wine continues the record. The tradition goes back as far as the winery’s founding.
In 1982, Healdsburg, California based Gary Farrell released 55 cases of his first wine in the not-yet-defined appellation of the Russian River Valley. With a seminal group of winemakers, Gary Farrell became one of the most acclaimed California producers of artisanal Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, bringing attention to the picturesque, redwood-studded Russian River Valley AVA of Sonoma. Purchased in 2011 by Bill Price, Managing Partner of Kistler, and a group of investors, the current Gary Farrell team has pushed its vision of creating detailed, complex and extraordinary wines from the greatest cool climate sites in the Russian River to ever higher levels.
Since winemaker Theresa Heredia joined in 2012, Gary Farrell has been named 2015 Winery of the Year by Pinot Report; 2016 Winery of the year by Pinot File; its Chardonnay Russian River Valley Selection 2015 was named #1 Wine Enthusiast Wine of the Year in 2017; Wine & Spirits Magazine named Gary Farrell a Top 100 Winery of the Year in 2019 and a range of its Pinots and Chardonnays as top U.S. entries for the year; and, in sum, the wines have garnered over 500 reviews of 90+ scores in the last 6 years.
This vintage of the Hallberg Vineyard is a complex but fruit-driven wine that is ideal for quaffing to the backbeat of your favorite streaming show, or pair with pork, duck, or game birds.