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by Fred McMillin
for May 10, 2000

 

Classy


Prologue

"Gary Farrell's wines have quickly risen to the top of the class in California."

...James Laube's California Wine


The Rest of the Story

Can't dispute that. In yesterday's Ft. Mason class, the only Farrell entry demolished the 19 competitors. It scored 35% higher than the average of the tasting. It scored 13% higher than the second-place bottle. The Farrell certainly rose to the top of that class!

Looks like there's a reason that...

  • Wine & Spirits Magazine has selected Farrell's operation as one of their U.S. Wineries of the Year.
  • The Dan Berger Winemaker of the Year award has gone to Gary (pictured below).
  • Critic James Halliday said Farrell's winemaking techniques were "near perfect."


    A New Wine!

    The more experienced reader will expect this huge winner to be a Farrell Pinot Noir, because they are world class... among California's very best. But no, this is a new wine, the winery's first blend of Bordeaux varietals.


    Wine of the Day

    Gary Farrell 1996 Encounter, Gary Farrell Wines, Sonoma County
    Source of Grapes—They come from Pine Mountain, where from over 2,200 feet, the vines look down on the Alexander Valley. Gary finds that at this elevation, the fruit cools well at night, thus preventing the rapid reduction of acid content, and slowing the maturing of the grape.
    Composition—Merlot, 20%; Cabernet Sauvignon, 40%; Cabernet Franc, 40%.
    Awards Already—The wine's been in five major competitions. It's picked up two Best of Class ribbons, and Gold Medals galore.
    Class' Rating—Excellent
    Food Affinities—Prime rib, beef in a crust, lamb, pork
    Contact—(707) 433-6616, FAX (707) 433-9060
    Price—$42


    Postscript

    Highlights from other WineDays about Farrell wines...

  • June 6, 1997—"Gary and The Heartbreak Grape". "Gary is one of the three top Pinot Noir makers in California."
  • Sept. 15, 1997—"Anderson Valley Pinots". "The 1995 Farrell Anderson Valley Pinot dazzled my panel."
  • Nov. 30, 1998—"A Kingpin Red Zin". "What happens if you turn Gary loose on top-notch grapes from the Dry Creek Valley? You get one of the five best Zinfandels we've tasted this year."

    Conclusion—Better put a Farrell wine on your most wanted list.

     
    About the Writer

    Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

     
     


    This page created May 2000

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