Failla’s unique style of Chardonnay highlights the merits of Concrete fermentation and ageing for the highest quality fruit. Failla is, like many new wineries these days, in love with concrete for its combination of neutrality, textural enhancement, and micro-oxygenation capabilities. The 2013 Keefer Ranch Chardonnay sees the fruit pressed directly into 25% concrete and 75% french oak (⅓ new).The combination is striking – the textural suppleness from the concrete plays in the foreground and seems to manage to balance out the oak influence such that you experience fruit and not vessel. This is easy to drink, long and complex but also has a softness and sweetness that allows it a little more pairing flexibility than a heavily reductive young white Burgundy for example.
The Keefer Ranch is an important cool climate site in the Russian River. Failla uses most of the fruit, which was planted in 1988. The soils are sandy Goldridge soils. The area does receive the famous Russian River fog in the morning and, unlike other parts of the Russian River, can fairly be called a cooler climate site. There is no over-ripe fruit here.
Failla continues to be one of the most interesting projects in California. Their single vineyard designates, in particular, are not to miss. Ehran Jordan keeps improving and pushing both quality and viticulture forward.
$73.82 + tax at Marquis Wines