Failla “Savoy Vineyard” Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2015
Failla is, for my money, one of the most exciting relatively new projects in Napa Valley. Though it was founded in 1998, the winery didn’t come fully into its own until Ehran Jordan retired from winemaking at Turley in 2013. It specializes in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah. All the wines are at minimum very good and regularly fantastic.
The Savoy vineyard is one of the Anderson Valley’s iconic Pinot Noir vineyards. First planted in 1991 (with additional plantings in 1992 and 1994), and made famous by Ted Lemon’s bottlings of its superb fruit, today several wineries such as Radio-Coteau, Auteur, Drew, Littorai, and Failla, produce powerful, succulent Pinot from this great site. Today the vineyard has 44 planted hectares across a range of soil types. In one section you will find sandy loams and sandstone. In another, soils with higher clay content provide higher moisture that allows for moderate vigor while also dry farming. The vineyard has 10 different clones, including several Dijon clones, Pommard, and Calera. The purpose is to provide wineries with a range of styles with which to work, but also to maintain site typicity. This approach was quite innovative in the early 1990’s and helped establish the site as a favourite of top winemakers.
This wonderful Pinot is full of flavour: strawberry, cranberry, rhubarb, mulling spices, orange zest. This 2015 Savoy has a powerful mid-palate and a long finish. Secure, beautiful tannins for long-term ageing. The fruit is very expressive, but what impresses the most is the harmonious structure. It is quite a powerful pinot noir, but its balance is upper echelon. I don’t agree with Galloni that this Pinot was picked too late – it is just an extremely well made powerful Pinot that I think needs time to get into a more elegant expression. This is special and will only become more so over the next 10 years.
$95.56 + tax at Marquis Wine Cellars