27 June 2012

2010 Gary Farrell Sauvignon Blanc

When I toured a lot of wineries in Sonoma back in 2009, I didn't try a lot of Sauvignon Blanc. Lots of Zinfandel and other great grapes, but the region does produce some really wonderful representatives of this variety. For example, this lovely bottle recently showed up at the house...

2010 Gary Farrell Sauvignon Blanc
Redwood Ranch, Sonoma County
100% Sauvignon Blanc
$25, 14.1% abv.

Bright apricot, round body with low acidity and a mellow, dark finish. Just the right amount of time in oak to soften the edges and add a hint of vanilla. The winery employs Burgundian techniques to a Bordeaux grape, which is a great combination. There's not a hint of grapefruit or peel or anything New World, and the wine has a long and dark finish.

As I first sipped it, I thought that it would be great with seafood. It doesn't have the Sancerre minerality that would make it incredible with shellfish, but with something like salmon I figured it would work out. But first...

The winery was founded in 1982 by Gary Farrell, and is located in the Russian River Valley. Half of their production involves Pinot Noir in the $40-60 range, though they also make a series of Chardonnays. That explains the emphasis on Burgundy production methods, and the outlier Sauvignon Blanc shows how that wine can be bent in such a fascinating way to emulate a totally different region.

I happened to have a day off in the middle of the week and chose to build a proper square meal for lunch. Grilled salmon with roasted red peppers, seasoned quinoa, and a caprese salad using aromatic Thai basil.

I used a little Chilean citrus sea salt and black pepper on the salmon, and the peppers were just roasted in a skillet with a little olive oil. I flavored the quinoa with chicken broth, oregano, and thyme. Everything paired wonderfully with the wine, and the quinoa brought out some earthy tones that I had not fully appreciated at first.

Note: This wine was received as a sample.


fredric koeppel said...

we've had good luck with Thai basil recently. a bunch we bought at the Botanic garden market last Wednesday is still viable today. Meanwhile, the sweet basil we bought at the Memphis Farmers' market on Saturday was completely wilted by Monday...

Benito said...


It does seem to be pretty sturdy, though a few people I've served it to have complained of an astringent or pine flavor. I personally love it, but then again, I'm crazy about cilantro and licorice and other divisive ingredients.