2012 Gary Farrell Rochioli Vineyard-Old River Block Single Oak Puncheon Russian River Valley Chardonnay

13.4% alc., pH 3.26, TA 0.77, 44 cases, $60. Released September 2014. This limited production wine comes from Rochioli River Block, clone 5, planted in 1989. Harvest Brix 22.5º. Vinified in a new 500-L French oak puncheon. A puncheon adds subtle structure and aromatics, and polishes the finished wine without dominating its expression of terroir. Because this wine had such an exotic aromatic profile of the finished wine, it was decided to bottle it by itself under the winery’s special Inspiration Series, designated by a black label. The wine was racked off primary lees once before bottling. · Light golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Slightly reduced upon opening. The nose is slow to open, taking upwards of 45 minutes to satisfy with aromas of lemon, apple, Nutella, and toasty oak. Tight initially, the wine gradually reveals its charms which are substantial. There is a citrus-driven attack and finish with a grapefruit peel, steely character to the brisk, electric finish. Slightly creamy in texture with nuances of white peach, peach pit, vanilla and spice showing up. A contemplative wine that should benefit from further cellaring. The “exotic” aromas that were experienced in barrel have not yet reappeared in the wine. This is a distinctive offering that veers from many popular Russian River Valley Chardonnays that are harvested later and display a typical lush tropical fruit core and noticeable buttery oak imprint. Score: 91-93. Reviewed October 6, 2014

Winery: Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery
From article: Recent Sips of Chardonnay