An Elegant Pinot Noir with a Savory TouchFounded in 1998, Failla Wines is the brainchild of winemaker Ehren Jordan, who became inspired after working stints at Neyer Vineyards in Napa Valley, Turley Wine Cellars on the Sonoma Coast and at Jon Luc Columbo in France's Rhone Valley. In 1998, Failla Wines also had its first release: an Edna Valley Viognier and a Sonoma Coast Syrah, elaborated with fruit sourced from winegrowers in the area. In 1999, Failla started its Pinot Noir program with fruit purchased from Keefer Ranch Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. Eventually, this project came to involve several winegrowers, including Hirsch Vineyard, Occidental Ridge and Whistler Vineyard. The Keefer Ranch Vineyard is situated in the southwestern-most part of the Green Valley, characterized by intense morning fog and distinctive sandy Goldridge soils. The cool climate, coupled with sun exposure in the afternoons, contribute to a slow and steady ripening of the fruit. Out of the 13 acres planted with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, a majority of the production is supplied to Failla.
The Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir 2016 from Failla is a single-varietal Pinot Noir wine, made with 20% whole cluster fermentation, using only native yeasts. The wine ages in for 11 months in French oak barrels, of which 20% are new. It is left unfined and unfiltered before bottling. The 2016 vintage offered a relief from a period of drought, with a mild spring and a warm growing season.
The 2016 vintage of Failla Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir shows off the elegance and New World style savory aspect of Pinot Noir. In the glass, it shows off a pale to mediuml ruby-purple color. On the nose this wine reveals intense aromas of dark cherry, wild strawberries and raspberries. The fruit balances nicely with hints of lavender, underbrush and black licorice. On the palate, the wine is delicate and refreshing, with a very soft frame. Flavors of fresh herbs persist until the finish, marked by a refreshing burst of acidity.
Wine Advocate-Parker :
Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, the 2016 Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch leaps from the glass with Bing cherry, crushed raspberries and wild strawberries notes plus wafts of lavender, mossy bark and underbrush. Medium-bodied, fine, delicately played and refreshing in the mouth, it has a soft frame and just enough freshness, finishing with compelling restraint. 690 cases produced.