Failla Pinot Noir – organic
Estate Vineyard 2018
Savoy Vineyard 2019
After cutting his winemaking teeth assisting a consultant in France’s Rhone Valley during the difficult 1992 and 1993 vintages, Ehren Jordan went on to make powerful Petite Sirahs and Zinfandels for Turley Wine Cellars. The lessons he learned in France about maximizing ripeness in challenging conditions now serve Jordan at the 85-acre property on the Sonoma Coast, about 2.5 miles from the Pacific Ocean.
In 1998 Ehren planted another parcel contiguous to their first, and in 2002 planted it with five acres of rootstock before grafting six selections of long-coveted Pinot Noir scion material the following year. Ehren’s commitment to the highest standards of viticultural practice, coupled with his education in France and throughout California, is expressed every bottle of Failla Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
In 2004, he purchased 10 acres of land on the Silverado Trail in the Napa Valley that included a vintage yellow farm house and stone winery dating back to the 1800s. In addition to renovating the existing facility, the team built a state-of-the-art bi-level wine cave that’s nearly 12,000 square foot and features a concrete egg fermentation room and gravity flow equipment.
“Simply put, Failla is a reference point winery for the Sonoma Coast. This is as good as it gets.” – Antonio Galloni, July 2013.
Ehren’s viticultural training in France has forever infused his hands-on farming practices and his minimalist hands-off winemaking choices, ideals that have allowed him to coax out the various incarnations of his favorite varieties from different climates, soil types, and rootstocks. Inspired by Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah, Ehren has molded relationships with great farmers and added to his estate holdings and plantings (30 acres) to produce bottlings that capture the essence of California’s finest regions.
Estate Vineyard – Fort Ross-Sea View – At 1000 feet in a remote, western sub-appellation of Sonoma County, this vineyard has been farmed organically since the start. In the fall, they choose to use compost and oyster-shell lime, to hand hoe weeds and to plant nitrogen-fixing cover-crops. Vines are dry farmed as a result of being off the power grid and located near natural springs (meaning water is muscled hundreds of vertical feet uphill by solar power and metered out).
96 Vinous The 2018 Pinot Noir Estate is a dark, dense wine. An infusion of blue/purplish fruit, licorice, sage, violet and menthol flows across the palate as the Estate shows off all of its natural power, intensity, and character. The Estate is not all forthcoming, as so many wines in this range are. Readers should plan on cellaring the 2018 for at least a few years. Today it is a dark, inward, brooding adolescent.
Savoy Vineyard – Anderson Valley – This vineyard has a diversity of soil types. The knolls are generally composed of sandy loams weathered from sandstone with moderate moisture holding capacity and moderate to very low vigor. The alluvial terraces are more darkly colored loams underlain with clay loams. The higher clay content of these terraces means higher moisture holding capacity and moderate vigor. Some areas within the terraces may soon be dry farmed.
93 Vinous The 2019 Pinot Noir Savoy Vineyard is forward, supple and delicious, as wines from this Anderson Valley site so often are. Succulent red cherry, plum, leather, spice, and earthy notes all flesh out in the glass. Best of all, the Savoy can be enjoyed with minimal cellaring.