Wine Spotlight: 2017 Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir
Greetings from Sonoma’s Russian River Valley! The Hallberg Ranch is a long standing grower partner for us at Gary Farrell. Hallberg Vineyard Manager, Kirk Lokka and Gary Farrell Winemaker, Theresa Heredia have an incredible rapport and friendship that has been cultivated through years of working together, but more importantly through a deep appreciation of the land. This wine is a representation of the symmetry between grape grower and winemaker.
Grapes were harvested in the morning hours then brought to the winery. After hand sorting, some of the grapes were de-stemmed, then transferred to open-top tanks while a small percentage of the fruit was added later as whole clusters. The juice was chilled to 45°F and allowed to cold soak for 4-7 days before fermentation. During fermentation, the cap was gently punched down 2-3 times per day. After fermentation, the new wine and its solids sat in tank for 7-10 days of extended maceration, a period during which the tannins soften and the primary fermentation esters develop complexity.
The wine was then gently pressed off the skins and seeds, inoculated for malolactic fermentation and racked into 40% new French oak barrels (light and medium toast François Frères, Ana Selection, Remond and Tonnellerie O) for 15 months of barrel aging on primary lees.
The 2017 Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir opens with lush aromas of dark cherries, summer strawberries, and blackberry jam. Generous layers of black tea, freshly foraged mushrooms, dried tobacco, and black olive provide balance to the decadent fruit profile. Intensely concentrated fruit works in seamless harmony with the savory secondary flavors, while finely tuned oak tannins provide texture and exceptional length.
- 95 Points | Wine Enthusiast, October 2020
- 94 Points | Pinot File, June 2020
Named for its previous owners, the 100-acre Hallberg Vineyard is today owned and managed by wine industry veterans including vineyard manager Kirk Lokka. Nestled in the Green Valley sub-appellation, the site enjoys refreshing daytime breezes and cool nighttime temperatures. The strong marine influence means less severe daily temperature shifts so the vines never completely shut down, producing fruit with deep, dark color, great structure, silky tannins, darker fruit flavors and earthy characteristics. This blend is a composition of many of the best blocks on this cool, foggy vineyard site, which include clones 667, 777, 828, Pommard and a mysterious “suitcase” selection.
Imagine a winemaking region just hours north of San Francisco rich in diversity and distinctive terroir, a well-kept secret tucked amongst the towering redwoods and influenced by the Pacific Ocean. Over half a century ago, pioneering growers recognized the Russian River Valley as a place that just might produce Pinot Noir that rivaled the villages of Burgundy. After decades of winemaking and selective planting, our valley has become internationally known for producing pinot that is distinctly American and reflects the natural influences of our terroir.
Intro to Gary Farrell Winery
Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery is a 38-year pioneer of cool climate Sonoma Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley. Winemaker Theresa Heredia joined us in 2012, carrying on our legacy of crafting Burgundian-styled, varietally expressive small-lot artisan wines capturing the balance and stylistic elegance of some of the finest vineyards in the Russian River Valley AVA and beyond; including Rochioli, Allen, Bacigalupi, Hallberg, Ritchie, Olivet Lane, Durell, Gap’s Crown, Fort Ross and Bien Nacido. Theresa works closely with our growers to showcase the exceptional fruit from their vineyards in each of her wines.