“We all need “Keepers” in our life - brag-worthy, reliable, crowd-pleasing
preparations that we confidently turn to again and again.”
As in the past, we invite Mailing List customers to attend our Harvest Pickup Party on Saturday, September 28th from 11 to 3 to tour the caves,
enjoy current as well as library wines, and collect (and perhaps augment) your fall order. This year, we have the added pleasure of pairing our wines with
dishes from Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion’s wonderful new cookbook called Keepers. The co-authors will also be on hand to sign copies which
will be for sale. Why a cookbook promotion? Why this one? The answer to the first question should be obvious to anyone, as Failla is in the business of
palate-pleasing, focused on food-friendly wines. The answer to the second was obvious to us as the relationship between Kathy Brennan and Anne-Marie Failla
goes back 20 years and 5,000 miles to Tokyo, Japan where they first met and teamed up for bleary-eyed forays to the Tsukiji fish market, grazing at
department store gourmet food halls, late-night onigiri (seasoned rice balls wrapped in nori) at 7-Eleven, and greasy buckets of KFC with avid
Japanese at Christmas. Kathy returned State-side to attend culinary school, write for Gourmet, Food Arts and Saveur magazines,
and has won both the Bert Greene and James Beard Journalism Awards. You can see we are HUGE fans and agree with the above manifesto, believing it extends
to wine as well.
2012 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (1000 cases produced)
In our ongoing quest for purity of expression we continue to shift toward more neutral élevage for this enjoy-it-young Chardonnay: splitting half of the
fruit between concrete egg and stainless steel vessels. The remainder fermented and aged in French oak, only 15% new and barely perceptible in the finished
wine’s aromas of wet-stone, lime and oyster-shell. Malolactic fermentation provides a round, glycerin finish that balance the wine’s vibrant mouth-watering
2011 Keefer Ranch Chardonnay, Russian River Valley (425 cases produced)
The Keefer is the benchmark example of what we accomplished in the über-cool 2011 growing season: laser-focused nervy acidity, age-worthiness, a supportive
food partner. A quarter of the fruit was fermented in concrete egg vessels while the rest went directly into 1/3 new French oak barrels until bottling.
Mineral-driven, stony aromatics undercut with citrus rind, present a classic Burgundian white. Very elegant, focused, acid-driven palate. Great texture on
2011 Chuy Vineyard Chardonnay, Sonoma Valley (300 cases produced)
Joining our quiver of old-vine Chardonnay vineyards, this dry-farmed, head-trained site has been tended continuously by Chuy Ordaz since he planted it in
1964. Infinitesimal yields from this site feature impossibly tiny berries (known as “hens & chicks”), courtesy of the shot-Wente clone, producing
super-concentrated results. Intense, complex aromas of caramel, pear, green tea and lavender explode from the glass. Great depth on the mid-palate,
balanced by mouth-coating viscosity.
2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (2000 cases produced)
This blend of maturing Sonoma Coast grape sources has outgrown its “young-vines” tag while still offering the pleasures of freshness and drinkability.
Vinified in the same manner as our vineyard designated Pinots, this vintage was aged in French oak, about 20% new. Warm tones of baking spice, wild sage,
balsam and classic cherry coulis. Fine tannins and bright, juicy acidity give structure to the red berry palate.
2011 Peay Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast (120 cases produced)
Our northern-most Sonoma Coast vineyard showcases the classic characteristics of cool-climate viticulture: subtle fruit and crisp acidity sustained by
unhurried hang-time. The fruit was fermented in open top vessels while maintaining about 25% whole clusters, and aged in French oak, 1/3 new. The 2011
offers an exotic nose of black tea, juniper, and mulberry followed by firm tannins, and mid-palate grip. We encourage you to enjoy this pinot over the next
2011 Occidental Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast (350 cases produced)
This NW facing vineyard perched above the town of Occidental produces Pinot Noir black in color with structured acidity. In 2011 Ehren fermented about 40%
in an open-top neutral oak fermentor, allowing for warmer fermentation to minimize overly “fruity elements. As evidence, the nose in the finished wine
offers aromatics of mushroom, forest floor and tea rose. Pavlovian acidity is well-integrated with elegantly resolved tannins. Enjoy this wine’s evolution
over the next 12-15 years.
2011 Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast (350 cases produced)
Carved into a multi-faceted diamond of unique blocks that highlight a vast array of exposures and soil profiles, the Hirsch Vineyard represents our most
complex fusion of Pinot Noir elements. Mostly destemmed, each lot was aged separately sur-lie until bottling. Intense aromas of white flowers, pepper and
blueberry pie. Classic Hirsch elegance comes courtesy of the Mt. Eden clone - a lush feminine silkiness on the palate which complements the chiseled
tannins and fresh acidity of the ubiquitous Pommard clone. Will age well for 12-15 years.
2011 Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir, Fort Ross-Seaview (80 cases produced)
Our estate vineyard is dry-farmed and tightly-spaced, conditions that raise a hardy plant that sets concentrated fruit. The decision to include 25% whole
clusters during fermentation is responsible for a mélange of exotic aromatics featuring blackberry compote, maple, black tea, and mulled spices. A bright
expansive palate of gorgeous deep red fruit, great structure, length and nerve make this a wine to enjoy for 7-10 years.
2011 “Vivien” Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast (100 cases produced)
Not long ago we overheard our eldest daughter, whose middle name is Failla, insist to her little sister that “mom and dad named the winery after me!”
Realizing that protests were futile, we gave the little sister her own wine. After 12 months of barrel-aging, Ehren selects his 4 favorite barrels from our
various Sonoma Coast vineyard lots, to be blended and aged for another 4 months in neutral cooperage. 2011 features Keefer Ranch, Occidental Ridge, Hirsch
and our Estate vineyard. Dark red cherry, flowers, licorice and new leather infuse the nose. Great weight and palate presence are the result of
well-structured acidity and powerful tannins. Will reward those willing to cellar this over the next 15 years.
2011 Estate Vineyard Syrah, Fort Ross-Seaview (120 cases produced)
Marked by Ehren’s northern-Rhône style of winemaking, the Estate Syrah includes a block spaced meter-by-meter to stress the vines and concentrate the
fruit. 2011 was treated to 100% whole-cluster fermentation, highlighting the varietal’s distinctive peppery aromatics. Barreled-down in French oak, 30%
new, this wine delivers a seductive roux of steak au poivre, violets, tobacco, and black olives on the nose. Unlike its unruly older siblings in
their youth, this cool vintage’s tannins are broad but well-integrated, never losing focus. Should evolve well for 8-10 years.
As we head into crush, consider reserving a seat at one of our Harvest Lunches, held Wednesdays-Fridays from September 11th to October 25 th, where we offer gourmet, family-style meals paired with current release and library wines as you rub shoulders with our winemaking crew.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book. Check our website often for updates and details on Failla’s
participation in events such as Pinot on the River in Healdsburg October 27st, Farallon Restaurant’s PinotFest in San
Francisco on November 23rd and IPOB (In Pursuit of Balance) tastings in NYC (2.4.14) and San Francisco (3.10.14). As we don’t always like to
share the limelight, look for winemaker dinners at Taylor’s Kitchen in Sacramento on October 22nd, and Acquarello in San Francisco on November 7th, and a rare 3-night Vintner Experience at the Travel & Leisure
award-winning Triple Creek Ranch in the Montana Rockies from May 15th to 18th, 2014.
With this release, shipping will be included in the purchase of your first full case of wine. For the best chance at receiving your full order, please
email, fax, or mail the enclosed order form by September 16th. We will begin shipping as early as October 1st, based on appropriate
weather conditions en route to the wines’ destination. In order to attend the Harvest Pick-up Party & Keepers Cookbook Signing, you must place
your order and RSVP to Kathy@faillawines.com (or on the enclosed order form) by September 25th.