What's in a name?
Pronounced "FAY-la", ours comes from
the Italian island of Sicily, a melting pot of southern Europeans,
so it's often mistaken for Spanish or French heritage. Since we
launched our website, dozens of Failla's have joined our mailing
list, many during searches for ancestors and long-lost family members.
Few can resist the discovery of an eponymously-named wine.
Winery vs Weather
- Dispatches from the Silverado Trail: Goal for 2006 Harvest
crush at own winery. September: Earthmovers arrive to build a road
and carve out the crush pad - Ehren gets to play with really really
big construction equipment. October: Concrete trucks arrive to spray
an 80-foot long, 20-foot high, 6-inch thick concrete retaining wall
Ehren gets to brandish a massive hose in broad daylight.
November: Horizontal diamond-tipped drilling rig arrives to bore
into the hillside for 25-foot soil nails Ehren
gets to operate worlds most expensive corkscrew. December:
12 inches of rain falls in 2 days. If a concrete wall and 200 cubic
yards of mud collapse in the forest and there is no one to hear
does it make a mess? You bet your bret it does. New Goal for Harvest
2006 open Failla Tasting Room, continue to crush at Turley
Wine Cellars. Bright side - Ehren gets to play with really really
big construction equipment again.
In other news, on March 4, we will join over 100 other Pinot Noir
producers, sommeliers and chefs from around the world for the 6th
Annual World of Pinot Noir event (www.worldofpinotnoir.com) at the
Cliffs Resort in Shell Beach, CA just south of San Luis Obispo.
Then were off to Ehrens old stomping grounds for the
10th Annual Nantucket Wine Festival (www.nantucketwinefestival.com)
from May 17-21. Then back to the Bay Area for the Pinot Days Festival
(www.pinotdays.com) at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco on June
25. Introduce yourselves if you attend any of these!
2003 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, Estate Vineyard (75 cases produced)
Released exclusively to our mailing list, these three barrels of
estate chardonnay are the first from our vineyard located 3 miles
inland from Fort Ross at an elevation of 1400 feet. Ripe in early
September of 2003, these grapes were whole-cluster pressed directly
into one neutral and two new French oak barrels. Native yeasts yield
a leisurely fermentation and the wine was bottled unfiltered in
October, 2004. 18 months of bottle-age have produced a complex nose
of lightly toasted brioche, citrus and white fig followed by a glycerin-rich
mouthfeel balanced by nice minerally structure.
2004 Edna Valley Viognier, Alban Vineyard (135 cases produced)
Picked in early- September, the fruit was whole-cluster pressed
into neutral French oak barrels and allowed to ferment on native
yeast alone at a languorous 8-month pace. After malolactic took
its time, the wine was bottled unfiltered the following September.
Penetrating floral aromas of orange blossom and honeysuckle are
interspersed with lychee nuts and fresh mown hay. This Viognier
exhibits crisp acidity balanced with a surprising sweetness in the
2004 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, Keefer Ranch (650 cases produced)
Picked in early September, the fruit was destemmed into open-topped
fermenters and treated to twice daily manual punch downs during
fermentation. After aging for 12 months in French oak barrels, 1/3
of which were new, the wine was bottled unfiltered in September,
2005. The classic Burgundian aromas of black cherry and baking spices
are joined by an intense nose of roses. The lush mouth feel and
mid-palette sweetness testify to the rich, round food-friendly tannins.
Decant to drink now or lay down for up to a year; this wine will
age well for 5-7 years
2004 Napa Valley Syrah, Phoenix Ranch (425 cases produced)
The 2004 Phoenix Syrah, picked in early September, was split into
one tank of fully destemmed fruit and a second tank including 70%
whole clusters to introduce the classic Rhône element of peppery
aromatics. After fermentation, the wine was barreled-down into French
oak, 1/3 new. With aromas of roasting meat, violets and black pepper,
this full-bodied Syrah offers rustic tannins that will reward cellaring
of 8-12 months. Should age well for 7-10 years.