Failla Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Failla Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2012: Winemaker Ehren Jordan helmed winemaking at Turley Cellars through the 1990s and aughts, making some of the biggest, boldest zins that managed not to devolve into alcoholic syrup.

So, of course, when he moves on to his own enterprise, he names it after his wife’s last name (that’s pronounced FAY-la), centers his facility a bit south of Calistoga in Napa, and discovers a love for cool climate, very restrained pinot noir, like this delight. (He’s also farming some estate grapes in the Seaview-Fort Ross AVA.)

Plush and lovely, it’s a seductive wine, not a show-stopper, with typical Sonoma cherry highlights, some licorice notes, and structure that keeps the wine racy and firm. There’s some oak (15% new, all French), but that adds only enough spice, vanilla, and smoke that you notice it’s there. The fine fruit is the star.


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