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Failla, Haynes Vineyard, Coombsville, California, USA 2012

Failla, Haynes Vineyard, Coombsville, California, USA 2012

Fine florality with citrus overtones and good natural richness of fruit. Rich but precise palate, with ample ripe apple and apricot fruit, and balancing acidity. Impressive persistence and lovely aromatics.
Price: £28.35 DeFine Food & Wine, Flint
Drink: 2015-2020
Alc: 13.9%

It may surprise some to find Ehren Jordan’s Failla label among our top tier of Chardonnays. For many years Jordan was the winemaker for Turley, a winery that specialised in Zinfandel and Petite Syrah. These were mainly superconcentrated, high-alcohol wines that divided the critics. Many admired them; others found them undrinkable. The heyday of this style at Turley was in the 1990s, and in recent years the wines have been far better balanced. Jordan left Turley in 2013 and now focuses on his own property 430m up in the Sonoma Coast highlands, where he has planted Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah, which he farms organically. Jordan also buys fruit from favourite vineyards, and this Chardonnay is sourced from the Haynes Vineyard in Coombsville, a cool area in southern Napa. The vines were planted in 1966. The inaugural vintage was 2011, which was entirely barrel-fermented, but in 2012 Jordan vinified part of the juice in concrete eggs. Just 500 cases were made.