Thursday, June 13, 2013

Failla Wines: The Anti-Napa

Sitting on the pleasant porch of a venerable old farmhouse along Napa's famed Silverado Trail this May, it seemed a bit of a surprise that the red wine I swirled in my tasting glass wasn't Cabernet Sauvignon, the valley's king grape. Nope, this was Pinot Noir, and a very Burgundian one at that. But I was tasting at Failla Wines (pronounced FAY-la, and it's Italian, or more accurately, Sicilian), and the wine was made by Ehren Jordan, who has made a habit of not being habitual. For 18 years he was the winemaker at Turley Wine Cellars, best known for their bodacious yet beautiful Zinfandels -- my friends and I used to joke the Turley Moore-Earthquake Vineyard got its name because it pushed almost 17% alcohol in some vintages, and was sure to register seismically upon you the day after (especially since it tasted so balanced you'd drink plenty of it). Jordan was also a partner and winemaker at Neyers Vineyards, but has been slowly building up his own winery -- named after his wife Anne-Marie Failla, who runs the business end -- and as of February is devoting himself totally to it, even if that it means less than 5,000 cases a newsletter (the best way to get the wines).

Want to read the rest then do so at the KCET blog.

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