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Great Wine: Gary Farrell Zinfandel, Maffei Vineyard


A Tom Ford suit. It’s been the bespoke attire of choice for Daniel Craig’s 007 throughout all his derring-dos. Dashing, confident, sleek, a bit roguish but, ultimately, elegantly sophisticated and refined.  Apt descriptors for the freshly released 2013 Maffei Vineyard Zinfandel from GARY FARRELL. This is Zin with power and balance. It takes a combination of these two qualities for 007 to jump from rooftop to rooftop—in his patent leathers, mind you—without a deadly slip. The fruit of the wine, far from jammy and, in fact, bright with an attractive acid level, is strong—not flabby or rotund like a stereotypical California Zinfandel, but lean and clean. This is Zinfandel with a muscular backbone and roguishly assertive tannins. Rarified Russian River Valley breed too—coming from over 90-year-old vines on a vineyard that’s registered by the Historic Vineyard Society; Gary Farrell is one of four wineries that receive grapes from Maffei. Deft winemaking in evidence throughout, from the nuances of subtle new French oak, wild blackberry, ripe raspberry, mocha, cinnamon and a touch of herbs all the way to a lengthy finish that leaves a taste of tart red fruit which lingers on the palate . . . leaving one feeling like a Bond girl in the obligatory last scene of Bond films, rescued from clear and present danger and in the arms of the secret agent. Cue: Monty Norman’s famous Bond movie theme. They kiss. FADE OUT.  –J.M.


*Only available at the winery:
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April 16, 2016


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