Wine Review – 2003 Gary Farrell “Redwood Hill” Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma, California


Winery: Gary Farrell Vineyards and Winery

Bottling: 2003 Gary Farrell “Redwood Hill” Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: California

Sub-Region: Sonoma

Estimated Retail Price: $50

Purchase Details and Tasting Source: Purchased at the winery and consumed with a home-cooked meal celebrating a birthday and Valentine’s Day

Tasting Notes: This wine is a cabernet made by pinot noir hands.  There, that should give you some idea of the flavor profile of this wine.  Very intriguing indeed.  The color of the wine actually resembled that of a more modern day pinot noir; more of a dark red, light brick color instead of black-red you normally associate with a cab.  Very pretty floral aromas on the nose.

In the mouth; red currants, pomegranate, strawberries and raspberries even.  I’m used to California cabernets in this price range beign more opulent, fleshy and showy.  This was not, but we still loved it.  The wine had an unusual lively, almost mouth-watering acid structure that worked well with the feminine quality of the wine.

We bought this wine during the trip that I proposed to Susan.  In fact, it was purchased only a couple of hours before the big question.  Sadly, this is the last vintage of this cabernet from this vineyard.

Food and Context in Which to Enjoy: As I mentioned earlier, this wine has an acid structure that makes it a very suitable food pairing partner.  It’s very rare to find California cabernets that can work with foods other than steak, and if you do, they’ll be probably found in the Sonoma area.  As much as you’d like to pair a steak with this wine, because its a cab, I would stay away from the beef.

img_8541I think this will go well with pork dishes and chicken dishes.  Think roasted pork tenderloin with some sort of glaze or a roasted chicken.  I would even venture to say that don’t be afraid of any tomato based dishes.   This wine has the acid and the fruit profile to work with it.

Winery Background: Gary Farrell Winery is perched atop a hill in the Russian River area of Sonoma.  It’s quite tranquil and peaceful up on the hill and you have a really pretty view of the forest below on the grounds outside.

The staff is very friendly and takes the time to talk in depth about the wines, should you have any geeky questions about them.

Although they make a cabernet, merlot, zinfandel and sauvignon blanc, the winery’s specialty lies in chardonnay and pinot noir.  The tasting room guy told me they once used to be all over the place but have since cut back on all the other varietal bottlings to focus their efforts on what they feel they do best; chard and pinot.  And man are they good.  Their wines are elegant, classy and beautifully made.  We look forward to another visit.


3 thoughts on “Wine Review – 2003 Gary Farrell “Redwood Hill” Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma, California

  1. Pingback: Wine Review – 2007 The Table Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California « The Grape Crusader

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