I enjoy wines of all type, mostly red obviously. The last few years I’ve been able to buy some really nice wines and set them aside for special occasions.

I had my office co-workers over Thursday night and opened a bottle of Pinot Noir I had hand-carried back on my plane from a visit to California in 2006. (Yes, hand carried before the laws about liquid in the cabin were introduced!)

The wine was a 2004 Gary Farrell Pinot Noir. It was simply one of the better glasses of wine I have ever enjoyed. Four years in the bottle certainly makes a difference to these high end wines.

Farrell has long been recognized as one of the Russian River Valley’s premier producers. This pinot was incredibly balanced and smooth. It was rich to the taste with a finish that had just a hint of tannins for balance. The wine is aged in 100% French oak barrells.

The winery, by the way, sits atop a hill in the rural Russian River Valley overlooking the valley. It’s gorgeous.

I can’t remember what I paid for it at the winery that far back, but found it on the internet for $43.99. That sounds about right. Some people just won’t spend that kind of money on one bottle of wine and I understand that completely. But if they could indulge in just one glass of this well-made Pinot Noir, they might just begin to understand.

During the holidays we gather with friends and family. There’s no better time to open a special bottle of wine. The Farrell Pinot was just delightful.

I took the photo at left during my 2006 visit. The winery is one of the area’s most beautiful.

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