Far Mountain

Myrna Chardonnay 2020

Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California


Myrna’s focused intensity of fruit and texture reflects its two extreme mountain and hillside vineyard sites.  The word Myrna translates to “beloved”, a reflection of Far Mountain’s feelings about truly great Chardonnay: wines that can translate from their sites intense minerality, texture and a dazzling spectrum of flavors.

Vineyard: Bald Mountain

Heading west up the Oakville Grade from Napa, or coming east on Trinity Road from Sonoma, is one of the rights of passage when you first visit Napa and Sonoma. Incredibly steep and full of twists and turns, you climb from one valley into the mountains and extraordinary redwoods of the Mayacamas range and come down into the other valley. The 11 miles take about half an hour. Halfway up, at the peak of the ridge, there is a side road that even those who have crossed the pass many times will not have noticed. You already feel remote within the majestic surroundings, but as you take the small side road and head north up the ridge, you feel you are in uncharted territory. The road leads to Bald Mountain, the second highest peak in the mountain range, and another steep side road sweeps you to the west side of the peak, where nestled into it you find one of the most stunning vineyard settings imaginable.

Planted in 1972, Bald Mountain vineyard is remarkable. In a cool bowl at the bottom of the site we found exactly what we were looking for in Chardonnay plantings. The vineyard is planted to heritage California clones that we believe thrive in poor soils, and develop a true depth of texture and flavor. Vines grow on pure fractured and tectonic rock, which is truly a dramatic sight. This mountain factor is very present in the finish of the wine, its chalkiness, salinity and minerality translating in a bright and genuine way.

Vineyard: Thornton Vineyard

Thornton Vineyard, the second source for Myrna, is one that excites us equally and adds a dimension that we believe Sonoma achieves almost uniquely well in California: Chardonnay carved by the combination of Pacific Ocean influence and vineyard altitude. The vineyard lies directly west of the town of Sonoma, at the southern base of Sonoma Mountain in an area that falls under both the Sonoma Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations; this apt crossroads describes the various elements that make this vineyard so interesting. The vines here, nearly thirty years of age, look east and capture a ripeness that balances the wine on a knife’s edge. The wine bursts with brightness and citrus, with a firm mineral backbone.


The grapes were whole cluster pressed at fractional pressures, collected separately, and left to settle for 24-36 hours. The objective is to expose the must to oxygen at this stage, for elements prone to oxidation to drop out, and to have multiple pressings to follow through the aging process.

The must then goes right to barrels, 18% of which were new, with 1, 2, 3 and 4 year old barrels making up the rest of the total. There is lees contact throughout the aging, with stirring a bit more frequently early in the aging, down to once a month near the end. These phenolics from the lees, accentuated by the thick skins of the old Wente clone from Bald Mountain, develop into the notably sappy yet soft texture of the wine. 30% of the wine went through malolactic fermentation and we can say, as with the percentage of new oak as well as the aging – 1 year rather than the 16-18 months that might be expected – we believe that over-influencing the wine in any dimension detracts from the inherent qualities we feel every time we taste.


2020 was a dry growing season. Winter was moderate temperatures with just above 10 inches of rain, setting off budbreak 10 days earlier that usual. A mild spring slowed things down allowing healthy canopy growth. Hot summer days, encouraged the vines to ripen slowly and clusters to develop mountain complexity. Harvest begun 10 days earlier than previous years.

The vines self regulated and showed lower yields from the very beginning. There were signs of concentration and density that amplified the character of the mountain site.

Dry farming, elevation, and older vines have become the signature in these wines which allows the team to offset challenges and variabilities of a vintage.

Tasting Note

Myrna has concentration and powerful structure. Given 2020’s growing conditions with average warmer temperatures creating more phenolics which translate into density , great texture, and long finish. The wine opens with lifted aromatics and stone fruit combines with lime characters. On the palate the wine expands, bringing layers of texture and energy. The bright acidity and salinity, signature of this wine, makes its flavors last with a long lingering and persistent finish.



Grape Varieties



Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California


Both vineyard sites are organically farmed; Bald Mountain uses no irrigation.



Suggested Retail Price



"Fennel and marzipan"

Wine Enthusiast - January 16, 2023 "This well-balanced and grandly structured wine layers toast, almonds and a hint of wood smoke over Bosc pears, fennel bulb slices and marzipan for a rich blend of fruits and savory accents." J.G 1/23

"Impeccably balanced"

Vinous - August 3, 2023 "“A very attractive wine for the year. Medium in body, Myrna graces the palate with hints of tangerine oil, mint, white flowers, chamomile and ripe green pear. [...] all the elements are impeccably balanced." A.G 8/23

"Plenty of Polish and Style"

Wine Spectator - August 4, 2023 "Fragrant, featuring wild fennel, lemon blossoms and wet stone minerality, with a core of fresh, vibrant Meyer lemon, Honeycrisp apple and yuzu flavors. Reveals a note of litsea oil that lingers on the seamless finish, which packs plenty of polish and style." M.W  6/23

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Trade Materials


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