We are delighted to offer the outstanding new release wines by By Farr. Having attended a new release masterclass, I can confidently say that these wines are excellent, and come highly recommended. The elegance and purity of expression across the range is the highlight, but that is not to suggest that they lack for character or power, as they have these qualities in spades also. But it is more a latent power evident in the length, structure and concentration of fruit, all held in perfect balance.
You can read Gary and Nick Farr's notes on the new release below.
All wines can be ordered online now by clicking on the relevant wine.
2010 By Farr 'Farrside' Pinot Noir - $59 (normally $75)
Winemaker Notes: Farrside vineyard consists of black volcanic soil over limestone on a north-east facing slope. The vine rows run east – west to shade the fruit from over exposure, it is a mixture 114, 115, 777, 667 and mv6 clones. Even though the Farrside and Sangreal vineyards are only 300 metres apart the differing conditions means that this vineyard is picked 10 to 12 days after all others. The darker soils and cooler growing conditions exhibits a more masculine and edge wine.
The fruit is hand picked and sorted in the vineyard, then fermented in a open top fermenter. 50% of the fruit was destemmed before a 4 day cold soak and then fermenting dry in 12 days by only natural yeast. Pigeage 2 to 3 times a day depending on the amount of extraction required. The wine was then place in 50% new Allier Damy barrels by gravity. Racked by gas after secondary fermentation, then again at 18 months to be bottled.
Finely spiced, gently earthy bouquet with briar, red cherry and sandalwood in tow. Such fineness in the palate, but a stern intent with glassy acidity, faint undergrowth notes and an intenseness yet purity of fruit that carries superbly through the mouth. Quartz and slate minerality chimes in, a wet stone tannin profile gives framework and mettle. Almost dart-like shape across the palate, lots of fruit flavour, but it’s not too polished either – a charismatic expression. An absolute belter. This could be the best Farrside yet. 96 Points, Drink to 2025. Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
2010 By Farr 'Sangreal' Pinot Noir - $68 (normally $85)
Winemaker Notes: The Sangreal Vineyard is the oldest planting (1994) on a north facing slope which has red iron stone colouring on the surface and a limestone to then bluestone at depth. Unlike our other vineyards which are mostly black volcanic soil with heavy amounts of limestone on the surface. The vine rows run north – south gaining full sun exposure throughout the day resulting in more perfumed, prettier wines and always the first vineyard to be harvested. The clones used in Sangreal are 114 and 115 which we now believe have mutated to become the Sangreal clone within its own micro climate over time.
Sangreal is consistently made with 60 - 70% whole bunch (2010 was 70%) and the same of new oak, fermented in a 5 tonne oak open top fermenter. Cold soak of 4 days before a natural fermentation of 7 to 9 days and pressed once cap fall. Racked once after malo, sulphured and then bottled after a period of 18 months total, unfined and unfiltered. Sangreal is the most seamless and perfumed of the three single vineyard pinots.
…and again with the expansive perfume – this time mulberry and dark cherries, lavender, sage and a faint echo of meat dripping-like game character. The palate shows its whole bunch card early; slippery, glossy acidity driving the fern-tinged purple fruit long through the palate. There is a prettiness here, not quite delicacy, but a lifted, spirited charge across palate that is at once chaotic and yet flavour bounces within confines of supple tannins. It’s a wilder expression here, but very attractive. Journey along with the wine. 94 Points, Drink to 2022. Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
2010 By Farr Chardonnay - $59 per bottle (normally $75)
Winemaker Notes: The By Farr Chardonnay comes from the same site as the Sangreal pinot noir, a red soil over limestone planted 1994. A very exposed and hungry north facing slope. The clones used for the chardonnay are a mixture of Dijon clones and Penfolds 58.
The fruit is hand picked then whole bunch pressed. All the solids are collected and chilled before being put to barrel, 30% new French. A natural fermentation will occur over the next 2 to 3 weeks at cool temperatures. Once fermentation has finished a small amount of stirring is used to help start malolactic fermentation. A full malo will finish mid Spring, the wine is then racked fined and lightly filtered before bottling 11 months after picking. A very mineral site for chardonnay.
Winemaker Notes: Shiraz fruit comes from the original By Farr vineyard planted in 1994, across a north facing slope, but on two different soil types. At the top of the hill a thirsty black volcanic soil exists, while the slope of this hill is red volcanic soil and limestone.
All fruit is handpicked from the VSP trellising, with 20% of the fruit left as whole bunches in the fermentation. In 2010 we co fermented 4% Viognier. It is a natural fermentation where the fruit is in the tank for 19 days before pressing. Once in barrel, the wine is left for malolactic to be completed, the wine is then racked by gas. Shiraz sees 18 months in French oak, 20% being new, and is bottled under vacuum. We are excited to release the 2009 shiraz with an extra years bottle age to allow the larger than life tannins from this vintage to soften and integrate more seamlessly.
The 2010 vintage release by the Farr Family
The philosophy behind the By Farr wines is passion, persistence, and patience.
By Farr wines are made exclusively from grapes sourced at the estate on north/northeast undulating slopes at Bannockburn, Victoria. These exposed vineyards with their volcanic soils over limestone, exhibit their own unique character. Between Nick and Gary there is 46 years of experience, attitude and attention to detail and ultimately have produced extraordinary individual, complex layered wines.
We are pleased to release the next chapter of the Farr Family’s exploits, the 2010 vintage wines. The team has decided that the wines have started to open and show their individual characters.
Vintage 2010 is an exciting one as a winemaker, provided an opportunity to make wines of beautifully balanced ripeness and excellent regional and individual site expression with all the elements and factors of viticulture coming together harmonically during the season. Cool winds during flowering and an average spring rainfall followed by a warm dry finish to the season resulted in average to slightly below average cropping levels, yet high quality small and open bunches with small berries. Once again our intensive mulching program and organic matter covering the soil to preserve moisture resulted in little to no irrigation required for the season. It is amazing how resolute grapevines are as the Farr vineyards continue to adapt to each year’s ever changing conditions of the last 10 vintages. Strong vintage variation contributing to each particular vineyard site and soil. Perhaps some of the best fruit we have seen thus far from our maturing vines. Every extra year counts.
Harvest began a week to 10 days earlier than usual due to the warm dry finish concluding a near perfect season in Bannockburn. We started with a parcel of By Farr Chardonnay and Tout Pres on the 22nd Feb and finished with Shiraz on the 27th March. Even ripening across all varieties exhibited great flavour, colour and great natural acidity which showed freshness.
Fermentation of the white wines was effortless at low temperatures over a 6 week period. With both primary and secondary fermentation finishing before winter really set in. The fruit was whole bunch pressed and fermented in barrel, not racked until the day before bottling. The reds needed little intervention, a high amount of whole bunches where again used during the vintage because of the great lignification of stems. Open top ferments and daily pigeage where used while continually tasting the ferments it was not until pressing that we really started to appreciate the balance, structure and aroma of the vintage. A vintage that is showing signs of delicacy, perfumed and refined wine style.
Another season to understanding the parameters of our unique site, which we continue to grow with.