By Farr Farrside Pinot Noir 2018
97 points Huon Hooke
Gary Farr is one of Australia’s Pinot pioneers and knows more about Pinot than anyone! He began at Bannockburn wines in the 80’s and with his son Nick (combined) they have done 20 vintages at Domaine Dujac in Morey-St-Denis in Burgundy. Their vineyard (planted in 1994) is located at Bannockburn (near Geelong) and planted on volcanic soils over limestone. Their winemaking influence is very Burgundian (natural yeast, whole bunch fermentation and long maceration for the reds) to produce wines that reflect their terroir with pure primary fruit characters and savoury depth, structure and longevity. I regard their Pinots and Chardonnay as up there with the best in land. …Their wines are rated in the Top Ten wines in their categories every year in James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion.
The Farrside vineyard sits on a northeast-facing slope and consists of limestone topped with black volcanic soil. The vines were planted in 2001 and run east-west to protect the fruit from overexposure to the sun. The clones are a mixture of 114, 115, 777, 667 and MV6. Even though the Farrside and Sangreal vineyards are only 300 metres apart, the darker soils and cooler growing conditions of the Farrside vineyard mean these grapes are picked 10 to 12 days after all others and produce a more masculine and edgy wine.
The fruit is hand-picked and sorted in the vineyard, then fermented in an open-top fermenter. Between 40 to 50 per cent of the fruit will be stemmed and then cold soaked for four days. They use only the natural yeast for the fermentation process, which takes roughly 12 days. Grape-stomping (known as pigeage) will occur two to three times a day depending on the amount of extraction required, and the wine is then placed in 50 to 60 per cent new Allier barrels by gravity. It is racked by gas after secondary fermentation, then again at 18 months to be bottled.
Each vintage of Farrside pinot noir exhibits more masculinity, structure and savoury components, while deep meaty, spicy and mineral flavours also continue to evolve. A balanced array of red and black fruits, Farrside pinot noir is fresh and edgy with bucketloads of character. This is a firm yet delicate wine with a long-textured finish.
Winemaker Nick Farr had this to say about the 2018 vintage …“The 2018 harvest season delivered very consistent and evenly ripened fruit, with an abundance of fruit flavour. Considering how dry the summer had been in Victoria, the precise and limited rainfall fell at ideal times. The canopies were healthy and the temperature was mild through March, meaning the harvest was electric. All fruit needed to be picked simultaneously, condensing five weeks work into three and making for fun times. We are really looking forward to seeing how the wines develop, considering the season was quite different to the previous three.”
Newly released we were thrilled with this and expect great things for this pinot and as always will be in high demand.
97 points – Huon Hooke, The Real Review “Medium red colour with a trace of purple in the rim. The bouquet is pepper-spicy, stemmy and savoury, with a whiff of new kid leather, while the palate is elegantly structured and yet firm, tremendously intense, taut as a bow-string, and magnificently balanced. This is a stunning pinot of a complex, bunchy style, already drinking well, with more held in reserve. Drink: 2020-2033”
RRP $97 *Our Special Price $78.99
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