(Image: Nick Farr - By Farr  / The Real Review - James Broadway / www.therealreview.com)

Halliday Wine Companion Top 100 #5 rated winery for 2023 - By Farr

"Every year, in any list, Geelong's By Farr winery is one of the first picked. This is a single-minded producer if ever there was one; this is a producer interested in quality and nothing else."

- Campbell Mattinson, Halliday Wine Companion

The Real Review Winery of the Year Australia 2022 - By Farr

"Wine by Farr is a stellar producer of complex pinot noirs and beautiful chardonnays, proudly family owned and managed, and strongly vineyard focused. Its wines are all estate grown and made at the Farr family’s winery at Bannockburn in the Geelong wine region."

- Huon Hooke, The Real Review

By Farr Close-Planted release

Vintage 2021 – A year full of Passion, Persistence and Patience

An amazingly challenging yet rewarding vintage has been produced from the 2021 vintage. Rainfall and humidity certainly challenged us throughout the growing season but persistent humidity was meet with a persistent, passionate and determined approach to really create some special wines from conditions not regularly seen in Bannockburn. The team did an amazing job to keep the vineyards canopies open and clean of disease. The moist and mild conditions from November through to early February finished with some great finishing temperatures and sunlight to sustain the great natural acidity and flavour that had built over the final month before picking started on the 9th March.
Very quickly during fermentation a great finesse and length was apparent in the wines. In barrel the freshness of acidity, fine tannins and best of all savoury and elegant fruit flavours certainly suggested that we have a strong vintage to show come release.

Vintage 2022

The 2022 vintage was dictated by the third consecutive wet Winter into Spring. With high hopes of an average or greater fruit load due to slightly warmer soils leading up to bud burst, then flowering we hoped to take advantage of the ample moisture in the soil.

The storms and humidity don’t ease until late January but the team was able to keep the canopies open and the fruit healthy until the disease pressure eased. The season turned come February and the berries developed significant colour and depth of flavour by March.

We started picking a little Pinot and Chardonnay’s mid to late March and took full advantage of the long and mild season that has resulted in layered and great site expressions regardless of variety.

All in all the crop level was of the norm, average tonnages and the fruit extremely healthy. Credit to the team once again as the ferments where very expressive and show the potential to have come to expect of a season with a drying and cool evenings end.

The whites have tension while lush in fruit characteristics. While the reds are building in complexity with every month they are left in barrel.

All notes by Ben Knight

2022 GC Chardonnay

You get in trouble for making links to Australian wine being like Burgundy, and I agree, we don’t make wine like Burgundy. All I’m saying, is that when I sat outside with dinner and had a glass of the GC, it reminded me of the time I sat in the square in Meursault and chose the “expensive” glass of wine. That smell of chalky cellars and stone fruit mixed with barrel char and something match stick like. A softness and tension that’s more like a gentle pull than either or. At this level of quality, hyperbole is all we have, and I hate that. It appears foolish at best and untrustworthy at worst. So here goes nothing. A green gold colour in the glass, tending towards straw, it’s crystal clear, and if liquid can appear chiselled, then this is it. The nose is restrained yet detailed, a common thread from this house. It’s precise yet comforting. It’s redolent of light caramel (I shouldn’t lead off with that, but it’s there) ripe nectarine, struck match; faintly, and barrel spice. I guess the caramel note is more appropriately a creaminess with warm barrel notes, but who has time to explain it all. The palate leaves you feeling relaxed, a lovely softness and masked acidity that makes your mouth water, but not feel like you’ve encountered too much acid. It’s alarmingly supple and easy to drink and the way it sits quietly in the glass makes it easy to see how these types of great wines can easily be overlooked for loud, brash, show ponies. Exquisite, perhaps, peerless, unquestionably.

2021 Tout Press Pinot Noir

 My daughter asked me what Tout Pres meant this morning. I said it means close. Close but Farr she replied as though she discovered a hidden meaning. Kind of, I smiled. In the glass a big hit of amaro like dark fruit and stemmy spice, a real dark shade of cherry and char. The lift comes from the acidity and stems and it works as a counterpoint to the fruit. It’s savoury and layered, shifting from beguiling and seductive to edgy and angsty. Gunsmoke, maybe Russian caravan tea, albeit a subtle version or a memory of it, dry earth, charred wood, cornichon, black bean and mushroom. You can almost taste the struggle of these tightly packed little vines that overlook the moorabool valley. As your olfactory bits acclimatize, the second sniff is all fruit and something like ginger; sweet but with purpose. Warm spices like mace and cardamom dominate and rhubarb, cherry and chinotto round it out. I drink lots of wine in my day job, and perhaps my years are making me jaded, but this type of expression, this individual and importantly, replicative level of complexity is unmatched.

2021 RP Pinot Noir

 Robyn Pamela. What a fitting wine for Nick’s mum. It’s regal, not that Robyn would want that type of characterisation, but she is and so is the wine. I tasted a wine blind last week that Nick sent me and I starting talking about the fruit profile. He then asked about tannin ripeness, which I had overlooked entirely. (These folk are into the minutiae when it comes to their wine.) The RP is complete. Fruit expression, house style, physiological ripeness (the tannin thing he asked me about) is all resolved, all fully formed and ready. The acid line works more like a Soprano, balancing and thrilling us. The fruit expression just right, dark Xmas cherries, bags of spice and tang and ripe lickable tannins. Remember the bit about hyperbole I mentioned earlier? There’s no basic way to describe these wines, not because these are flavours that don’t exist in wine, but because it’s just so hard to fit them all in to one wine, with the structure just right and the oak there, but not there at all.

(Image: By Farr Vineyard / www.byfarr.com.au)

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