Shiraz fruit comes from the original By Farr vineyard, planted in 1994. It lies on a north-facing slope, and the red volcanic soil has a base of limestone with deep-set sandstone.
All fruit is hand-picked from the VSP trellising, with 20 per cent left as whole bunches in the fermentation. Most years we co-ferment between 2 and 4 per cent viognier with the shiraz, the date determining whether or not the former is co-fermented and bled back. It is a natural fermentation, with the fruit remaining in the tank for 19 days before pressing. Shiraz sees 18 months in French oak, 20 per cent being new, and is bottled under vacuum.
A powerful nose, with the depth and complexity of cool-climate shiraz. This wine is spiced with pepper and mineral elements, leaning towards earthy. The co-fermented viognier adds a little richness to both the bouquet and palate, which has a very pleasant sweetness to start, followed by intense fruit and earthy long tannins to complete the delicate structure and overall elegance of the wine.
The Farr estate is located in the Moorabool Valley between Geelong and Ballarat, 100km southwest of Melbourne. Grape growing in this region dates back more than 200 years, with Swiss settlers planting Victoria’s first vineyards here in the early 1800s. The rich volcanic soil and continental climate at our estate produces premium fruit with a flavour, bouquet and colour that is unique to our surrounding area. Gary and Robyn Farr purchased the original property in 1994 and the second section in 1998—this latter had been untouched for almost 40 years and consisted of dense boxthorn and noxious weeds. The final piece of the puzzle, which links the two blocks of land, was purchased by Nick and Cassie Farr in 2011, making a total of 130 acres—of which 36 acres are under vine and the remainder is maintained as grazing and cropping for cattle and horses. With a mixture of different clones and rootstocks, the grape varieties grown here are viognier, chardonnay, pinot noir, gamay and shiraz.
CAMPBELL MATTINSON - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
A special wine. It's all tang and undergrowth, cherries and peppery spices but putting names to the individual flavours doesn't do the overall effect justice. This is a wine of fresh-faced beauty; it's a glance and a wink and a nod all rolled into one. How. It doesn't take you long into the first glass to start wondering how they did it. It tastes like a kind of magic.
HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW
Medium to deep red colour with a good tint of purple. The bouquet is earthy and faintly peppery with a savoury note from wood-ageing, the brown-spice notes adding to the impression of sapidity. Superfine, silky-soft tannins, seamless texture, tidy berries and spices to close. Refreshing acidity in balance. An exceptional, northern Rhone-style shiraz that is already drinking beautifully. (Viognier 4%)
CAMPBELL MATTINSON - THE WINE FRONT
This is a dry red wine of terrific intensity, structure and complexity. Strange thing to say about a shiraz grown in the Geelong region but there's something a little Nebbiolo-esque about it. Not in its flavour profile, but in the way it goes about things. It's not weighty or thick but it feels powerful; it offers fruit and an array of flavours but its feet are planted in acid and tannin; its peppery dryness kicks on again just when you thought it might stop. Basically it sets its style and the quality takes care of itself, which as it happens is (very) high.