By Farr Farrside Pinot Noir 2021


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“Gary Farr is something of a legend in his own time in the Australian wine scene. He made his name as the winemaker at Bannockburn Vineyards since its inception in the late 1970s, forging the distinctive Pinots that put this great property on the map. Meanwhile his passion for Burgundy drew him to that region where he racked-up no less than 13 vintages working at Domaine Dujac. For many years he eyed the property next to Bannockburn Vineyards before finally purchasing 90 acres of the neighboring farmland, though only a small proportion has yet been planted to vine. The “House Block” plantings of Shiraz, Viognier and Chardonnay began in 1994. Then isolating the most promising Pinot Noir sites, three single vineyard plots were planted on varying soil types: Sangreal (red loam / pink clay over limestone, planted in 1995 at the House Block), Farrside (black volcanic topsoil with a limestone base) and Tout Pres (2.5 acres on a variety of free draining soils with limestone in the profile). Tout Pres is the most densely planted at 8000 vines per hectare, hence the name. Rather predictably, it was not long before Farr decided to part ways with Bannockburn Vineyards. Rumors abound throughout Victoria as to what caused the ensuing rift; though I suspect that the major factor involved was no more salacious than Farr’s strong desire to do his own thing and the competition it created. 1999 was the first vintage of By Farr wines to be released. I was taken through the By Farr vineyards after harvest in 2011 by Gary Farr’s very talented son Nick who has joined him in the winery, assuming greater responsibility and making his own “Farr Rising” label (see separate review). There aren’t many wineries in Australia as pristine as By Farr. Everything is naturally made and hands-off in the winery, right down to the use of corks and non-filtration for the reds, with varying proportions of whole-bunch inclusions in the Pinots depending upon the vintage. These are very exciting wines that are well worth seeking out and should go from strength to strength as the vines continue to mature.”

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (05/11)