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Nick and Gary Farr stand side by side, but aren’t afraid to go head-to-head when their opinions differ. Each generation has developed a distinctive winemaking style based on his individual experience and taste, and their respective lines—By Farr by Gary, and Farr Rising by Nick—have received critical acclaim both in Australia and overseas.

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. We 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.

Clones 114, 115, 667 and MV6, hand-picked and sorted, 60-70% destemmed, 4 days cold soak, wild-fermented, pigeaged 2-3 times daily, matured for 18 months in French oak (50-60% new). Good colour; the bouquet, while complex, is the calm before the storm of the palate, which strikes the second the wine enters the mouth, and doesn’t abate until long after the wine has gone from the glass. Its great character is the fusion of plum/black cherry fruit with a savoury carpet of spices and sweet earth. Quite simply, a very great pinot. Drink By: 2029; Price: $83.00; Alcohol: 13.5%; Rating: 98 Points & Special Value; James Halliday Wine Companion


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