Farr Rising is already right up there when it comes to quality and excitement. The wines could barely boast better pedigree, with Nick Farr at the helm and impeccable fruit sources. These range from Pinot, Shiraz and Chardonnay grapes from the Farrs' own 2002 plantings to 35-year-old vines from 10km further down the Moorabool valley. Made in an earlier-drinking style than some of the By Farr range, the Farr Rising wines often go toe-to-toe with their illustrious label-mates. They represent some of the best-value terroir-driven wines available.
The Farr Rising chardonnay sits next to the Farr Rising pinot noir vineyard. Unlike the black soil of the latter, however, the chardonnays' soil has a large proportion of grey loam. This vineyard is more protected than other sites because of its undulation, but fertility and growing levels remain very low. The clones used for the chardonnay are a mixture of Dijon clones and Penfolds 58, all planted in 2001.
The fruit is hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed. All the solids are then collected and chilled before being put to barrel. The new barrel percentage of 20 to 30 per cent can consist of Allier and Vogue French forests. A natural fermentation will occur at cool temperatures over the next two months, and once this is finished a small amount of stirring helps start malolactic fermentation. After 11 months in barrel, the wine is racked, fined, and lightly filtered before bottling.
The site typically has citrus blossom, which lifts the well-integrated fruit and wet stone aromatics of this wine. The palate shows great drive, racy acidity, moving towards fine mineral elements. Chardonnay with understated power, length and subtlety from a very textured site with great balance.
The sheer crackle of quality. There's a flintiness to the nose, but the palate is pure, powerful and long. It's seamless in its own, formidable way. Ripe stone fruit, crushed fennel seeds, citrus rind and smoked oatmeal characters purr throughout. A beauty. Drink to: 2028; Price: $NA; Date Tasted: Apr 2020; Alcohol: 13.5%; Rating: 96 Points & Special Value Star; James Halliday Wine Companion
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