2021 By Farr GC Chardonnay Côte Vineyard
Gary Farr has been making wine since 1978 in the Moorabool Valley near Bannockburn, about an hour's drive from Melbourne. Before working in Australia he traveled the world and learned the trade at Domaine Dujac in Burgundy, Cristom in Oregon and Calera in California. Not surprisingly, he fell under the spell of pinot noir here and took it back to Australia - not without a fight. By Farr also produces premium chardonnay and have planted shiraz and viognier. Today, the business has been taken over by the next generation, Nick Farr, though Gary still keeps an eye on things. Wijnhuis By Farr has an area of 130 hectares, of which 36 hectares are planted with vines.
Victoria is the wine region in southeastern Australia and one of the country's few cool climate zones. Victoria has a mostly cool to temperate climate. The proximity of the ocean, the differences in altitude and the exposure of the vineyard play a major role. If we put all sub-areas with the same brush, pinot noir and chardonnay are the two specialties. They are produced in all styles. Pinot noir varies from delicate to more structured, but the common denominator is the pure fruit character. Chardonnay ranges from full and concentrated from Geelong to light and fresh from the Mornington Peninsula.
The GC Chardonnay (GC - Gary Charles) is credited to all the knowledge we were able to extract from Gary to create a densely planted/high density plantation of chardonnay on an exposed côte. These hills facing north, northeast and east will form the backbone of the Farr dynasty for decades to come. Consisting of the most suitable clones, rootstocks, trellisings to be found, they are a tribute to what 'Gazza' has achieved over 40 years, not only in the region, but for chardonnay and pinot noir across Australia. The North Côte is a red to brown loam with pebbles and stones over the surface. The northern côte, the most exposed of the three côtes, is harvested last due to its large amount of clay, which retains valuable moisture much longer than the other slopes. The eastern côte is separated by an elevation through the middle of the slope. Black volcanic soil with fragmented limestone in one direction and gray loam with pebbles in the other direction. The soil is fundamental as the eastern côte has the least amount of clay and therefore retains the least water, making it the first to be harvested, even though it is the coolest côte of the three.
The bunches of grapes are picked very selectively by hand at optimum ripeness. In the vinification cellar, the whole clusters are pressed extremely gently and the juice is left to rest strongly cooled to allow the coarser components to settle. The clean juice is then transferred to French oak barriques (35% new) to undergo spontaneous alcoholic fermentation with wild (grape's own) yeasts in just over a month. Subsequently, the young wine is transferred to clean barriques for malolactic fermentation and a maturation period on the lees. 11 months after the harvest, the wines are assembled, clarified, possibly lightly filtered and bottled. The By Farr - GC Chardonnay Côte Vineyard has a bright straw yellow color. In the nose aromas of lime, papaya, pineapple, guava, roasted hazelnuts, butterscotch and a smoky touch. In the taste palette notes of lime zest, nectarines, tropical fruit and vanilla cream, which are accompanied by a very long and mineral aftertaste with delicately fresh acidity.
Gary Farr has been making wine in Moorabool Valley near Bannockburn, about an hour's drive from Melbourne, since 1978. Before working in Australia, he traveled the world and learned the trade at Domaine Dujac in Bourgogne, Cristom in Oregon and Calera in California. Not surprisingly, he fell under the spell of pinot noir here and took it back to Australia - not without a fight.
The Farr estate is located in the Moorabool Valley between Geelong and Ballarat, 100km south-west 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 estate's rich volcanic soil and continental climate produce premium fruit with a taste, bouquet and color unique to our area.
Gary and Robyn Farr bought the original property in 1994 and the second part in 1998 - the latter had been untouched for nearly 40 years and consisted of dense boxwood thorns and noxious weeds. The final piece of the puzzle, connecting the two pieces of land, was purchased in 2011 by Nick and Cassie Farr, totaling 130 hectares, of which 36 hectares are under vines and the rest are maintained as grazing and cropland for livestock and horses. With a mixture of different clones and rootstocks, the grape varieties grown here include viognier, chardonnay, pinot noir, gamay and shiraz.
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 style of winemaking based on its 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 abroad.
|Available as of
|Jul 12, 2023
|Type of Wine
|Drinking as of
|James Suckling rating
|Complex, Dry, Aged on wood, Powerful, Rich, Round, Full, White fruit
|Indruk maken, Lekker luxe, Open haard