By Farr Chardonnay 2020
1 or more bottles$84.99
Campbell Mattin96 points
WINNER, GOURMET TRAVELLER WINEMAKER OF THE YEAR
Vineyard: The By Farr chardonnay comes from the same site as the Sangreal pinot noir—composed of red soil over limestone—and was planted in 1994. The limestone of this site is not exposed on the surface as at other sites. The limestone starts 20 to 30cm below the surface, to the depths of the root zone of the vines. It is a very exposed north-facing slope. The clones used for the chardonnay are a mixture of Dijon clones and Penfolds 58.
Vinification: The fruit is hand-picked then whole-bunch pressed in the winery. All the solids are collected and chilled before being put to barrel, which are 30 per cent new French oak. A natural fermentation will occur at cool temperatures over the next one to two months, and then a small amount of stirring helps start malolactic fermentation. The wine is then racked, fined and lightly filtered before bottling 11 months after picking. A very mineral site for chardonnay.
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Critic Scores & reviews
"(2019 vintage) No matter what you call it, this is a beautiful wine. It covers the bases of freshness, flavour, texture and length and then adds the indefinable. If you feel in desperate need of one long lazy afternoon then this hands it to you. It’s stone fruity and grapefruit-edged and flinty and none of those things. Its cedarwood notes are painted on the bare skin of chardonnay. Trust. From the first sip it establishes trust."
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Australia's wine industry is a thriving part of the country's economy, contributing significantly to employment, production, export, and tourism. In fact, the industry is the fourth-largest wine exporter in the world, shipping out 760 million liters of wine to countries including France, Italy, Spain, and the UK. One of the key factors contributing to Australia's success as a "New World" wine producer is the formal export and marketing of its wines through Wine Australia.
Australia's wine regions are scattered across the south and southeast, with almost every state boasting its own vineyards. Victoria, for example, is home to an impressive 21 wine regions. Some of the most famous wine regions in Australia include Margaret River, Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Eden Valley, Clare Valley, Hunter Valley, Yarra Valley, and local regions to New South Wales such as Cowra, Southern Highlands, and Mudgee.
Australian winemakers are known for producing a diverse range of grape varieties, with Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir being among the most popular. They tend to focus on producing wines that are ripe, fruit-forward, and easy to drink, using modern winemaking techniques and equipment such as stainless steel tanks and temperature-controlled fermentation.
With its bold, fruit-driven flavors and reputation for quality and diversity, Australian wine has become a popular choice for wine lovers around the world. And with such a broad range of wine regions and grape varieties, there's something for every palate to enjoy.
The wine region of Victoria has the highest number of grapevines than any other state in Australia. It is home to over 600 wineries and well-known regions such as Yarra Valley, Heathcote, and Rutherglen. Victoria is situated in the southeastern corner of Australia where due to the location, the climate has a cool maritime influence and is known for its outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, along with producing Australia’s most famed dessert Muscat and Topaque wines.
There are a number of different terroir levels throughout the wine region of Victoria which leads to the production of different ranges of wines. In the southern region of Victoria, the vines are regulated by the cool winds of the Bass Strait. Central Victoria consists of mostly flat terrain that tends to be drier and warmer than the rest of Victoria, which results in more fruit concentrated wines. It may be surprising to note that Victoria is the third most productive wine region in Australia, seeing as it does not have as many areas suitable for viticulture, which has resulted in the cellar door culture of Victoria being concentrated with smaller, but more personal boutique wineries.
The wine regions surrounding the town of Geelong are varied and diverse, from the subregions of the Surf Coast and Otways to the Bellarine Peninsula and Moorabool Valley.
Historically, Geelong was the largest grape-growing region in Victoria (in the 1800s) and in more recent times has undergone somewhat of a renaissance. In the last few decades, winemakers have been rediscovering the rich soils and a climate that is somewhere (some say halfway) between France's Bordeaux and Burgundy regions.
The region is known for boutique, family owned winegrowers producing quality hand crafted wines, more so than any bigger winery operations. Varietally speaking, Geelong is renowned for its superior Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Whilst these 3 are the staple of most winegrowers and makers, the more adventurous have been known to grow and make Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Merlot and even some of the more left-field types like Primitivo, Gamay, Carmenere and Langrein.
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About the brand By Farr
The pedigree of the By Farr label is indisputable. Gary Farr rose to fame as head winemaker at Bannockburn, having honed his craft while working vintages in the world's best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay regions including Oregon, California and of course, the Cote d'Or of Burgundy at Domaine Dujac. After expanding his travels to include France's Rhone Valley, portfolio additions of include Shiraz and Viognier soon materialised.
Gary was named Qantas/Wine Magazine Winemaker of the Year 2001 while his son Nick, having followed in his father's footsteps and working vintages in the same regions, was a finalist in Gourmet Traveller's Australian Winemaker of the Year awards in 2013. The duo produces two ranges; By Farr, a collection of complex, site-derived wines, and Farr Rising, wines made in a more approachable style for more immediate consumption. With free-draining, infertile soils, the Farr's vineyard holdings compare with the world's best for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay production.