Shiraz 2018 – Wine by Farr.
As we are discovering Australia there is one variety that has become an Australian icon we should certainly not forget; Shiraz. Being produced in different styles and wine regions of Australia this wine is not a one-trick-pony anymore. Traditionally these wines were just big bold blockbusters, but some regions and wineries are polishing them like real diamonds. An example of this is the 2018 Shiraz, from the Farr winery in Victoria.
About the Winery
Nestled in the heart of Victoria’s Geelong region, the Farr Winery is a true gem that has earned its reputation as a producer of exceptional wines. Established by Gary Farr, a visionary winemaker with a deep connection to the land, the winery embodies a commitment to crafting wines that reflect both the unique terroir and the expertise of the winemaking team.
The Farr family’s history in the region dates back to the 19th century, and this deep-rooted connection to the land is evident in every bottle they produce. The winery’s philosophy centers around sustainability, minimal intervention, and a strong belief in the expression of the vineyard’s natural attributes.
The Farr Winery’s approach to winemaking is characterized by meticulous attention to detail, from vineyard management to the final bottling. They focus on producing single vineyard wines that highlight the individuality of each site, allowing the distinct characteristics of the terroir to shine through.
Gary Farr’s extensive experience and innovative spirit have played a pivotal role in shaping the winery’s success. His deep understanding of the local microclimates, soil types, and grape varieties has led to the creation of wines that are not only highly regarded but also tell a story of the region’s viticultural history.
The 2018 Shiraz by Farr is a prime example of the winery’s dedication to excellence. It encapsulates the culmination of years of expertise, a commitment to sustainable practices, and a true passion for the art of winemaking. As you savor a glass of the 2018 Shiraz, you are not only experiencing a remarkable vintage, but you are also connecting with the legacy of a family and a winery that have helped define the Geelong wine landscape.
Viticulture and Vinification
The journey of the 2018 Shiraz by Farr begins in a vineyard planted with care in 1994. With a meticulous eye for quality, the ripest bunches of grapes are meticulously handpicked, ensuring that only the finest fruit makes its way to the vinification cellar.
Inside the cellar, a symphony of craftsmanship unfolds. A nod to tradition and innovation, 80% of the bunches are gently destemmed, preserving the purity of the fruit. The remaining clusters, brimming with potential, contribute to the wine’s layers of complexity. These precious grapes embark on a four-day cold soak, a patient pause that allows their flavors and aromas to deepen and flourish.
A tribute to nature’s rhythm, spontaneous alcoholic fermentation emerges. Large open vats host this transformation, where wild yeasts—the very essence of the grape—work their magic. This age-old dance between yeast and juice infuses the wine with a unique identity that could only emerge from this particular place and time.
Two weeks pass, and the culmination of the fermentation signals the moment for gentle pressing. With care and consideration, the young wine transitions to new French oak barriques, 20% of which are freshly introduced. Here, a new chapter unfolds as malolactic fermentation and maturation intertwine. The oak becomes a nurturing cocoon, shaping the wine’s character and bestowing it with the subtleties that only time in wood can provide.
A symphony of patience and anticipation graces the winemaking process, as the wine ages gracefully for 18 months. This passage in oak bestows structure, complexity, and a harmonious integration of flavors. The result is a masterpiece that reflects both the vineyard’s terroir and the hands that guided it.
The culmination arrives as the wine is harmoniously assembled, drawing together the various elements that have evolved during its journey. Unfiltered and true to its essence, the 2018 Shiraz by Farr is finally bottled—a testament to a vision, a place, and a tradition that transforms grapes into an exquisite symphony of flavor. With each glass, you not only taste the culmination of skill and artistry but also partake in the story of a vineyard, a cellar, and the hands that have crafted a wine that captures a moment in time.
About the Wine
By Farr is a producer who does a great job in working with Pinot Noir, a variety that has a name of providing for elegant, earthy and refined wines. The way they take care of their Shiraz makes you recognize this, in the elegance and smoothness this wine delivers. A profile is, as mentioned, a bit a-typical when compared to its Australian brothers and sisters.
The 2018 Shiraz by Farr is a standout vintage that commands attention from the moment it is poured. Its deep ruby hue hints at the richness that awaits, and the aroma profile is nothing short of enchanting. Upon the first inhale, notes of ripe blackberries and dark cherries intertwine with delicate hints of clove, cedar, and a touch of black pepper.
The palate of this wine is a masterclass in balance and complexity. The initial burst of luscious black fruit flavors is complemented by subtle layers of baking spices, such as cinnamon and nutmeg, which add a touch of warmth and complexity. The integration of oak is skillfully executed, contributing a refined smokiness that adds depth without overpowering the fruit.
Velvety tannins provide a luxurious texture that coats the palate, while maintaining a fine structure that promises longevity. The wine’s medium to full body is accompanied by a gentle acidity that keeps the flavors vibrant and ensures a seamless transition from the initial burst of fruit to the lingering finish.
Speaking of the finish, it’s a true highlight of the 2018 Shiraz by Farr. As the wine slowly fades, it leaves behind traces of dark chocolate and espresso, adding an intriguing element of bitterness that balances the overall sweetness of the fruit. A final whisper of black pepper adds an element of spice, ensuring that each sip is a journey of discovery.
This vintage showcases the expertise and dedication of the winemakers, who have managed to capture the essence of the terroir and the character of the grape in each bottle. The 2018 Shiraz by Farr is an experience that encapsulates the artistry and passion that goes into crafting an exceptional vintage.
While it is already a delight to savor now, its potential for further development makes it a compelling choice for those who appreciate the rewards of patient cellaring. We happily award this perfectly shaped Shiraz with a 93-point DWA score.
We were lucky enough to enjoy this bottle at Restaurant Benjamin in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. This wine is reviewed by our own Niels Aarts. By Farr wines are available in the Netherlands through Résidence Wijnen, and available through associated partners.
Taste date: April 2023
Score: 93/100 DWA Score
Website: Wine by Farr