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By Farr Viognier 2022

by By Farr
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    The Farr Family established the By Farr brand in 1994, on a north-facing slope in the township of Bannockburn, Moorabool Valley. The original wines included Chardonnay by Farr, Viognier by Farr, Shiraz by Farr, and Pinot Noir by Farr, now known as Sangreal by Farr. With the help of Cassie and Nick, the vineyards have expanded to neighboring properties, resulting in greater expression of the single-site wines. The wines of By Farr are renowned for their complexity, layered structure and undeniable length, making them highly regarded by both consumers and critics worldwide. The Farr estate is located in the Moorabool Valley, between Geelong and Ballarat, 100km southwest of Melbourne. Gary and Robyn Farr purchased the original property in 1994, followed by a second section in 1998, which had been untouched for almost 40 years. The final piece of the puzzle, linking the two blocks of land, was purchased by Nick and Cassie Farr in 2011, totaling 130 acres. Nick and Gary Farr each have their own winemaking style, which has resulted in their respective lines - By Farr by Gary and Farr Rising by Nick - receiving critical acclaim both in Australia and overseas.

    The By Farr viognier consists of a blend of fruit from two vineyards. The first is the original house block, planted in 1994, which is friable red soil over limestone leading to sandstone—similar soils to the Sangreal pinot noir and By Farr chardonnay. The second vineyard is a younger planting of unknown clones in red ironstone soil. The viognier is a difficult variety to manage as it has a tendency to grow horizontally rather than vertically, needs a lot of water and can become sunburnt very easily. Because of this they have decided to pick the fruit earlier in the past few years in order to retain its natural acidity, ensuring we maintain varietal character and creating a more delicate and refined wine.

    The 2022 vintage was dictated by the third consecutive wet Winter into Spring. With high hopes of an average or greater fruit load due to slightly warmer soils leading up to bud burst, then flowering we hoped to take advantage of the ample moisture in the soil. The storms and humidity don’t ease until late January but the team was able to keep the canopies open and the fruit healthy until the disease pressure eased. The season turned come February and the berries developed significant colour and depth of flavour by March. We started picking a little Pinot and Chardonnay’s mid to late March and took full advantage of the long and mild season that has resulted in layered and great site expressions regardless of variety. All in all the crop level was of the norm, average tonnages and the fruit extremely healthy. Credit to the team once again as the ferments where very expressive and show the potential to have come to expect of a season with a drying and cool evenings end. The whites have tension while lush in fruit characteristics. While the reds are building in complexity with every month they are left in barrel. - Vintage Notes By Nick Farr

    I feel we might have reached the time to not talk about how good the viognier is. Too many people will want it. It’s supreme. It has this sleek chardonnay esque ( read barrel spice ) wrapping that holds the apricot core of this wine so beautifully. The texture is chiselled, the flavours confident and intense, but they don’t take over. It’s not an apricot wine, for instance. This has a note of dried apricots, but it also carries a stone fruit element, white flowers, ginger, barrel work and then terrific acidity. It’s like Chardonnay with benefits. There’s never much, there never has been, but the Viognier was always the hidden treasure, only to be found by those that had tried the obscure and rare appellations of Condrieu or Chateau Grillet. Don’t chill it too much, just let it be cool, not frigid. I’ve said too much. It’s just terrific, an incredibly impressive glass of wine. (I originally said “almost perfect glass of wine”, but people view that with too much skepticism). - Tasting Notes by Nick Farr

    The By Farr Viognier 2022 is a beautiful expression of the varietal, made using a careful vinification process. The grapes are foot stomped and left on their skins for two or more hours to extract the phenols, flavor and texture. After pressing and cooling, the juice is put straight into barrel with all the solids for a natural fermentation. Gentle stirring during the end of autumn encourages malolactic fermentation, which softens the finish by converting the tart malic acid to lactic acid. The wine is then racked, fined and filtered, and is ready to be bottled 11 months after harvest. On the nose, this wine is perfumed and subtle, with fresh peach and apricot flavors that will intensify over time. The palate is restrained and luscious, with a ginger-flavored freshness, underlying power and a lingering aftertaste. This wine benefits beautifully from 12 months of bottle ageing, as the acidity softens and the flavors become more pronounced. The By Farr Viognier 2022 is a lovely wine that showcases the elegance and complexity of the varietal. Its careful vinification process results in a wine that is both subtle and powerful, with a beautiful balance of flavors and a long, satisfying finish.

    The Finer Details
    Style - White Wine
    Varietal - Viognier
    Country - Australia
    Region - Geelong, Victoria
    Vintage - 2022
    Bottle Size - 750ml
    ABV - 13%