By Farr Shiraz 2015
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
By Farr's 2015 Shiraz is cool-climate New World Syrah at its finest. Cracked pepper and star anise notes add an exotic edge to the aromas of raspberries and blueberries. The medium to full-bodied palate is perfectly cushioned by supple, ripe tannin, which flow seamlessly onto the lengthy finish. It's a mind-bending tour de force at a realistic price for the quality.
Gary and Robyn Farr purchased the original property in 1994 and the second section in 1998—this latter had been untouched for almost 40 years and consisted of dense boxthorn and noxious weeds. The final piece of the puzzle, which links the two blocks of land, was purchased by Nick and Cassie Farr in 2011, making a total of 130 acres—of which 36 acres are under vine and the remainder is maintained as grazing and cropping for cattle and horses. With a mixture of different clones and rootstocks, the grape varieties grown here are 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 winemaking style based on his 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 overseas.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Rhône Blends of the south, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”
Comprised mainly of boutique, family-owned and operated wineries, Geelong is one of the cool coastal wine-growing regions of the Port Phillip Zone of Victoria. Here the elevation and proximity to sea breezes—similar to Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and the southern part of Gippsland—allow the region to produce remarkably vivid Chardonnay Pinot Noir. The elegant Shiraz wines from Geelong also attract attention.