A wild spring in 2013 threw a spanner into the works in Victorian vineyards, producing low yields and occasionally awkward Pinot Noir from the 2014 harvest. The Farr family wasn’t immune to the cut-size crop, but proved utterly impervious to the threat to the completeness and brilliance of their wines. The 2014 Farrside by Farr was “quite simply, a very great Pinot,” according to James Halliday, who had it in his top three Pinots of the year with 98 points. The Sangreal, too, was “a gorgeous pinot of the highest category” according to Halliday.
Now’s the turn of Tout Près, the family’s finest, most intriguing site in the discerning eyes of Nick Farr. Only a touch over 1 hectare, it has three individual soil types across a three-sided cirque (an amphitheatre-like valley head) that rises above the other vineyards. Each slope consists of a soil type. The largest slope is black volcanic soil of limestone, the second is pink quartz gravel mixed with red ironstone soil and the third, an iron strand in grey sandy loam. At 7,300 vines per hectare, Tout Près is the most densely planted vineyard on the estate. The soils and intense competition make the vines work hard, resulting in fruit that is lush but vigorous and provides the coveted structure found only in the most ageworthy wines.
A TASTE OF THE PRAISE FROM THE PREVIOUS VINTAGE TOUT PRÈS…
“This is another pinot masterpiece… This has all the class of Grand Cru Burgundy.” Nick Stock
“Three words: savoury, seamless and satisfying. This sits in a beautiful spot.” Campbell Mattinson
“It’s the most savoury of the Pinots, but not so savoury that it diminishes the dark cherry/berry fruit and sweet spices at the heart of the wine.” James Halliday
2014 Tout Près by Farr Pinot Noir RRP $120
Tout Près is made in the same way as the other two Pinots. It is fermented with 100% whole bunches in a five-tonne oak fermenter. This wine has the flavour profile and intensity to absorb 100% new Allier French barrels.
Classic Farr nose, a beautiful earth-driven bouquet of integrated spicy fruit, earth, gamey and oak characters. Tout Pres’s classic forest floor character on the palate is complemented by very fine tannins, with a super long and fine palate. Even with its power and multi-layered flavour profile the wine is very focused and long because of the balance, lingering acid. This wine speaks not only of its unique site, but the style of wine that we enjoy to drink. – Nick Farr