Philippa Farr had no wines to show at CellarHand’s trade day at August – but that didn’t stop her being mobbed by fans intent on ridding her of every last drop of her as-yet-unreleased 2016s.
Well, those wines are here – and won’t be for long. This is the fifth release of Pip’s wines under her eponymous label. They established a following in no time, and have become a cult hit in our portfolio. The 2016s shine with the class that has engendered this deep affection.
2016 Philippa Farr Gippsland Pinot Noir RRP $53
The 2016 Gippsland Pinot Noir was hand harvested from a 20-year-old vineyard of MV6, which is grown in a red soil over limestone soil structure. Gippsland’s 2016 growing season began with very cold winter, dry spring and then summer rain, finishing with a very compact harvest due to a stint of warm weather. The fruit was reasonably clean, but it always pays to do a little fruit sorting on the back of the tractor. The final product in the fermenter looked great, which allowed me to continue using wild ferment techniques and 30% whole bunch to produce structure and complexity. The ferment took off faster than normal due to the outside temperature and was over and done in just over two weeks. Clean, nutrient-rich fruit – and happy yeast – meant no need to intervene, with the ferment reaching a perfect 32 degrees. I plunged the cap down just enough to maintain a wet cap. It then went into 30% new French oak. The wine was racked twice over 17 months before going to bottle, with no filtration. – Pip Farr
Red cherry, faint smoke, touch of herbal detail, rose petal too – a lovely perfume with savouriness to the fore. Light and delicate in the palate too, cherry pip and pomegranate, gentle spice, mouthwatering and fresh. It’s ultra fine, lacy and pretty, but has an assertive feel too. This is high class stuff here. I wanted more. 94+ points. Mike Bennie, The Wine Front November 2017
2016 Philippa Farr Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir RRP $53
The 2016 Mornington Pinot Noir was hand harvested from a vineyard coming up to 20 years old, with predominately clone 115, plus some MV6 and 114. These vines are grown on a southeast-facing slope, on rich red loam over course gravel. I have had my eye on this particular site for the past 18 months, so when vintage 2016 from the Mornington was on the cards, I was very excited. The vineyard seems to take just a few extra days to ripen than the vineyards close by. The growing season started off quite dry, but summer rain worked in our favour, producing clean, full bunches at two tonnes to the acre. Picking occurred in early March.
The blend of clones for this wine resulted in 50% 115 and 40% MV6, with 114 making up the balance These were two separate ferments, allowing room to find that sweet spot at blending. Wild ferments were allowed to take hold and 25% whole bunches were used to build structure and complexity. The ferments took well over a week to take off, with the cold soak being slightly too effective; however, patience saw both ferments finish in just under three weeks. It then went into 30% new French oak. The wine was racked twice over 17 months before going to bottle, with no filtration. – Pip Farr
Warm scents of pretty red cherry/raspberry fruit characters, a sniff of cinnamon, faint dark chocolate, sweet and attractive. Some flesh in the palate but still quite light in terms of weight and flavour, juicy red berry fruit, licks of clove and faint smokiness, a touch of malt to close. Finishes relatively light on, a touch sappy, but fresh. Nice drinking here. 92 points. Mike Bennie, The Wine Front November 2017