The first time I encountered a by Farr wine was during an exceptional lunch at Brae, in Birregurra, around 80 miles southwest of Melbourne.
The Farr estate is located in the Moorabool Valley, around 60 miles southwest of Melbourne, where Gary Farr has been making wine since 1978. Today, alongside his son, Nick, they continue to produce incredible wine together but have embraced their differences by having their own lines: By Farr by Gary and Farr Rising by Nick, each with their own vineyard sites.
I had been eyeing a bottle of this 2004 Pinot Noir by Farr at The Modern for a while. We decided to try it on my birthday. I had assumed that the wine was past its optimal consumption time, but it was most excellent! It's likely it would have done better with some decanting, but honestly it was wonderful right from the bottle, and got better through the evening.
Per Nick Farr, 2004 saw a balanced growing season, in contrast to the vintages on either side that saw very dry weather, resulting in a good vintage. 50% new oak was used in this wine for 18 months. 50% whole bunch natural fermentation.
Poured a rusty red. First impressions of the bouquet was a blast of ripe blackberries and cherries and redolent of a new-world Pinot. Sip it and you'll find old-world minerality cutting through stewed fruits with herbal notes of tarragon. There is some spice in there, with acidity on the long finish. The wine showed good tannic structure.
You could spend all your time drowning in its beautifully complex bouquet, but before you know it you would have finished the bottle.
In Walt Whitman's rambling 1871 work, Democratic Vistas, he questions the manifestation of democracy in America at the time, relevant just as much today as it was then:
A wine like this makes me want to cave into all of my hedonistic impulses, but like life itself unfolding, it makes me want to pause and think: do I deserve this exquisite gift, the result of an untainted, pure alliance between man and earth?