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.