2022 Viognier By Farr
Viognier by Farr is a blend of two vineyards. The first is the original house block planted in 1994, which has friable red soil over limestone leading to sandstone - similar soils to the Sangreal Pinot Noir and Chardonnay by Farr. The second vineyard is a younger planting of unknown clones in red ironstone soil. The Viognier is a difficult variety to manage, with the tendency to grow horizontally rather than vertically, being very thirsty and having a tendency to become sunburnt easily. This prompted winemaker Nick Farr to pick the fruit earlier in order to retain natural acidity while maintaining varietal character, creating a more delicate and refined wine.
Viognier is foot-stomped and left for two or more hours on its skins, to extract phenolics, flavour and texture. The fruit is then pressed, cooled and put straight into barrel with all solids for a natural fermentation. Malolactic conversion is encouraged with gentle stirring during the end of autumn. The wine is then racked, fined, filtered and bottled 11 months after harvest.
This is really compelling. In fact it’s refreshing first and foremost, in that it’s riven with fresh apple and nectarine flavours – energetic, mouthwatering – but then it’s punched with apricot kernel and riverstones, chalk and ginger-spice-like characters too, which is where the compelling aspect comes in. It feels powerful. It extends long. It washes through the mouth and brings you back for more, refreshed. It’s a fantastic white wine, saline-almost, all fruit and stones, spice and steel. Drink 2024 - 2028+
Campbell Mattinson - The Wine Front