The name Farr is instantly recognisable for anyone who has even a passing interest in Australian wine. The Farr family is one of the multi-generational, stalwarts of the Moorabool Valley in the Geelong region of Victoria, who have been producing exceptional wines of elegance and class for decades.
The By Farr label was established by the notoriously brusque, yet incredibly well-respected, Gary Farr in 1994. Gary had been, up until that point, the winemaker at Bannockburn, having also completed numerous vintages at the vaunted Domaine Dujac in Burgundy. Together with his wife Robyn, Gary planted, grafted, tended, produced and created some of the finest vineyards and resultant wines in Australia - a position that By Farr still holds today.
Gary has since retired from the full-time management of By Farr, but he is succeeded by his son, Nick. Like his father, Nick completed vintages at Domaine Dujac (among others), bringing Burgundian technique and philosophy together with the Farr's uniquely Australian site. He also cut his teeth with his own label, Farr Rising, which won many accolades and praise over the years. Nick is not simply a worthy successor - he is an incredibly talented vigneron in his own right, and has taken By Farr to new heights.
Click here for some of the best wines By Farr.
If I had to rank my favourite Cos in order from least to most harmonious, my cosmic list would be: the contraction of 'because', the Romaine lettuce, the ratio of the adjacent to the hypotenuse, and finally wines from Azienda Agricola COS.
Whilst the volcanic wines of Mt Etna are so hot right now, Azienda Agricola COS have been instrumental in shining some eruptive light on the rest of the island of Sicily: pioneers of the island's biodynamic movement, makers of natural Terre Siciliane IGT wines, and defenders of the DOCG status of Cerasuolo di Vittoria.
COS was established in 1980 when three friends, Giambattista (Titta) Cilia, Giusto Occhipinti and Cirino (Rino) Strano, collected their initials and purchased an old family winery in the historic town of Bastonaca, Vittoria in the island's south.
The youngest winemakers Italy had to offer at the time, the COS ragazzi all completed their oenological studies whilst already having the practical side down with a few vintages of their own. Although changes to the ownership and number and size of the vineyards has changed over the years, one thing remains: the trio's dream to recreate wines in the way their ancestors once did.
Replacing the winery barrels with amphora or "Pithos" in the early 2000s, COS has a well-respected cult status in following the ancient traditions of aging the wines in clay jars that create a much more natural expression of the grapes. The wild-fermented, skin-contact whites are all deliciously clean, saline and moreish, and the rosso celebrates the single variety of Frappato; once overlooked as only a blending partner to Nero dAvola, the COS Frappato is racy and energetic. All in the range are perfect for summer; enjoy with sardines and grilled vegetables as you dream of their island home in the Mediterranean.
If you are looking for wines from the right-angled triangular island of Sicily that take a slightly different Tangent, try a COS. It's a Sin of the good times, new and old.
Do the maths here.
Crawford River Young Vines Riesling 2020
Our favourite producer of Australian Riesling.
Crawford River refer to their entry-level Riesling as 'Young Vines' but in reality these vines are now over 20 years old giving them mature-vine status. The personality of this wine is all encompassing of those characteristics across all Riesling making it both complex and interesting. Fresh florals, a touch of lemon/lime juice, orange peel, spice and mineral complexes. Elegant yet very present.
Shop for it here.