By Farr the best Chardonnay a Gary could ever want.
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.
Farr is right here.
The Mattioli family have lived in Collecapretta, a tiny Umbrian village just outside of Spoleto for generations. I mean generations. We are talking about the 1100s here. When people say this family has history here, they aren't kidding! 1100s... Let that sink in.
Their farm covers 8 hectares planted with olives, grains and old vines. Total wine production is minuscule, focusing on quality over quantity. The pristine alpine terroir sits 500m above sea level and is a mix of iron rich clay and calcareous soils, scattered with pockets of limestone.
Purity is a word that is used far too often in wine, but in this case, it fits. Purity. Meticulous farming, zero additions in the winery, fermented in concrete and aged in a mixture of concrete and resin tanks.
A completely new producer for us and one we are very excited to stock. Captivating natural wines that focus on local old vine varieties made traditionally. We have three wines available from Collecapretta. A fleshy, ripe, sunkissed and slightly oxidative Greco, a textural, skin contact Trebbiano and a very moreish and sultry Sangiovese. Highly recommended.
It was bittersweet to receive our first allocation of wines from Domaine Belluard recently. The day after we received our allocation, we were informed that famed vigneron Dominique Belluard had passed away. Tragic news for the wine world and surely heartbreaking news for Sue and Roger from Living Wines, who've been importing these wines in tiny quantities for just over a decade.
Dominique was known for championing Gringet - a native variety to Savoie, often thought to be a local clone of Savagnin. Similar to Elisabetta Foradori's work with Teroldego, Dominique brought this forgotten variety back from the edge of obsolescence.
As fans of the wines from Jura - especially their whites - these wines are well within the styles we love. Savagnin comparisons are worthy of mention as I do see a similar line of racy acidity from Gringet, adding life and drive to the wine, like a well made Ouille Savagnin. Sparkling fans are well looked after too. Belluard's sparkling wines are the wines that usually get the most attention and having tried them recently, I can say that fans of good grower Champagne will be pleasantly surprised. We also received a tiny amount of his single varietal Mondeuse - an elegant red wine filled with spice, bramble and garrigue.
I've had the pleasure of trying the wines a few times this year and they rank right up the top of my favourite bottles for 2021 so far. A rare amphora-based Cuvee made of Gringet from 2010 was the highlight in a string of amazing wines over a very long dinner recently. The wines have been firmly on my radar ever since and we are very excited to be able to offer them to you today.
Find Domaine Belluard wines here.