By Farr, Geelong, Victoria, Australia, 2012
Elegantly oaked nose with some tropical fruit, mango and lime. Good depth of complexity with the oak blended in, and ripe fruit but excellent acidity to balance. A full and somewhat exotic style yet has tension and complexity. Gary Farr has worked countless vintages in Burgundy and is steeped in its traditions and practices. Yet he knows well that Geelong isn’t the same place as Beaune. A decade ago his Chardonnays were quite big and tropical, and he was producing that style because he despaired of making the more Burgundian style that was closer to his heart. ‘It’s impossible to sell tight, elegant Puligny-style Chardonnay,’ he once told me. ‘You can’t give it away, especially if you’ve given it some bottle age before release.’ His Chardonnay has always been a hefty wine, fermented with natural yeasts and given full malolactic fermentation before being aged in one-third new barriques. This 2012 demonstrates a greater finesse and complexity than in the past. With Australian as well as international tastes shifting to a sleeker style of Chardonnay, Farr’s lament can be consigned to the past.