Farr Vintners offer Wine Relief
11 Feb 2013 by Jancis Robinson

Fundraising schemes continue to emerge for Wine Relief 2013. See the recently published list of Wine Relief 2013 wines that are on offer as fundraisers from the major wine retailers. (Wine Relief is the wine-related fundraising initiative that has been a substantial contributor to the biennial Comic Relief campaign since 1999.) 

And now good old Farr Vintners, most successful fundraisers for WineWine_Relief_logo_RH Relief 2011 by farr (geddit?), are offering to donate £20 for each case of the following wines ordered between now and the end of March. I tasted them and really liked them. Some of them are even great bargains.

My notes are below, in the form in which we present all our tasting notes on Purple Pages. Since this is in such a good cause, this particular tasting article is free to access. Please order copiously here

(The image is of Farr Vintners' tasting room in the old Battersea piano factory - I think - in which they are based. It was taken at the Top St-Emilion 2005 & 2009 tasting organised last December by owner Stephen Browett, on the extreme right. Steven Spurrier's shoulder is on the left. Water bottle foreground.)


Pol Roger, Brut 2002 Champagne 17 Drink 2011-2016
Well balanced and slightly floral. Very fine acidity. Very similar build to the non-vintage version.
£47 Farr Vintners

Pol Roger, Brut NV Champagne 16.5 Drink 2012-2015
Deep flavoured and quite rich at first. Tense and tight. Dry savoury finish. Quite a bargain as it's almost as good as the 2002 vintage counterpart. GV
£27 Farr Vintners


Verget, Vaillons Premier Cru 2009 Chablis 17.5 Drink 2013-2018
Quite full and racy and lovely and lip smacking. Not at all fat like so many 2009 Chablis. Fabulous textbook Chablis. GV 13%
£14.80 Farr Vintners

Kumeu River, Estate Chardonnay 2009 Kumeu 16.5 Drink 2012-2016
100% screwcap since 2000. Tense and lively with obvious leesiness. Racy. Bitter finish after a great whack of stone-fruit flavours. Bright fruit. Still remarkably youthful.
£16.28 Farr Vintners

Churton Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Marlborough 16.5 Drink 2011-2014
Opulent bouquet of tropical fruits pushes itself right up your nose! A very nose-y kinda wine. Tiny bit sweet but lots of enjoyment and masses more concentration than the Marlborough average.
£11 Farr Vintners

Dom Guffens-Heynen, Tri de Chavigné 2009 Mâcon-Pierreclos 16.5 Drink 2012-2018
From the home farm of the owner of Verget. Tight, tight, tight with liquorice aromas and super-smooth texture. Very polished. Lightly bitter in a zesty way. Very well disciplined – just like the Comic Relief team!
£25.30 Farr Vintners

Dom Michel Mallard, Les Gréchons Premier Cru 2010 Ladoix 16.5 Drink 2012-2017
Not a bad price for a premier cru white burgundy! Just a hint of floral notes for this wine made within sight of the Corton-Charlemagne vines.
£23.50 Farr Vintners

Verget, La Roche 2009 Mâcon-Vergisson 16+ Drink 2011-2016
Very striking nose. Satin-textured palate. Lots of oomph and still quite tense.
£11.30 Farr Vintners

Verget, Terroirs de Vergisson La Roche 2011 Pouilly-Fuissé 16 Drink 2013-2015
Appley and a little tight. Has been on a diet perhaps. 13%
£14.30 Farr Vintners

Dom Michel Mallard 2010 Bourgogne 16 Drink 2012-2014
Very respectable blend of correct savoury white burgundy fruit with sufficient density and a dry finish. From the cellarmaster of posh Domaine d'Eugénie in Vosne-Romanée.
£11.50 Farr Vintners


Ch Léoville Barton 1988 St-Julien 17 Drink 2010-2025
A fully mature wine from the most popular wine producer in Bordeaux, Anthony Barton. Mid crimson and very juicy and not too hard. Fairly grippy but fine and with Médoc minerals on the finish.
£87.80 Farr Vintners

Ch Lagrange 2005 St-Julien 17 Drink 2013-2030
A great vintage just becoming ready to drink. Lovely luscious crimson. Fine, scented and energetic. Silky at first, then chewy, but well built with lots of ripe fruit. Classy stuff from a very reliable property revived by Suntory of Japan!
£41.30 Farr Vintners

Ch Gloria 2007 St-Julien 17 Drink 2014-2022
Very round and fully developed. Opulent and fun. Round and pleasing, Really rather glorious. Dry finish but lots of fun. (Must be fun because I wrote it twice.) GV 13.5%
£23.30 Farr Vintners

Ch Ducru-Beaucaillou, La Croix de Beaucaillou 2009 St-Julien 16.5+ Drink 2015-2023
Another second wine, before Jade Jagger was given the job of repackaging it like a bottle of scent.
Relatively pale crimson. Luscious and yet dry on the end. Really well constituted. Dense and set for a great future.
£31.30 Farr Vintners

Ch Puech Haut, Prestige 2010 Languedoc, St-Drézéry 16.5 Drink 2012-2015
The Bru family own this property that's on higher ground towards Pic St-Loup. The famous Philippe Cambie of the southern Rhône consults. This was brought to the attention of a sceptical Farr by a friend of the son of the owner and is now one of their biggest sellers.
Fruit and structure so why bother with barrels?! Lively and round and juicy with great balance and lift. Persistence too. 14.5%
£14.30 Farr Vintners

Ch Rauzan-Ségla, Ségla 2009 Margaux 16.5 Drink 2015-2022
Screwcapped second wine of Ch Rauzan Ségla. Farr were the first and exclusive importers of it under this stopper. More than half of production is this second wine at this property.
Minerally. Fine and dense and upright. Real structure here. Bravo!
£24.30 Farr Vintners

Ch Gloria 2009 St-Julien 16.5 Drink 2016-2026
Sweet and thick. Rather austere. Pure though. Just a tad rigid for the moment. Not as luscious at the moment as the 2007. Buy both and see how they develop? 13%
£35.30 Farr Vintners

Ch d'Armailhac 2010 Pauillac 16.5 Drink 2017-2030
Dark crimson. Bit dull and unformed. Seems so angular after the 2009s! So young and chewy!!! Buy this wine from the same stable as first growth Ch Mouton Rothschild to keep.
£32.30 Farr Vintners

Dom des Sénéchaux 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape 16.5 Drink 2013-2018
Yet another wine with a Pauillac connection: the southern Rhône property of the Cazes family. This wine's Syrah ingredient is raised in Ch Lynch Bages barrels (perhaps those that had that delicious Ch Lynch Bages 2009 in them?).
Lovely, round and spicy. Good balance. Fresh finish. Great stuff and GV. 14.5%
£24.30 Farr Vintners

Ch Montlandrie 2009 Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux 16+ Drink 2013-2018
Some of the wine was aged in new oak and some in no oak. Seductive, sweet and opulent - a wine with a future made not far from Ch Thénac.
£20.30 Farr Vintners

Ch Thénac, Fleur du Périgord 2009 Bergerac 16 Drink 2011-2015
The owner has poured squillions into making the wine taste like a young Pomerol. The property is only just over the border from Castillon, after all. The magician of Ch L'Église-Clinet, Denis Durantou, is consulting.
Damn fine. Gamey, ripe and hedonistic. Giles Coren's professed best house red ever (according to Twitter). VGV 14.5%
£9.80 Farr Vintners

Ch Sénéjac 2007 Haut-Médoc 16 Drink 2010-2015
This vintage (though not the 2009) was made by Alfred Tesseron and team from Ch Pontet Canet in Pauillac.
Easy peasy and no rough edges. Classic for bordeaux lovers. I could just imagine them loving this in clubland. Slightly inky finish but not too tough. Proof that 2007 is drinking like a dream now. 13%
£12 Farr Vintners

Ch Les Cruzelles 2007 Lalande-de-Pomerol 16 Drink 2012-2017
Denis Durantou bought this property which you can actually see from Ch L'Église-Clinet it's so near. This bottling is from the older vines.
Fresh and quite urgent and with some structure. Chewy although there is enough fruit to drink it now with food.
£15.30 Farr Vintners

Ch Sénéjac 2009 Haut-Médoc 16 Drink 2015-2022
A little less opulent than some 2009s. Quite tough at the moment. Sucks the juices out of the palate! One for the cellar?
£21.30 Farr Vintners

Ch Smith Haut Lafitte, Les Hauts de Smith 2009 Pessac-Léognan 16 Drink 2013-2019
Sweet and floral. Rich and sweet. 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet. (Their other second wine is the other way round.) Bit inky. Less fresh than Ségla 2009 but very respectable.
£22.80 Farr Vintners

Dom de Fontbonau 2010 Côtes du Rhône 16 Drink 2013-2016
Owned by director of Ch Latour in Pauillac Frédéric Engerer and Jérôme Sarda Malet of Roussillon. (FE has given up on his personal Roussillon project). Near Valréas. The Grenache is aged, sensibly, in foudres while the Syrah gets old Ch Latour barrels. This was only the second proper vintage.
Big and a little brutal. Slightly hot, tarry finish but not too sweet. A wine with a classy pedigree. 15%
£17.30 Farr Vintners


Dom Gorges du Soleil 1963 Rivesaltes 16.5 Drink 2010-2017
Dark, sweet and sticky. Amazing how lively it is considering its age. It would be great dribbled on vanilla ice cream.
£45 Farr Vintners