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  • Jancis Robinson
Written by
  • Jancis Robinson
11 Feb 2013

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 NV Champagne

    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

    Drink 2012-2015
    £27 Farr Vintners
  • Pol Roger, Brut 2002 Champagne

    Well balanced and slightly floral. Very fine acidity. Very similar build to the non-vintage version.

    Drink 2011-2016
    £47 Farr Vintners



  • Ch Sénéjac 2007 Haut-Médoc

    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.

    Drink 2010-2015
    £12 Farr Vintners
  • Ch Les Cruzelles 2007 Lalande-de-Pomerol

    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.

    Drink 2012-2017
    £15.30 Farr Vintners
  • Ch Gloria 2007 St-Julien

    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

    Drink 2014-2022
    £23.30 Farr Vintners
  • Ch Sénéjac 2009 Haut-Médoc

    A little less opulent than some 2009s. Quite tough at the moment. Sucks the juices out of the palate! One for the cellar?

    Drink 2015-2022
    £21.30 Farr Vintners
  • Ch Montlandrie 2009 Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux

    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.

    Drink 2013-2018
    £20.30 Farr Vintners
  • Ch Rauzan-Ségla, Ségla 2009 Margaux

    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!

    Drink 2015-2022
    £24.30 Farr Vintners
  • Ch Smith Haut Lafitte, Les Hauts de Smith 2009 Pessac-Léognan

    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.

    Drink 2013-2019
    £22.80 Farr Vintners
  • Ch Ducru-Beaucaillou, Croix de Beaucaillou 2009 St-Julien

    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.

    Drink 2015-2023
    £31.30 Farr Vintners
  • Ch Gloria 2009 St-Julien

    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?

    Drink 2016-2026
    £35.30 Farr Vintners
  • Ch d'Armailhac 2010 Pauillac

    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.

    Drink 2017-2030
    £32.30 Farr Vintners
  • Dom de Fontbonau 2010 Côtes du Rhône

    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.

    Drink 2013-2016
    £17.30 Farr Vintners
  • Dom des Sénéchaux 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    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.

    Drink 2013-2018
    £24.30 Farr Vintners
  • Ch Lagrange 2005 St-Julien

    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!

    Drink 2013-2030
    £41.30 Farr Vintners
  • Ch Puech Haut, Prestige 2010 Languedoc, St-Drézéry

    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.

    Drink 2012-2015
    £14.30 Farr Vintners
  • Ch Thénac, Fleur du Périgord 2009 Bergerac

    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

    Drink 2011-2015
    £9.80 Farr Vintners
  • Ch Léoville Barton 1988 St-Julien

    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.

    Drink 2010-2025
    £87.80 Farr Vintners