The Farm Winery is a boutique winery located in the Westside hills of the Paso Robles AVA that is producing small quantities of outstanding hand-crafted wines. We had the good fortune to taste their first three wines upon release in 2010 and all were exciting. The winery is owned and operated by old friends and Stanford Business School alumni Jim Madsen, originally from San Diego and renowned Argentine winemaker Santiago Achaval.
Jim and Azmina Madsen and Santiago and Mercedes Achaval launched operations of The The Farm Winery in 2009. After a long search, they ended up negotiating long term-leases of several vineyards situated in the Westside hills of Paso Robles Adelaida Spring Ranch and Old Bailey Vineyard for Cabernet Sauvignon, Terra Bella Vineyard on Adelaida Road for Syrah, and La Aventure Vineyard for a 1/2 acre of Petite Sirah. These vineyards are mainly situated on calcerous soils at an average altitude of between 1700 and 1900 feet. and are exposed to cool ocean winds and diurnal climate variation ideally suited for grape growing. The vines are severely thinned and the employment of green harvesting has kept yields very low, at around 1.5 tons per acre. These yields are among the lowest in Paso and are reflected in the wines.
The Farm Winery produces Bordeaux and Rhone-styled wines. Stylistically these are big flavored, and refined wines, ripe, alcoholic and mouth filling. They reveal purity of fruit and earthy notes, excellent acidity and balance, and firm tannins. The 2012 vintage is ripe and bold in character, yet young and in need of time to integrate and evolve. If you drink them now, be sure to decant them or give them plenty of aeration before serving.
The Farm Winery 2012 Touchy-Feely Paso Robles ($60) 89 The 2012 Touch-Feely is a blend of 77 Grenache and 23% Syrah. A youthful wine, notably high in alcohol on the nose, it displays a dark ruby color and is lightly flavored with hints of mulberry, pomegranate and black raspberry. Aged 24 months in new 500L puncheons and once-used 225L barriques, it reveals a long finish with firm tannins. Still young and in need of time to integrate and evolve. The Farm Winery 2012 Primal Scream Paso Robles, Adelaida District ($60) 91 The Primal Scream is a rich blend of 61% Syrah and 29% Grenache. It offers aromas and flavors of blackberry and chocolate with hints of toast. Aged 28 months in new French oak barriques, it is medium-bodied, with rich spicy flavors, firm tannins and a persistent finish. The Farm Winery 2012 The Big Game Paso Robles ($60) 93 The Big Game is a delicious opaque-colored blend of 55% Syrah, 34% Caberent Sauvignon and 11% Petit Verdot. It is nicely concentrated revealing hints of cassia graphite, black cherry, black currant and herbs. It is nicely balanced with firm round silky tannins and a long finish. A beautiful polished wine!! The Farm Winery 2012 Cardinal Paso Robles, Westside ($90) 90 This is the Farm Winery’s 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a bold and fleshy wine sourced from the Old Bailey Vineyard, one of the oldest hillside Westside Vineyards in Paso Robles, planted in 1964. Aged 28 months in new French oak barriques, it exhibits earthy and minerally flavors with big dry tannins on the mid-palate, hints of black currant and black cherry, and a long persistent finish. The Farm Winery 2012 Lpf Paso Robles, Adelaida District ($60) 93 The lpf is an elegant spicy blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12 Petit Verdot sourced from the Old Bailey Vineyard (Cabernet Sauvignon) and L’ Aventure (Petit Verdot) Compared to the Cardinal, it offers richer dark fruit flavors is more refined with excellent balance and overall polish. Aged 28 months in new French oak.