The Farm Winery is one of a growing number of new boutique wineries in the Paso Robles AVA that are producing limited quantities of outstanding handcrafted wines. The winery is owned and operated by old friends and Stanford Business School alumni Jim Madsen and renowned Argentine winemaker Santiago Achaval, whom we met on one of our Argentina wine trips. The Farm Winery launched operations in 2009. After a long search, Jim and Santiago ended up negotiating long term-leases of several vineyards located in the westside hills of Paso Robles. These vineyards have mainly calcareous soils at an average altitude of between 1700 and 1900 feet and are exposed to cool ocean winds, resulting in wide diurnal temperature variations that contribute to high quality fruit. Yields are kept very low at 1.5-2.0 tons/acre, among the lowest in Paso Robles, and are reflected in the wines’ concentration of flavors.
The winery crafts wines from Rhone and Bordeaux varieties and the wines are terrific in each vintage release including 2014. As we have noted in previous reviews the wines reveal outstanding vineyard management and restrained winemaking. As a group they are full-bodied and fruit forward revealing lovely purity, a silky texture and excellent balance. They are also round and mouth filling with good density and just the right amount of ripeness. Among these releases, the LPF Cabernet Sauvignon-Petit Verdot steals the show.
For our reviews of the 2013 vintage of the Farm Winery’s releases see IWR’s Report #62 Paso Robles: Cabernet Sauvignon & Other Bordeaux Varieties from the CAB Collective
The Farm Winery 2014 Touchy-Feely Adeleida District ($60) 92 This is a bold flavored blend of 82% Grenache and 18% Syrah that exhibits purity and intensity of flavor. The Syrah slightly dominates the blend, but there are definite hints of red berry fruit on the palate. A full-bodied wine that will please fans of big and dark-fruited Grenache-based wines. Aged 24 months in used 500L puncheons and 225 L French barriques. Alc. 14.9 231 cases produced
The Farm Winery 2014 Primal Scream Adeleida District ($60) 92 The Primal Scream is a blend of 61% Syrah and 39% Grenache, the reverse of the Touchy-Feely blend. It is a rich and saturated wine with considerable purity of dark fruit flavors, hints of toasted oak, excellent balance and a long satisfying finish. Aged in new and used French oak for 29 months 62 cases produced
The Farm Winery 2014 LPF Adeleida District ($65) 94 A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Petit Verdot, the 2014 LPF offers ripe black currant and cassis flavors on the palate. It is an elegant and polished wine with a silky texture, excellent balance and a lovely long finish. It is clearly one of the top proprietary blends of Cabernet Sauvignon in Paso. Aged 29 months in new and used French oak. A real jewel!
The Farm Winery The Big Game 2014 Adeleida District ($75) 92 The 2014 Big Game is a delicious blend of 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Syrah, 13% Petit Verdot and 9% Malbec. It exhibits ripe black currant and cassis aromas and flavors with hints of blue fruit. It is rich and full-bodied with a silky texture and is beautifully balanced and persistent on the finish and has a surprisingly low alcohol level. Alc 13.8 263 cases produced.