The Farm Winery is one of a growing number of boutique wineries in the Paso Robles AVA that are producing limited quantities of outstanding, hand-crafted wines. The winery is owned and operated by old friends and Stanford Business School alumni Jim Madsen and renowned Argentine winemaker Santiago Achaval. 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. The vines are severely thinned and the use of green harvesting has kept yields very low, at around 1.5-2.0 tons per acre. These yields are among the lowest in Paso Robles and are reflected in the wines’ concentration of flavors.
We’ve tasted The Farm wines many times over the years both in Paso Robles and at our offices, and we’ve published several review articles. We’ve watched them define their wine style over the years into what is today: big, bold, and unctuous with impressive density, silky texture, and round, accessible tannins.
The Farm Winery 2017 lpf Paso Robles Adelaida District ($70) 93 Dark ruby red. The 2017 lpf is almost entirely Cabernet Sauvignon. It shows fruit forward aromas of black raspberry, damson plum, and earthy spice. This is an ethereal Cabernet with outstanding balance and purity and an elegant texture, very silky. Dark red fruit flavors are complemented by notes of milk chocolate. Fine grained tannins show on the very long finish. 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot; 13.8% alc.
The Farm Winery 2017 The Big Game Paso Robles Adelaida District ($75) 93 Dark red. The Big Game is a red fruited, Cabernet Sauvignon led blend. It’s a lively wine, firmly structured but lush in the mouth with a silky smooth texture. Beautifully balanced, it also has a very long, rich finish. Beautiful winemaking. 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Syrah, 6% Petit Verdot; 14.2% alc.
The Farm Winery 2017 Old Union Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles Willow Creek District ($85) 95 Saturated ruby. Vibrant, multifaceted bouquet of dark cassis, graphite and savory notes that carry over to the softly textured palate. An intensely flavored, hedonistic wine showing beautiful black currant fruit with ripe, soft tannins. There’s a lovely sense of refinement from the beginning to the long, flavorful finish. 14.5% alc.
The Farm Winery 2017 Cardinal Cabernet Sauvignon Old Bailey Vineyard Paso Robles Adelaida District ($95) 94 Dark ruby. Compared to the Old Union Cab, the Cardinal is less weighty but more focused with an excellent sense of refinement. Spicy dark red fruit runs throughout the wine with a silky mouth feel, outstanding balance, and a very long, extracted finish with The Farm’s usual suave tannins. 13.4% alc.
The Farm Winery 2017 Old Pro Malbec Paso Robles Adelaida District 93 Translucent dark red. The Old Pro Malbec begins with spicy, fruity bouquet of raspberry and huckleberry accented by a light briar note. As with all The Farm wines, the mouth feel is silky and pure–a seductive Malbec–with excellent concentration of forest berries. 14.2% alc
The Farm Winery 2017 The Dish Grenache Paso Robles Adelaida District ($60) 92 The Dish Grenache exudes sweet, ripe red berries. It’s soft on the attack with strawberry-pomegranate flavors complemented by a touch of Mediterranean herbs. Pure, intensely fruity and softly textured, it evokes a red berry smoothy. What a pleasure to drink! 14.9% alc.
The Farm Winery 2017 Touchy-Feely Paso Robles Adelaida District ($60) 93 Just a little Syrah adds depth and complexity to Grenache in the Touchy-Feely. The fruit is dark red berries with touches of sage and savory herbs. There’s good depth of flavor, but the wine is still softly textured with firmer tannins showing on the finish. As usual with The Farm wines, the mouthfeel is suave and sensuous. A blend of 75% Grenache and 25% Syrah; 14.9% alc.
The Farm Winery 2017 Primal Scream Paso Robles Adelaida District ($60) 93 Showing a spicy, dark fruited nose, the Syrah-led Prima Scream is another silky, lanolin-smooth wine from The Farm, although this one has a bit more grip on the finish. The wine reveals red and black berries with herbal touches and round tannins. 63% Syrah, 37% Grenache; 14.8% alc
The Farm Winery 2017 The Red Zone Syrah Paso Robles Adelaida District ($60) 93 Medium dark red. Warning: this is a wine you can’t put down. There’s lovely, spicy dark red fruit on the nose, in the mouth, and on the palate-staining finish. And it shows perfect balance, freshness, and outstanding length. Perhaps not the most complex wine in The Farm portfolio, but extremely appealing. 14.3% alc