Often rightly considered the finest producers of Central Otago Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, this low intervention, gravity fed, organic and biodynamic winery is all about hands-off purity, quality and class. Felton Road dates back to 1991, with the planting of the Elms Vineyard on Felton Road, in the Bannockburn district of Central Otago. However lauded the Chardonnays and Rieslings may be, the international profile of Felton Road is justly upheld by the series of vineyard specific Pinot Noirs which express the nuances and character of each individual site.
Felton Road Bannockburn Chardonnay 2019
Delicate citrus flowers, jasmine followed by hints of peach. A substantial but taut palate, honeysuckle, creamy stone fruit and citrus, mouth-filling and generous, but always with nervous tension, then tightening to a stony and saline finish. A definitive (maybe “The” definitive) example of the Bannockburn Chardonnay. Detailed, precise, long and very satisfying.
Various clones of Chardonnay (Mendoza, B95, B548, UCD6) were carefully hand harvested from Cornish Point and The Elms vineyards. The grapes were whole bunch pressed with the juice flowing to barrel by gravity after overnight settling. Fermentation in French oak (mostly well-seasoned barrels with less than 10% new) with indigenous yeasts has produced a wine with considerable complexity. A long and complete indigenous malolactic fermentation with only periodic stirring of the lees (Batonnage), combined with 11 months on full lees; has softened the acid for a rich and complex mouthfeel. In accordance with their non-interventionalist approach to winemaking, this wine was not fined or filtered after spending 13 months total in barrel.