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 Pinot Noir 2020
Dark raspberry, hints of the leaves as well, with a touch of old cedar wood panelling. The palate is viscous and concentrated, displaying cane fruits that deftly integrate with an alluring savouriness. Fine, long tannins with no shortage of chew, but no harshness. This is at a level way above its Bannockburn “village” designation, being a blend of our four primely situated
vineyards. A serious wine with considerable definition and poise.
Felton Road farms four properties totalling 32 ha in the Bannockburn sub-region of Central Otago. This wine is a blend from the four vineyards; Cornish Point, Calvert, MacMuir and The Elms. Meticulous summer management of a single vertical shoot positioned (VSP) canopy ensures even and early fruit maturity. Shoot thinning, shoot positioning, leaf plucking, bunch thinning and harvest are all carried out by hand to ensure optimum quality fruit. Cover crops are planted between rows to assist in vine balance and to improve soil health and general biodiversity.
The unique gravity flow winery enabled the grapes to be gently destemmed directly into open-top fermenters without pumping, retaining 20% as whole clusters. Traditional fermentation with a moderately long maceration on skins has extracted good colour and tannin with considerable depth of flavour. This wine was aged for 13 months in 27% new French oak barrels from artisan Burgundian coopers. In accordance with their non-interventionalist approach to winemaking, this wine was fermented with indigenous yeast and was not fined or filtered.