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 Calvert Pinot Noir 2018
A floral and delightfully perfumed nose immediately engages and enthrals. Sweet fruit opens the palate exposing layers of dark cherry, spice and complex earthy notes. The sense of immediacy and open appeal is quickly tempered by its structural and mineral tannins: a mouthfeel characteristic of Calvert’s deep and heavy silt soils. They contribute a stature and seriousness to the proposition: contemplative and sincere.
Felton Road farms four properties totalling 32 ha in the Bannockburn sub-region of Central Otago. Calvert Vineyard is located on Felton Road and is just 1km east of The Elms Vineyard and the winery. The soils at Calvert are deep heavy silts with a thin layer of loess topsoil. 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 controlling vine vigour 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 with approximately 25% as whole clusters. Long pre-fermentation soaks of 8- 10 days prior to fermentation with indigenous yeasts and punched down by hand up to two times per day with a total time on skins of 21-23 days. Pressed off and barrels filled immediately by gravity to the underground barrel cellars. The wine spent 16 months in barrel (30% new French) with two rackings and no fining or filtration, before bottling in late-August 2019.