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 2020
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.
“The 2020 Pinot Noir Calvert may initially seem smooth and refined, but there’s no escaping its sense of power; it packs a punch with its concentrated core and structured tannic frame. While you’ll find cherry-like fruit and a floral lift, there’s a distinctly savory edge to this vintage, which displays Worcestershire sauce, spice and fruitcake alongside herbal notes. It achieves a wonderful balance between the core of ripe fruit and the powerful structure. A Calvert has the brawn to age and will benefit from more time in bottle.” 2023 – 2035
94 Points, Rebecca Gibb MW, Vinous, January 2022
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.