Saturday, June 28, 2008

Felton Road Pinot Noir

It is time to write about Pinot Noir, given it is such an important and popular grape variety. Last night I had the 2002 Felton Road Pinot Noir.

In my book, there are three types of Pinots: first, the lolly water variety. These are sugary wines with no structure and no length on the palate. Thankfully, these are on the way out at $ 20 plus.

The second group is typified by the 'Central Otago profile'. The taste starts with a big fruit sensation and then quickly finishes on the palate.

The third group has the 'Martinborough profile'. The fruit characters are subdued and ethereal and then the wine openes to a very long and hopefully balanced finish. Burgundies and most Pinots from Martinborough follow this profile.

In Australia, the grouping is less clear. Paringa or Yabbie Lake would have the Central Otago profile, Main Ridge or Bindi the Martinborough profile. To be clear, this distinction is not so much about quality, but rather about style.

Now the Felton Road had the upfront, dark cherry fruit, but also complexity and some savoury characteristics, given its age. It had good length and soft tannins. No doubt though, a typical Central Otago wine, but of the highest quality.

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