Thursday, August 25, 2016

Felton Road Pinot Noir

Felton Road is perhaps the most important Pinot Noir producer of the Southern Hemisphere. How can I say this? Apart from the consistent very high quality of the wines, the winery has a strong focus on organics and biodynamics, as well as the terroir the grapes grow on. Also, it is highly regarded world-wide.

Therefore, today I will begin a brief series on its five Pinot Noirs, as not many have the opportunity to taste them all. I will review an individual wine each time, and discuss some of the typical aspects of the respective brand.

I begin with the 2009 Felton Road Calvert Pinot Noir. This wine has a ruby colour. On the nose, exotic five spices aromas rise from the glass. The wine has the typical Central Otago fruit concentration. In this wine, there are black and red cherry flavours on the palate. The wine is very focussed and a bit leaner than the other Felton Road Pinot Noirs. The tannins are firm and silky. Fruit and tannins expand on the satisfying finish.

Score: 95/+++


The Calvert vineyard is relatively new in the Felton Road stable, as it was planted in 2001. It sits 1km east of the Elms vineyard (the Mother vineyard) on Felton Road. It is at lower altitude, and the fruit ripens earlier. The soil is consistent throughout the 4.6 ha. It consists of sandy loam, quartz gravels, and some calcium carbonate. Some characteristics of this wine are its slight angularity, and its strong minerality and saltiness. This is clearly a function of the earlier picking and the soils. Despite its relatively young age, wines from this fruit tend to easily age for 10-15 years.

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