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: Felton Road

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Felton Road

www.feltonroad.com

Bannockburn Rd, Central Otago

Cellar Door: Weekdays (2-5)

Ph: +64 3 445 0885

wine label

One of the region's cult wineries which produces small amounts of broad portfolio of single block ultra-premium wines.

The foundation vineyard, Elms, was established by Stewart Elms in 1992. The natural gullies on the site help steer cold frosty air away from the vines. There are now 14 ha at The Elms with a second 8 ha vineyard at Cornish Point near Bannockburn; and a long term lease with the neighbouring Calvert Vineyard.

The main focus is Pinot Noir but about half of The Elms is dedicated to Chardonnay and Riesling.

Winemaker, Blair Walter studied at Oregon State University and the Lincoln University and has also worked in Australia, the Napa Valley and Burgundy. Walter makes as little intervention as possible to let the terroir speak for itself and uses wild yeast ferments.

The viticulture is also heavily influenced by organic and biodynamic practices.

Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

Felton  Road Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2015

Purchased: Not ($A67)

Drink: 2022

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2016, about 25% whole cluster, floral, herbal and light-medium bodied black cherry, boysenberry and plum with dried thyme, rose hip and white pepper notes, savoury with toasty nutmeg-cinnamon oak (****1/2)

Felton Road Cornish Point 2015

Purchased: Not ($77)

Drink:2024

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2016, perfumed, foresty and powerful but silky black cherry and plum with asian spice and rose petal notes, long, plump and medium bodied with drying chalky tannins (****)

Felton Road Block 3 Pinot Noir 2015

Purchased: Not ($108)

Drink: 2025

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2016, aromatic, concentrated and linear red cherry and dark plums with spiced chocolate and white pepper nuances, herbal with anise and thyme notes and some savoury beetroot on the back end, firm citric acid spine (*****)

Felton Road Block 5 Pinot Noir 2013

Purchased:  Not ($A110/$NZ92)

Drink: 2023

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2015, 26% whole cluster inclusion, fragrant but the palate is more austere than the Calvert, black cherry and plum with rose petal and anise notes, long and medium bodied palate with underlying earthiness, firmish grainy tannins and sappy acidity (****1/2)

Felton Road Calvert Pinot Noir 2013

Purchased:  Not ($NZ60)

Drink: 2023

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2015, perfumed and lingering core of cranberry, cherry and dark plums with violet florals and a touch of thyme, a little riper and fleshier than normal reflecting the warm, dry vintage but has retained the savoury beetroot undercurrent and fresh acid spine (*****)

Felton Road Block 2 Chardonnay 2013

Purchased:  Not ($A62)

Drink: 2022

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2015, Mendoza clone, full malo, perfumed and brightly flavoured tangerine, white peach and melon with white flower florals, palate has very good line and length and wet slate minerality, refreshing grapefruit acidity and restrained oak (*****)

Felton Road Bannockburn Chardonnay 2013

Purchased:  Not ($NZ40)

Drink: 2021

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2015, quite aromatic and richly favoured white peach, melon and orange peel with baked bread and flint notes, precisely poised with good line and length, well integrated clove/cinnamon oak (****1/2)

Felton Road Bannockburn Riesling 2014

Purchased: Not ($NZ28)

Drink: 2019

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2015, medium sweet at 59 gm/l residual sugar, vibrant and succulent tangerine, melon and apricot with brown spice and white flower notes, long and refreshing mineral and lemon rind acidity, convincing Mosel style (****1/2)

Felton Road Block 3 Pinot Noir 2013

Purchased: Not ($A110)

Drink: 2023

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2014, 30% whole cluster, a bit riper than usual but shows the vibrant black cherry and dark plums core, herbally with anise, violets and peppery spices and a touch of leather, medium-full bodied, some savoury beetroot on the back end, long finish with slinky tannins (****1/2)

Felton Road Block 1 Riesling 2013

Purchased: Not ($A48/$NZ41)

Drink: 2021+

(GXY) Tasting: June 2014, precise, ripe and intense nectarine, lime and apricot with orange blossom florals and brown spices, sweet at 73 gm/l residual sugar but not cloying due to the nervy acidity, lingering chalky mineral finish, clarity of the fruit and knife-edge balance takes this to the top rung (*****)

Felton Road Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2011

Purchased: Not ($A70/$NZ55)

Drink: 2019

(GXY) Tasting: July 2012, from three vineyards in Bannockburn sub-region, 20% whole bunch inclusion, not fined or filtered, a touch more austere than the 2009, fragrant and balanced with glossy red fruits and boysenberry with hints of anise and smoked meat, shows the usual tight line and minerality, persistent fine grained and savoury tannins, some nervy acidity, the toasted French oak brings a light wash of cinnamon and mocha to the finish (****1/2)

Felton Road Bannockburn Chardonnay 2009

Purchased: Not ($A54/$NZ37)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2011, Mendoza clone with some barrel ferment, very pure, seamless and linear showing nectarine, lime and meal with assertive quartz-like minerality, lively grapefruit acidity is tightly wound with restrained hazelnut, clove and spice oak input, terrific drive and focus, I preferred this to the super-premium Block 2 (*****)

Felton Road Block 2 Chardonnay 2009

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2011, Mendoza clone, plumper than the standard Bannockburn has still follows a very tight line, nectarine, melon and lime with savoury lees complexity, shares the brilliant quartzy minerality, restrained spicy hazelnut oak wrapped in chalky lemon rind acidity (****1/2)

Felton Road Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2009

Purchased: Not ($A70/$NZ55)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2011, 20% whole bunch inclusion, not fined or filtered, rich black cherry and dark plum with flashes of raspberry, anise and violet, minerally and medium bodied with good line and length and fresh stemmy acidity, the oak brings some warm spice and touch of chocolate, the line and texture lifts this above the pack of regional fruit bombs (****1/2)

Felton Road Block 5 Pinot Noir 2009

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2011, unfined and unfiltered, tangy blackcurrant and black cherry with rose petal, anise and asian spice notes, medium bodied, sappy acids from the 30% whole cluster inclusion, crystalline minerality, fine tannins, very good line and length (****1/2)

Felton Road Bannockburn Riesling 2010

Purchased: Not

Drink:2012 or 2017 if you like it toasty

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2011, medium sweet style at 56 g/l residual sugar, spicy passionfruit, lime and mandarin with emerging apricot and a touch of ginger and sherbert, flinty with lingering chalky lime rind acidity, only 9% alcohol (****)

Felton Road Calvert Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009

Purchased: Not ($A80)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2010, from a vineyard that also supplies Craggy Range and Pyramid Valley, intense, plump and medium-full bodied black cherry and raspberry with dried thyme, pepper, clove and liquorice notes, the 25% whole cluster inclusion brings stemmy savouriness to the back end, no fining or filtering so there is a web of chewy tannins on the finish, also shows a dab of creamy chocolate and oak char/spice (****)

Felton Road Chardonnay 2008

Purchased: Not ($A50/$NZ32)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2010, more restrained than the Block 2, floral, taut and light bodied white peach, melon and apricot with some wheatmeal complexity, quite linear with some spicy cashew-vanilla oak, grapefruit acidity and a touch of wet stone (****)

Felton Road Pinot Noir 2009

Purchased: Not ($A70)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: July 2010, fragrant brambly black cherry and dark plum with flashes of sweet red fruit and the regional dried thyme, slightly essency medium bodied palate has terrific line, fresh cut of acid, fine lingering tannins, the finish shows musk and dark chocolate nuances (****)

Felton Road Calvert Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008

Purchased: Not ($80)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, from a long term contract grower who also supplies Craggy Range and Pyramid Valley, pristine red cherry and strawberry opens as a peacock’s tail to a complex range of savoury and sweet nuances, long with toasty oak and silky tannins (****1/2)

Felton Road Block 2 Chardonnay 2008

Purchased: Not ($A50/$NZ42)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, fairly intense by Felton Road’s taut standards, green apple, melon and white peach underpinned with flinty minerality and chalky grapefruit acidity, long, linear and tightly wound with an austere savoury finish (****)

Felton Road Pinot Noir 2007

Purchased: Not ($A65/$NZ60)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2008, brambly black cherry, boysenberry and raspberry with dried thyme notes and emergent forest floor, elegant crystalline minerality underpins the fruit, focused backbone of dusty tannins mingle with the creamy coffee-vanilla oak, well balanced and ethereal (****1/2)

Felton Road Block 3 Pinot Noir 2006

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2008, from a single bock at the foundation Elms Vineyard, intense and medium-full bodied, vibrant core of black cherry and dark plum, the palate is savoury with underlying mushroom earthiness and mid-palate dried herb complexity and an array of spices, firm tannic backbone with fresh citric acids on the finish, ethereal, needs time to soften but is a classy example of the regional style (*****)

Felton Road Chardonnay 2006

Purchased: Not ($NZ35)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2008, complex and rich, smoky bacon and citrus nose, the palate shows creamy peach and apricot flavours with nuances of pineapple sweetness balanced with grapefruit acidity, dry and buttery and with barrel ferment texture, yeasty with some emerging butterscotch, subtle spicy and charry oak, only 10% new (****1/2)

Felton Road Riesling 2006

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2008, light bodied, tangy lime and lemon sherbert with a touch of orange rind, lavendar and ginger hints, chalky base, the overall impression is off-dry but has a honeyed aspect to the zesty citric acid finish, good length (****)