Owner, Nigel Greening along with Winemaker Blair Walters and viticulturist Gareth King have established Felton Road into one of the world’s iconic producers of Pinot Noir. Writer James Suckling goes as far as describing Felton Road as the “DRC of New Zealand”.
Beginning with meticulous site selection and vineyard design which started in 1991, Felton Road's story is one of refusal to compromise. A strict 100% estate policy with fully organic and biodynamic viticulture (demeter certified) ensures that fruit arrives at the winery as pure as it can be, while the entire estate comes as close to true sustainability as is possible. A commitment to hands off winemaking: gravity flow, wild yeasts, wild malo, an avoidance of fining and filtration all help preserve the wine's expression of its terroir. The result is Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir which accurately express the authenticity and complexity of these unique vineyards.
Dark raspberry, hints of the leaves as well, with a touch of old cedar wood panelling. The palate is viscous and concentrated, displaying cane fruits that deftly integrate with an alluring savouriness. Fine, long tannins with no shortage of chew, but no harshness. This is at a level way above its Bannockburn “village” designation, being a blend of four primely situated vineyards. A serious wine with considerable definition and poise.
The supple richness of New Zealand Pinot Noir complements a range of savoury dishes. Try it alongside game birds such as quail, turkey, and duck, with a fillet of salmon, or equally with pork, veal, lamb or venison.
The unique gravity flow winery enabled the grapes to be gently destemmed directly into open-top fermenters without pumping, retaining 20% as whole clusters. Traditional fermentation with a moderately long maceration on skins has extracted good colour and tannin with considerable depth of flavour. This wine was aged for 13 months in 27% new French oak barrels from artisan Burgundian coopers. In accordance with this estate’s non-interventionist approach to winemaking, this wine was fermented with indigenous yeast and was not fined or filtered.