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.
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 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 New Zealand 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 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 2019.