Felton Road Chardonnay Block 2 -6xbt Fc 2009
Felton Road winery is located in Bannockburn, Central Otago, the most southerly wine-growing region in the world. Here, vineyards are nestled into small microclimates totally surrounded by high mountains, many of which are snow-capped all year round. Though the location is on the edge of sustainable viticulture these microclimates consistently combine hot days, cool nights and long dry autumns: perfect for the creation of fine Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling. The latitude of 45 degrees south is similar to the Willamette Valley in Oregon and some of the finest wine regions of France. Central Otago is New Zealand's only wine region with a continental climate rather than a maritime one. This brings the risk of frosts but has the benefit of low rainfall and high sunshine hours. Of the five distinct microclimates so far identified in Central Otago, Bannockburn, with its gentle north facing slopes and deep loess soils seems well suited to the production of complex Pinot Noir. Viticulture makes extensive use of handwork and is heavily influenced by organic practice. The canopies use the Vertical Shoot Position trellis system with all pruning, positioning, shoot thinning, leaf plucking and fruit thinning performed carefully by hand. Cover crops are used to supply a natural biodiversity in the vineyard which aids vine balance as well as helping control disease and pests. The use of natural manure obtained from organic sources aids the “gentle touch” approach to the vines. Harvesting is by hand starting around the beginning of April and each block is harvested and vinified separately. A three level gravity-flow winery has been specifically created to make wine by hand in the gentlest way possible. White wines are all hand harvested and whole bunch pressed. Chardonnay for barrel fermentation passes by gravity straight to the barrel from the press to await wild yeast ferment. Again a natural malolactic follows in the spring. The Chardonnay barrels are also 100% French oak, low extraction, 3-year air-dried. This Chardonnay is stirred by batonnage (stirring of the lees) regularly throughout its life. The Felton Rieslings and unoaked Chardonnays are whole bunch pressed then wild yeast fermented, with the wines being left on gross lees with stirring to develop complexity and mouthfeel.
Open Monday-Friday 2pm-5pm or by appointment
Editorial Reviews for Felton Road Chardonnay Block 2 -6xbt Fc
Restrained and elegant on the nose, with innately sweet orchard fruits grounded by subtle oak underpinnings and hints of lime oil and steely, minerally undertones. Silky and elegant in the mouth, with lovely balance and freshness. The flavors of pure apricot and apple blossom-toned fruits dance across the palate with fine soil tones and a light framing of oak. This is remarkably fresh and while it may be a touch simple and lacks some stuffing, the result is an ethereal texture that makes drinking this a joy. 92pts