Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2018 edition article: The Most Exciting Wines of 2017 (see blue link below).
Felton Rd Block 1 Riesling 2016 - January 2018 Decanter review
Beginning with meticulous site selection and vineyard design 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 our fruit arrives at the winery as pure as it can be, while our 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 our unique vineyards.
Felton Road farms four properties totaling 32 ha in the Bannockburn sub-region of Central Otago. Block 1 is a north facing slope immediately west of Block 3 on The Elms vineyard. Meticulous summer management of a single vertical shoot positioned (VSP) canopy ensures even and early fruit maturity. Shoot thinning, shoot positioning, leaf plucking, bunch thinning and harvest are all carried out by hand to ensure optimum quality fruit. Cover crops are planted between rows to assist in vine balance and to improve soil health and general biodiversity
Riesling from Block 1 was carefully hand-picked followed by whole bunch pressing. The juice was settled overnight followed by a 3 week fermentation with indigenous yeasts. The fermentation was stopped by chilling to balance the high natural acidity with residual sweetness of 67g/L, resulting in the low alcohol of 9.0%. The wine rested on fine lees with minimal processing before bottling in mid-September to highlight the delicate Riesling characters.
Ripe stone fruits, peach and honeydew melon are married to an aromatic infusion of fennel, lemongrass and ginger with distinct florality. The wave of sweet fruit builds in power to reveal an exotic midpalate richness. Although sweet up front, the inviting and fruit-laden mouthfeel is illuminated by a crisp and mineral finish. Surprisingly refreshing with an engaging, lingering intensity and impeccable balance.