Felton Road's story is one of refusal to compromise. The estate is fully organic and uses biodynamic viticulture (Demeter certified) ensuring that fruit arrives at the winery as pure as it can be. The entire estate comes as close to true sustainability as is possible. There is a commitment to hands off winemaking: gravity flow, wild yeasts, wild malolactic, an avoidance of fining and filtration all help preserve the wine's expression of its terroir. The result is wine that express the authenticity and complexity of their unique vineyards.
Felton Road farms four properties totaling 32 ha in the Bannockburn sub-region of Central Otago. Block 3 is situated on a gentle north facing slop in the heart of The Elms vineyard where a deep bench of glacial soil is interspersed with calcarious seams. 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.
The Pinot Noir harvest was relatively early beginning on March 23rd and concluded on April 9th.
The unique gravity flow winery enabled the grapes to be gently destemmed directly into open-top fermenters without pumping, retaining approximately 25% 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 35% new French oak barrels from artisan Burgundian coopers. In accordance with their non-interventionalist approach to winemaking, this wine was fermented with indigenous yeast and was not fined or filtered.
A deep, meaty nose of dark fruit, complexing hints of humus and dark rose. The palate is surprisingly more opulent than the colour might suggest. A rich entry of wild bramble that leads to an enticing chalkiness. Riding along the bottom of the palate is a seam of impressive richness: chocolate; mocha; dense with a chewy, herbal complexity. Sophisticated, sensual and unmistakably Block 3.