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 totalling 32 ha in the Bannockburn sub-region of Central Otago. Calvert Vineyard is located on Felton Road and is just 1km east of The Elms Vineyard and the winery. 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 controlling vine vigour 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 with 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 17 months in 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.
Wafts of elegant perfumed florals dominate the nose in the usual Calvert manner, but with a stronger emphasis in this very precise and attractively scented vintage. Hints of crushed spice and red fruits give way again to a cascade of florals on the palate. Ethereal, sophisticated and majestic. The finish is tightly focussed with its characteristic fine grained and seamless tannins. Silky and long.