Pinot Noir Central Otago New Zealand
A characterful Pinot Noir born of triumph over adversity. Considerable research by Stewart Elms in 1991 identified the north facing slopes at the end of Felton Road near Bannockburn as being one of the warmest and most ideal sites in Central Otago. Heat summation data and soil maps from the construction of the Clyde dam contributed to the decision. Three different soils were identified as free draining with low fertility characteristics, influenced by the unique Central Otago growing season to yield an extraordinary quality of Pinot Noir.
Central Otago is the most southerly wine region in the world, at the edge of sustainable viticulture. Hot days, cool nights and long dry autumns are perfect. Clones on a variety of low vigour rootstocks were planted to free draining, low fertility soils during the 1990s. Felton Road's unique gravity flow techniques enable grapes, a portion as whole clusters, to be gently destemmed directly into open top fermenters. The non interventionalist approach means a traditional fermentation and moderately long maceration on skins to extract rich colours and tannin with considerable depth of flavour. Felton Road is aged eleven months in a selection of the finest French oak barriques, crafted by highly regarded Burgundian coopers.
Deep garnet, purple hues. A nose of dusty florals, emphasized by pink roses and violet, integrates seamlessly with cinnamon and clove. The palate opens softly, staying with the florals and adding fresh berries over a pleasing seam of minerality. Mouthcoating, but never cloying, subtle and caressing, a Pinot Noir of harmony, restraint and sophistication that intrigues rather than shouts it's breeding. It finishes with enough tannin to frame the wine neatly.