Selected for the 2020 Fine Wines of New Zealand List
Winery notes (2018 Vintage)
"Felton Road farms four properties totaling 32 ha in the Bannockburn sub-region of Central Otago. Block 2 was planted in 1992 and is positioned on a gentle east facing slope of deep angular schist soils immediately north of Block 3 on The Elms vineyard.
Mendoza clone Chardonnay from Block 2 was whole bunch pressed and flowed immediately (without settling) by gravity to barrel in the underground cellar. Fermentation with indigenous yeasts in seasoned French oak (no new oak) was followed by a long and complete malolactic over the spring and summer. After 16 months in barrel the wine was racked to tank for bottling in late-August 2019. The wine was not fined or filtered.
Inviting aromas of white blossom, delicate peach and hints of citrus. Not obvious or overt: just balanced and uncomplicated. However, the palate is where it all becomes more serious with nutty and complex flavours, both mouth-coating and alluring. Harmonising time in barrel (16 months), but no new oak, avails a revelatory transparency promoting an emphasis on site expression. The deep schist soils of Block 2, without make-up and winemaking artefact, are plainly evident in the long and mineral finish."
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2018 Vintage)
"This outstanding wine is grown in a 'special part of The Elms Vineyard in front of the winery', which has the oldest vines. The 2018 vintage was matured for 17 months in seasoned French oak barrels (avoiding the use of new oak), and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Bright, light lemon/green, it has a fragrant, citrusy, complex bouquet. Weighty, it has youthful, vibrant, grapefruit-like flavours, peachy and spicy notes, a subtle seasoning of biscuity oak, finely balanced acidity and obvious potential. Best drinking 2022+."
17/20 Julia Harding, JancisRobinson.com (2018 Vintage)
"Mealy and more scented than their Bannockburn Chardonnay 2018. Creamy effect of the lees. Subtle and inviting. There's something silky and cool at the heart of this. Lovely purity and effortless concentration so that the oak is in the back seat. Moreish and mouth-watering. A wine to linger over. You could broach this quite soon but there's no hurry."
Reviews for the 2017 vintage below…
5 Stars & 97/100 Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review, February 2019 (2017 Vintage)
"Tangy, concentrated chardonnay with wet stone, mineral, lime, grapefruit, citrus, white flower and subtle nutty flavours. Rather tight and slightly closed at this stage with assertive acidity but with great potential. Impressive wine; richly-textured and with a lengthy finish."