|Origin||New Zealand, South Island|
Bannockburn. 25% whole bunch, 40% new oak. Light to mid cherry. Scented with red fruit and light spice plus a nice rocky character. Much sweeter on the palate than I expected; rounded, smooth tannins and sweet cherry fruit. Whole-bunch influence adds freshness but does not dominate. Smooth and long. Needs time to slim down? Drinking range: 2018 - 2028 Rating: 16.5 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Sep 2018)
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Digestive biscuits and violets on the nose. Beautifully delicate. Very precise and charming. Quite open already. Quite sweet too. Very fine tannins. Drinking range: 2017 - 2024 Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Mar 2017)
Shows terrific energy to the wild strawberry and raspberry flavors. Fresh and lively, accented with notes of pine needle and citrus peel. Vibrant on the finish. Drinking range: 2017 - 2030 Rating: 93-93 MaryAnn Worobiec, The Wine Spectator(Feb 2017)
Another powerful iteration of pinot from this Bannockburn site, it has a deep-set brooding and spicy nose in addition to a meaty, ferment-derived reduction that opens up with air. Itâ€™s a modern pinot noir for sure. There's an array of herbal, sappy elements leading into a bright ripe and pure set of red cherry and wild raspberry fruits as well as cherry pastry and woody spices. The palate has a rich, fleshy texture and delivers ripe cherry fruits on a smoothly rendered base of even-paced tannins. Itâ€™s impressively ripe and groomed, long and supple and even shows some red plums and cherry pip through the finish and an almost chalky textural twist. One of the more approachable vintages of this legendary single-site Felton pinot. Drink now and through to 2025. (No. 42 in JS's 'Top 100 Wines of the Year 2016') Drinking range: 2016 - 2025 Rating: 97 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Oct 2016)
Felton Road and Rippon are undoubtedly the two leading vineyards in Central Otago, both making Pinots that are finely textured with fresh fruit flavours, rather than the 'fruit bombs' that so many others produce. Felton Road has been totally organic and biodynamic across their three Bannockburn vineyards since 2005. They have been certified by Demeter since 2009. After that there are more differences than similarities.
While Rippon, at Wanaka is on schist, Felton Road in Banockburn is on clay and calcareous loess. It is also very much in the rain shadow of the Main Divide. Irrigation is used at Rippon to help establish young vines, but dry farming is possible once the vines get their roots down, while at Felton Road permanent irrigation is required for the entire vineyard.
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