2016 Block 2 Chardonnay
|Origin||New Zealand, South Island|
The 2016 Block 2 Chardonnay has a compelling bouquet full of tension: citrus lemon, apple blossom, hints of wet granite and white flowers. The palate is well balanced with a fine bead of acidity, taut and linear at first and then fanning out towards the finish with notes of orange rind and a touch of white pepper. This is a classy offering that may well improve in bottle. Drinking range: 2018 - 2027 Rating: 91 Neal Martin, vinous.com (Nov 2018)
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A Chardonnay of wonderful poise, intensity and individuality with delicately honeyed citrus fruit, a touch of downy peach and a riveting, chalky, briny, mineral focus that seems to come straight from Block 2’s distinctive schist gravel soils. It was aged for 17 months in oak barrels but, as with the Bannockburn Chardonnay, the oak isn’t new, so it gives texture and complexity, not overt flavour. Rating: 94 The Wine Gang - www.thewinegang.com(Mar 2018)
After 17 months in previously used oak, the 2016 Block 2 Chardonnay is remarkably pure and fresh. Delicate notes of crushed stone, citrus blossom and bergamot push forward, borne on a texture of the finest silk or culinary sauce. The result is almost savory despite a preponderance of fruit, with a briny edge to the lengthy finish. Drinking range: 2018 - 2025 Rating: 93 Joe Czerwinski, www.robertparker.com(Mar 2018)
A very impressive wine for the concentration and depth of fruit on offer. This delivers a fresh citrus, stone fruit and flinty nose. The palate has an attractive fleshy white peach core. Acidity pushes fleshy fruit deep into every corner. Great depth and flow. Drink now. Rating: 94 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Nov 2017)
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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