2020 Pinot Noir Bannockburn
|Origin||New Zealand, South Island|
The 2020 Pinot Noir Bannockburn is welcoming as well as rich, savory and sinewy, delivering a plump cloud of both lifted and brooding fruit: a portion of whole-cluster fermentation has brought herbal and violet high notes alongside red and black cherry. There's excellent concentration despite this being the entry to the Felton Pinot range, and fine, lightly furry tannins on the medium-long finish. This could be approached now, but it’s better to wait a couple of years to let the components settle. Drinking range: 2022 - 2030 Rating: 92 Rebecca Gibb MW - Vinous.com (Apr 2022)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
Lovely deep garnet, with a hint of purple as are all these Pinots. The nose starts almost entirely with deep florals: Violets, dark Roses, even Hibiscus. Then a hint of plum. The palate contradicts to begin with: so silky, so elegant, but a spine of fresh acid and underlying muscle. Bramble leaves and a sappy touch keep it all lively, but that deep river of silk fine tannin runs alongside. Very pure on the finish with just a bit of swagger to wrap it up. More than anything, it is essence of Felton Road. I hate to use the term best yet, but I struggle to think of a vintage that has been its equal.Winemaker's notes (Jun 2021)
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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