For the first time in 15 years Felton Road has made a new single vineyard Pinot Noir and it was launched this year in uncannily good timing to mark the 25th anniversary of this iconic Central Otago wine producer. The new wine is called MacMuir after the name of the vineyard, which is situated right next door to the famous Calvert Vineyard.
This year I was lucky enough to be one of a handful of wine writers invited to Central Otago to taste a bunch of beautiful, interesting and very different styles of young and old Felton Road wines. It was a snapshot in time and a great way to watch the journey of evolution in the wines that have been pouring out of this now 100% biodynamically certified winery.
Here are the wines that made the biggest impression on my tastebuds over three interesting days.
The new release Felton Road Pinot Noirs
2021 Felton Road MacMuir Pinot Noir RRP $96.99
Now we’re talking. This is the first vintage of MacMuir Pinot Noir, a single site wine from Bannockburn and from younger vines (nine year old vines in 2021) and grown on a loamy soil vineyard where the Abel clone of Pinot Noir occupies 25 per cent of the vineyard. This makes for a highly structured, super juicy, fragrant Pinot Noir with a real X factor;. Great silky mouthfeel and enormous depth of flavour with dark plums and a hint of spice, very long finish; beautiful lingering depth and length.
Felton Road was one of the first five wineries in Bannockburn and is now fully certified organic and biodynamic with Bio-Gro and Demeter. It hot, arid corner of Central Otago and the place that led to an explosion in Pinot Noir production in the region.
2021 Felton Road Calvert Pinot Noir
Smoother, firmer tannins with more textural qualities of body and grip on the finish, making it interesting in taste and texture. Red fruit, dark fruit, a hint of spice and a silky mouthfeel. Juicy, lingering. Often bottled later than the other wines.
2021 Felton Road Cornish Point Pinot Noir
More again, darker fruit flavours although the colour is similar. Has firmer tannins and a grippier finish; more structure than the Calvert and less immediate with more future promise. Good balance. Bigger and weightier.
Available directly from winery only
2021 Felton Road Block 3 Pinot Noir
Fabulous acidity again; supported by firm tannins and more overt oak than the other wines, giving it broader shoulders and perhaps needing a bit more time to integrate and reveal its softer side. Highly impressive wine. Enormous length. A keeper.
Limit of one per customer of Block 5
2021 Felton Road Block 5 Pinot Noir
Smooth, richly fruity, the biggest in fruit weight and has lovely support from firm tannins, cedary flavours with noticeably more tannic power and fresher acidity. A big wine. Needs time.