2012 Felton Road "Bannockburn" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic) (Elsewhere $50+)

SKU #1162521 95 points Bob Campbell

 This super-classy "entry level" wine outguns many flagship labels from other producers although, to be fair, so does the price. Berry/cherry and floral flavours against a background of savoury/earthy/spicy characters giving extra complexity. Firmly structured Pinot Noir that, though still quite approachable, shows good cellaring potential. (Gourmet Traveller).

95 points James Halliday

 Clear color; super-fragrant cherry, plum and spice aromas all seek to dominate the bouquet, but none succeed, with a hint of oak in the background. The palate has exceptional texture and length, 30% whole bunch, 30% new oak.

93 points James Suckling

 A plush Pinot Noir from the 2012 vintage, this has plenty of satsuma plum and dark cherry fruits as well as bright redder cherries, dark spices and freshly toasted oak. The palate has supple and fleshy fruit flavours, cherries and summer berries, fine tannins fan out superbly, a touch of liquorice to close - full of pleasure.  (4/2014)

93 points Wine Spectator

 This red exhibits a pure, succulent core of juicy ripe raspberry notes, with flashes of wild strawberry and cherry. The details of violet, sandalwood and baking spices are charming, coming together in a chorus on the long finish. Drink now through 2028.  (6/2014)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good bright medium red. Dark raspberry, smoked meat, gunflint and a hint of pepper on the soil-driven nose. Intensely flavored, savory and dry, with excellent cut to the red berry and spice flavors. This has the generosity of fruit to support its serious spine of dusty tannins.  (9/2013)

Jancis Robinson

 Bright ruby (not much blue despite the wines' youth). Intensely ripe on the nose but no sweetness on the palate. Quite a change of style! Quite grown up. Lots of excitement and reverberation on the palate. Dry finish and real savour. Very long and punchy.  (10/2013)

K&L Notes

The "Bannockburn" bottling is selected from Felton Road's three estate vineyards in Central Otago, The Elms, Calvert and Cornish Point vineyards. All fruit is farmed organically and Biodynamically. Felton's winery is fully gravity fed. The fruit is gently de-stemmed with 20% left whole cluster. Only native yeasts are used for fermentation. The wine enjoys 11 months in top quality French oak cooperage and is bottle without fining or filtration to preserve the complexity and nuances of the wine. Winemaker's notes: "Violets and roses, with a potpourri of spice box elements. A very textural rich palate of vibrant fruit without a hint of heaviness or excess. Intense concentration is coupled with a purity that enables every subtlety to sing through. This being a combination of the three estate vineyards, the subtleties are manifold, each contributing to the complexity rather than being lost in the blend. The structure is confidently firm but not aggressive."

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Price: $39.99
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.
Alcohol Content (%): 14