2012 Felton Road Chardonnay Bannockburn (Elsewhere $40+)

SKU #1163799 96 points Bob Campbell

 Aromatic and powerful Chardonnay with an ethereal texture and lingering finish. Poised, high energy wine with an array of citrus, mineral, stone fruit and winemaking flavours that are delivered with great subtlety.

93 points James Suckling

 Nectarine, papaya, grapefruit and peach provide the primary fruit aromas in this wine, along with hints of spice, clotted cream, nougat, grilled hazelnuts, lemon curd and attractive oak. These flavors are mimicked on the palate, which is bright, energetic and long of finish. Beautifully constructed wine. Drink in 2016.  (10/2014)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Opening with a pretty nose of peach blossoms, spiced apple slices and honeysuckle with nuances of meal, lightly buttered toast and preserved ginger the 2012 Chardonnay is medium to full-bodied with a youthful palate already showing great poise with plenty of stone fruit, savory and toasty flavors enlivened by a refreshing acid line before finishing with satisfying persistence. Drink it now to 2018+. (LPB)  (10/2013)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Perfumed aromas of musky ginger, subtle stone fruits and apple. Slightly reduced but lively, showing a savory quality and good grip to the stone fruit and apple flavors. Finishes classically dry and persistent.  (10/2013)

Wine Spectator

 Smooth and juicy, with a touch of sweet cream that lends a rich undertone to the lemon, fig and peach fruit flavors at the core. Drink now through 2027. (Web Only-2014)

K&L Notes

Sourced from Felton's three organic and biodynamic vineyards in Bannockburn, Central Otago. The fruit was hand picked, 100% whole cluster pressed and sent via gravity to French oak barriques only 10% of which were new. The ferment was conducted using entirely native (wild) yeast. Winemaker's notes: "Brilliant lemon gold with a seamlessly integrated nose; floral with subtle hazelnut notes and white peach. Minerality predominates over delicate lemon zest and crisp acid. Very textural on the palate, full not fat. Long, fresh and clean on the finish with not a hint of oak. This wine is unfined and unfiltered, the first time we have achieved this with our Bannockburn Chardonnay."

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Price: $28.99
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Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/24/2015 | Send Email
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One of NZ's best Chardonnay producers. Felton's "Bannockburn" Chardonnay is from their vineyards dotted around the small village of Bannockburn at the southern end of the Cromwell Basin in Central Otago. The village has a perfect north facing aspect and a mixture of schist and heavier clay and silt soils. Much of this wine comes from the Elms Vineyard...home to the famous "Block 2" Chardonnay and in many ways this wine shares a lot of the same characteristics. Crunchy orchard fruit, spiced pear, mineral, a touch of flint or struck match...and just a lick of citrus acidity to make the mouth water. This bottling is not as keenly focused at the Block 2, but that actually makes it more expressive in its youth and perhaps even more enjoyable upon release than its prestigious stablemate. If you haven't explored NZ Chardonnay...this would be a very good place to start!
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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

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