2014 Felton Road "Bannockburn" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Lush, mouth-filling Pinot Noir with plum, spice, thyme, anise, liquorice and a character I describe as 'chocolate cherry liqueur'. Seductively smooth texture with a lingering finish. Very attractive.
If Central Otago was the Côte de Nuits, then Bannockburn would likely be Vosne-Romanée and I’m going to hang it right out and say that Felton Road would be the top gun, the DRC. A handy array of bright red berries, orange citrus rind, then toasty mocha oak spice, some darker red plum and mouth-wateringly sweet fruit aromas on offer. Very bright, just-ripe fruits, liquorice and cinnamon, this smells vibrant and full of life. The palate has a soft, supple and creamy core with a glossy, fluffy mid-palate; tannins fan out even and long, smooth, velvety and quite plush, gently musky. Good balance and approachability, concentrated and pure. Drink now.
Ruby-red colour with garnet hues. The nose is soft and full with savoury dark-red berry fruits, some dried thyme herb and gentle whole bunch stalk elements and nutty oak nuances. A touch of balsamic complexity shows. Full, deep and dense, this has weight and mouthfilling presence. Dark-red fruits prevail with herb and stalk interest. The mouthfeel is supple, but reveals a firm core with fresh, lacy acidity. This has a long finish with undergrowth nuances to the fruit. There is plenty of wine here. A blend of 10 clones and 20 parcels, 50% from ‘Cornish Point, 35% from ‘Elms’ and 15% 'Calvert', vines planted between 1992 and 2002. 11 months in barrel.
Bay leaf, juniper and forest floor notes add an intriguing, fresh green edge to the juicy cherry and cranberry flavors, lingering with a note of dried lavender. Drink now through 2026.
92 points The Wine Front: "Has some meatiness and ashy oak sniffs over dark berry and dark cherry fruit characters. Whiff of green herbs, some briar, pepper - good, deep perfume. Slides across the palate with some concentrated sweet berry fruit feel, almost jammy, but pinched with ashen tannins and finishes with good build of crushed slate mineral feel and lemony acidity. Powerful pinot noir, but finds harmony in fresh acidity and lithe texture. Bold statement pinot noir."