2015 Felton Road "Block 3" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic)

SKU #1284972 97 points James Suckling

 Another powerful iteration of Pinot from this Bannockburn site, it has a deep-set brooding and spicy nose in addition to a meaty, ferment-derived reduction that opens up with air. It's a modern Pinot Noir for sure. There's an array of herbal, sappy elements leading into a bright ripe and pure set of red cherry and wild raspberry fruits as well as cherry pastry and woody spices. The palate has a rich, fleshy texture and delivers ripe cherry fruits on a smoothly rendered base of even-paced tannins. It's impressively ripe and groomed, long and supple and even shows some red plums and cherry pip through the finish and an almost chalky textural twist. One of the more approachable vintages of this legendary single-site Felton Pinot. Drink now and through to 2025.  (10/2016)

96 points Bob Campbell

 After trailing Block 5 in price since its first release, Block 3 now carries the same price tag as Block 5. Block 3 has always appeared to me to be a little more precocious than Block 5. I haven’t yet tasted the 2015 Block 5 (which is released later than Block 3) but this year’s Block 3 does appear to have a little more structure than usual. Dark cherry, layers of spice, a suggestion of fresh herbs and subtle oak. It’s an elegant wine showing restrained power.  (7/2016)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Pale to medium ruby colored with a hint of purple, the 2015 Block 3 Pinot Noir opens with some earthy/stem notes, which soon give way to a core of red and black cherries, mulberries and violets, plus hints of black tea and tree bark. Medium-bodied, the black berry and earth flavors fill the mouth supported by a frame of ripe, fine grained tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long.

K&L Notes

Felton Road, along with producers like Rippon and Quartz Reef, continues to lead the way for Biodynamic wine production in Central Otago and produce wines of exceptional purity, drive and character. Don't miss this chance to become familiar with these wines if you haven't already, and especially at this price!

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Price: $69.99
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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.