2016 Felton Road "Bannockburn" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic) (Elsewhere $45)

SKU #1326355 95 points Bob Campbell

 Felton Road's entry level Pinot Noir is an elegant blend of several vineyards with a mix of savoury, earthy, herbal and coffee flavours with cherry, floral and spice characters. It's a supple and complex wine that reveals power through a lengthy finish.

94 points Raymond Chan

 Deepish ruby-red colour, with light garnet on edge. The nose is elegant, fine and firm with primary dark-red cherry fruit aromas. The aromatics are deep, dense and well-ripened and very classical, but refined Central Otago expression. Rich and plush on the palate, the dark-red and near black fruit is sweet and ripe, luscious and juicy, but shaped by fine tannin structure. This is an ‘all-together’ wine and quite complete with a solid depth behind it all.

93 points Wine Spectator

 Distinctive, featuring prominent fresh green tomato leaf notes and dried cherry flavors. Toasted herb and spice accents linger in the background, with velvety tannins. Drink now through 2028. 2,952 cases made. (MW)  (10/2018)

92 points James Suckling

 A very seductive, smooth and almost candied expression in the "Village" Bannockburn wine. This has a glossy warmth to it from the get-go which reflects the warmer and drier vintage. Ripe boysenberry, cherry and strawberry fruits are smothered in fluffy, ripe tannins. Drinking well now. Screw cap.  (11/2017)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Unusually delicate red fruit notes mark the nose of the 2016 Pinot Noir. It's a mélange of strawberry, raspberry and cherry, with some herbal notes, cola and spice blended in. In the mouth, the wine is medium-bodied and supple, with a long, silky finish. (JC)  (2/2018)

K&L Notes

Winery Tasting Notes: The immediate potpourri of flowers on the nose is gracefully entwined with subtle minerality. The palate begins precise and playful, showing sandalwood and fine spice notes. A surprising breadth that the tight focus doesn't immediately reveal. Balanced and complete: possessing lovely charm, harmony and a persistent finale. Irresistible in its youth but further complexities will no doubt emerge.

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Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/9/2018 | Send Email
For top quality Pinot Noir, Felton Road is one of the can't miss names in Central Otago. This blend of several of their vineyard sites immediately struck a chord in a recent line-up, for its bright and high toned red fruit, the lovely aromatics, tension, and (I suspect) the well managed addition of some stems in the fermentation process - a minor detail but for the Pinot fans amongst us, one that matters. Great stuff - and a tough to beat Pinot Noir for the price.

Staff Image By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/5/2018 | Send Email
Beautiful high tone red fruit nose with an almost Marsannay-like feel. Loads of bing cherry and cranberry intertwine with crushed thyme and red flowers. The finish has lovely spice that lingers on the palate with plenty of acidity. This has the stuffing for aging but paired with a rack of lamb would be quite the pairing right now.

Staff Image By: Cameron Price | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/5/2018 | Send Email
This is the most approachable of three distinctly different Pinot Noir offerings from Felton Road in Central Otago, New Zealand. Vineyard practises across the board are the same but the Bannockburn is the result of a blend of the four single vineyard sites, Calvert and Cornish Point. Whole cluster pressing is the name of the game here with 13 months of oak ageing in French barrels. This allows for a round, fruit-forward Pinot Noir with just a tinge of toast on the palate making this wine a great choice for a go-to Pinot for the upcoming fall season. Felton Road also works Biodynamically really trying to express the characteristics of their vineyards and with this blend you get the best of both worlds; awesome. quality conscious wine that isn't trying to show off. The Felton Road Pinot Noirs offer up good complexity and value and are surprisingly approachable. Don't hesitate to check out the reviews of the Cornish Point and Calvert wines who also deserve a bit of attention.
Drink from 2018 to 2019

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/5/2018 | Send Email
A very impressive Bannockburn bottling that combines fruit from all of the winery's estate vineyards along Felton Road and at Cornish Point. Grown and vinified with the exact same care and attention to detail as all of Felton's wines. Biodynamic certified vineyards, gravity fed winery, native ferments, unfined and unfiltered. This wine is the real deal. Combining the exotic nature of Cornish with the more brooding structure of Calvert and MacMuir plus the stony, schist like minerality of Elms. A complex Pinot with many layers, fascinating interplay of fruit and savory, light and dark. Easy to drink and friendly but with plenty of intrigue if you care to look. This will go fast with our special hidden pricing.

Staff Image By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/4/2018 | Send Email
Felton Road is a pioneer in the organic and biodynamic movement taking over in Otago. It's rare to find a high-end winery that doesn't do yeast or lactic acid bacteria additions to ensure their wine finishes fermentation and reaches the correct flavor balance. Felton Road broke this mold to avoid putting non-indigenous elements into their wine and came out all the better for it. They are solely gravity-fed to avoid disturbing the wine unnecessarily, and the resulting mouthfeel is smooth as silk because of it. You may assume that because the Bannockburn is a vineyard blend that the best barrels were selected first and the rest was declassifed and blended to make this wine, but that is a complete falsehood. All of Felton Road's wines are made to the highest standards and the barrels selected for the single vineyard bottlings exhibit the most characteristically of their site. Each label has its own unique flavor profile and the Bannockburn is one that greatly encompasses Central Otago. This is a great balance between the Calvert and the Cornish Point, exhibiting elegant structure ans delicate, bright fruit.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/4/2018 | Send Email
This has to be one of the best Pinot Noirs in the store, and is a fabulous value at this one-time-only price. This has the sappy, powerful dark fruit, married to excellent structure and acidity that one usually only finds in very expensive Burgundy. While it is delicious now, especially as a partner for rack of lamb, fans of this wine should consider laying some down for the future. Felton Road has an excellent track record for ageability, and the 2016 seems particularly well suited to cellaring.
Drink from 2018 to 2031

Additional Information:


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.