Felton Road Calvert Pinot Noir 2018
Felton Road farms four properties totalling 32ha in the Bannockburn sub-region of Central Otago. Calvert Vineyard is located on Felton Road and is just 1km east of The Elms Vineyard and the winery. Meticulous summer management of a single vertical shoot positioned (VSP) canopy ensures even and early fruit maturity.Shoot thinning, shoot positioning, leaf plucking, bunch thinning and harvest are all carried out by hand to ensure optimum quality fruit. Cover crops are planted between rows to assist in controlling vine vigour and to improve soil health and general biodiversity. As often happens with Calvert, the nose when young is slightly muted and more direct than exotic; pure and fine aromas, not bold and lush. The palate follows on accordingly, with clarity of fruit, roses and florals. Focussed, concentrated yet pure in the mid-palate, with its hallmark mineral texture, it’s firm but ultimately juicy on the finish. The vines are growing up and we’re seeing the puppy-fat turn to muscle. (Winemakers Note, July 2016) "I almost feel like Felton Road should need no introduction by now. If two decades of excellence isn't enough to convince you to try these wines, what more can I say? Longtime winemaker Blair Walter and I tasted through some barrel samples of the 2017 Pinot Noirs and then sat down to go through the current releases. Along the way, he offered some comments on the various trends he's seen over the years. On whole cluster in Pinot Noir: "We use 20-30%. It hasn't changed in 20 years. I don't like it when it clouds expression of site." On the effects of vine age: "The wines are less heavily fruited, show more nuance, greater fruit-tannin expression." The white wines are often overlooked here, but the Chardonnays and Rieslings are outstanding. Oak-averse consumers should note that the Block 2 and Block 6 Chardonnays use no new wood, as Walter feels "the mineralogy we have is quickly masked by the flint of oak."
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