Thursday, January 13, 2011

Is there more funk in Felton Road?

One of the first Kiwi Pinots I fell in love with was Felton Road so it's interesting to see how the wine has evolved since the winery went biodynamic (it was Demeter certified in 2009)

They have 5 cuvées now all of which I tasted at the New Zealand tasting this week. The standout one for me was the Block 3 which had a simply glorious purity of fruit. It's also (unfortunately) the most expensive at up to £51.75 (The Sampler)

The Block 5 (£40.40 at Slurp) was very impressive too - intense, rich and textured though still quite closed and I also enjoyed the Cornish Point which had some lovely fruit and an attractive freshness though possibly a little light for a £33 wine. Hard to tell at this age.

It was the two other 'entry level' pinots (if £25-£35 can be called an entry level price point) that exhibited the funkiness: the 2009 Bannockburn Pinot Noir (dark, earthy, quite rustic) and the Calvert (big, ripe, slightly chewy tannins, 'animal' my tasting notes say). And you just wonder how they'll age which you're entitled to expect they should at that price.

I remember buying some Felton Road (the 2003 Block 5, I think) while it was still an affordable £17 or so and finding it acquired increasing funkiness over the following four to five years. You wouldn't want a whole lot more on either the Bannockburn or the Calvert.

It's also interesting to speculate, following our previous debate, the effect of the biodynamic calendar on the way the wines were tasting. It turned out to be a leaf day . . .

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