Felton Road Block 3 Pinot Noir 2010
Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
Immediately quite masculine on the nose: herbs, earth and brooding dark spices rather than a flower basket. The palate is at once intensely concentrated but with searing transparency. The herbs dance through the raspberry and cherry, with a host of complex detail shining through that encourages one to linger and explore. Regal and structured, but not intimidating, it sails into a long chocolate finish.
The Wine Advocate - "Deep ruby-purple colored, the 2010 Block 3 Pinot Noir has notes of black cherries, plums, graphite, red currant, damp loam and dark chocolate with a whiff of anise. Elegantly fruited in the medium bodied mouth, it is tight-knit and restrained at the moment offering muscular blackberry fruit, a medium-firm level of fine grained tannins and a long earthy finish. Approachable now, it should drink best 2012 to 2019+.
Wine Enthusiast - "Winemaker Blair Walter has dialed up the intensity in this powerfully concentrated bottling, which packs ample black-cherry fruit and sturdy notes of hickory smoke, cured meat and dark coffee. Despite the wine’s considerable weight, the tannins are supple enough to make it approachable now."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright dark red with ruby tones. Brooding, slightly reduced aromas of black raspberry and cola. Then dense, sweet and intense in the mouth, with harmonious acidity framing and enlivening its plush berry flavors. This pinot has the stuffing to buffer its serious but fine-grained tannins. Finishes quite long, with a piquant minty edge contributing to an impression of grip."
Wine & Spirits - "Luxuriously rich, this pinot noir coasts through dark extract while shining a bright carmine red light over its full fruit. The flavors range from blackberry to plum skin, pulled back into light by a floral character. Felton Road farms its Elms Vineyard under biodynamics, selecting this benchland parcel for its deep sandy loam, an alluvial fan derived from schist under a layer of loess. Block 3 consistently produces one of the great pinot noirs of Central Otago."
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Felton Road Winery
Felton Road Wines Ltd, in Bannockburn, Central Otago, New Zealand, has planted some of the world's southernmost vineyards. The expression, "growing on the edge," has real meaning in Central Otago, with the lowest rainfall and lowest temperatures of any agricultural region in New Zealand.
Central Otago is located on the southern end of New Zealand's South Island (latitude 45º south) and shares with Oregon (45º north) similar viticultural challenges: late frosts in Spring, early frost in Autumn, a growing season that may be curtailed overnight. Yet the climates of both are surprisingly similar to Burgundy's Côte d'Or: hot in summer, cold in winter. Central Otago is New Zealand's only wine region with a continental - rather than maritime - climate, which results in greater diurnal and seasonal shifts in temperature. View all Felton Road Wines
About Central OtagoView a map of Central Otago wineries (oh-TAH-go)
The southernmost vineyards of the world lie here in Central Otago. Unlike most other New Zealand appellations, Central Otago is inland - nestled right in the middle of the southern island. Its lack of proximity to water creates weather more continental than maritime, leading to big temperature shifts – hot during the day, significantly cooler at night.
Notable FactsThe region's continental climate, paired with the variety of soils found in the area, make Central Otago perfect for growing the finicky Pinot Noir grape. Covering almost 80% of the area planted with vines, Pinot Noir is the dominant grape variety, and the wine it creates from the region is receiving rave reviews for its balanced purity and intensity. Some Chardonnay is grown here, but Pinot is king.
About New ZealandThe country of New Zealand is about 1000 miles from the coast of Australia. It consists of two long islands, end to end, that are approximately the same length as California. Most of the country's climate is maritime due to the abundant coastline. The northern island is warmer and wetter, while the southern island is cooler and dryer. The most popular grapes of New Zealand are Sauvignon Blanc (made most famous by the bright, crisp wines coming out of Marlborough), Chardonnay and the ever-growing Pinot Noir.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.