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Felton Road Bannockburn Chardonnay 2014

  • JS94
  • RP91
750ML / 14% ABV
Other Vintages
  • JS93
  • JS93
  • JS93
  • WS90
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750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Citrus blossom, grapefruit zest and a hint of hazelnut on a restrained nose. There is a richness to the texture that stands in stark contrast to the linear energy of the flavors. The subtle use of new oak (10%) allows for a greater and more transparent sense of place. A salty, chalky finish with citrus pith and acid dancing with just the faintest hint of gunflint. A graceful and inspiring Chardonnay.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 94
James Suckling
A very rich nose with plenty of nectarine, grapefruit, yellow peach and an assertive pure fruit edge. There is a strong comparison to Chablis in style here, think Droin or Raveneau, smooth lees, flinty and stony. The palate has a smooth, creamy texture, flavors of peach, nectarine and preserved lemon; a smooth, polished and stony texture, all nicely integrated, edges into more tropical fruits to close. Great wine, long and composed. Drink now.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Bannockburn Chardonnay has ripe apple, white peach and clotted cream notes with hints of cashews and rising bread. Light to medium-bodied and finely structured in the mouth, it offers wonderful intensity with a great balance between fruit and savory notes, finishing long.
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Felton Road

Felton Road

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Felton Road, New Zealand
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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.

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New Zealand

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A relatively young but extremely promising wine producing country, New Zealand is widely recognized for its distinctive wines made from the aromatic, Sauvignon blanc.

The world’s most southerly vineyards are found here, with significant climatic variation both between and within the warmer North Island and the cooler South Island. Overall, the climate is maritime, with plenty of rainfall, as well as abundant sunshine. Producers have almost unilaterally embraced cutting-edge winery technology, resulting in clean, high-quality wines at every price point from wallet-friendly to premium.

Sauvignon blanc, known here for its trademark herbaceous character, is at its best in Marlborough but thrives throughout the nation, accounting for an overwhelming majority of the country’s exports. While this is indeed the country’s most planted and successful variety, it is certainly not the only New Zealand grape capable of delighting wine lovers.

Chardonnay is the second-most important white variety and takes on a supple texture with citrus and tropical fruit aromas in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, respectively. Pinot noir, second behind Sauvignon blanc in national production numbers, is at its best in Central Otago—the most southerly winegrowing region in the world! These wines are known for bright and juicy red fruit. Taking cues from the wines of Alsace, aromatic varieties like Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewürztraminer shine in Martinborough, while red Bordeaux varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have found success in Hawke’s Bay. Throughout New Zealand but especially in Marlborough, Pinot noir and Chardonnay are used to produce traditional method sparkling wines.

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Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

YNG998428_2014 Item# 155817