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Felton Road Block 3 Pinot Noir 2010

Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
  • RP93
  • WE92
  • W&S92
14% ABV
  • JS95
  • JS97
  • WS93
  • RP93
  • JS96
  • RP93
  • WS91
  • BH91
  • W&S94
  • WE93
  • RP93
  • WS91
  • RP95
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 93
Robert Parker's 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+.
93+ Points
WE 92
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.
W&S 92
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

Felton Road

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Felton Road, Central Otago, New Zealand
2010 Block 3 Pinot Noir
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.

Central Otago

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Home to the globe’s most southerly vineyards, which are cultivated below the 45th parallel, Central Otago is a true one-of-a-kind wine growing region—but not just because of its extreme location.

Central Otago is more dependent on one single variety than any other region in New Zealand—and it isn’t Sauvignon blanc. They don’t even make Sauvignon blanc there.

Pinot Noir claims nearly 75% of the region’s vineyards with Pinot Gris coming in a far second place and Riesling behind it. This is also New Zealand’s only wine region with a continental climate, giving it more diurnal and seasonal temperature shifts than any other.

The subregion of Bannockburn has enjoyed the most success historically but the area’s exceptional growth has moved to the promising regions of Cromwell/Bendigo and Alexandra districts. Central Otago is known for its fruity and full-bodied Pinot noir. With the freedom to experiment here, growers and winemakers are easily exhibiting the area’s great potential.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

YNG787729_2010 Item# 112489

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