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New Releases: Felton Road's 25th Anniversary Collection
10 November 2022

Nigel Greening was recently in town to present the new releases from his celebrated Central Otago estate, Felton Road. A special year for them, the 2021 vintage marks the 25th release and, coincidentally, sees the birth of their first new wine since Cornish Point (2007) and Calvert (2006). The new MacMuir Pinot Noir comes from a plot that was originally part of the Calvert holding when they took over the lease in 2001 – at that time it was not planted, and was instead a hay paddock and nut orchard. In 2012 they planted to high density with excellent clonal material, and for almost ten years it contributed impressively to the Bannockburn Pinot. In the words of Blair Walter, head winemaker, “while it’s just a few hundred metres west of the our Calvert vineyard, MacMuir impressed from the first harvest with its deeper and richer soils always providing an intensity of fruit and plushness. It’s time now that its unique voice is heard alone.”

Other than that, it’s business as usual at Felton Road, as they turn out enticingly open, textural, darkly floral Pinot Noir and clear-cut Chardonnay, with an earthbound complexity and nervousness of acidity that gives the wines an animated and layered feel. Concerning the 2021 vintage, Nigel explained that “we have had a run, with the exception of 2018, of very moderate, even slightly cooler vintages. Where the 2019s were polished and refined and the 2020s are edgier, nervous and great, the 2021s act as a happy midway between the two, but with more concentration than either.” As always, the Block 5 and Calvert Pinot Noirs are released later, along with the Block 6 and 2 Chardonnays, as they see slightly longer in barrel, reflecting the deeper soil profiles.

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