Felton Road Block 6 is riper and more boldly fruited than what is typical for a Felton Road Chardonnay. But this is what is consistently delivered from the steeper and more elevated, north-facing, Felton Road Block 6 site. The heaviness must be taken in context. It still possesses a subtle hand, the tight acidity and fine minerality that has become the hallmark of FR Chardonnays. A fascinating contrast. Felton Road Block 6 is a winner of a wine. I’d drink Felton Road Block 6 with a few years under its belt, just to let the fruit fold back into the wine a bit.
Felton Road Winery is the leading brand in Central Otago. Their style of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay hit the mark for quality. Lovers of this style cannot get enough, literally! I am very fortunate to have been able to visit and tour the vineyards and winery. I’ll never forget sitting in the staff road tasting these wines while they ate freshly caught salmon.
Felton Road Block 6 Central Otago Chardonnay 2019 Winery Notes
“Lemon blossom, delicate peach and flaky sea salt invite and intrigue. Refined stone fruit flavours allow the minerality to infuse across a broader and richer palate than is seen in the Block 2. Initial richness is tempered by a mouth-watering acidity that drives the finish. A bolder expression from the north facing slope and higher elevation of Block 6.”
Grabbed the imagination of the world for full-bodied and powerful Pinot. While some were a bit shallow, if you go searching beyond the surface level, you’ll find pockets of fascinating wines. The sub-regional Pinot experiments are great. The aromatic whites, especially Pinot Gris and Riesling, have the ability to be outstanding.
The grape that you can plant anywhere, in any climate and do anything to and it will still taste like an OK wine. When people hit the sweet spot of site, climate, cropping and winemaking, Chardonnay becomes a magical wine that will age gracefully but charm you at any age. Chardonnays can range from cool-climate lean and citrusy to warmer climate tropical and overt. Oak and lees can add flavouring as can malolactic fermentation.
New Zealand shot to fame with their unique take on Sauvignon Blanc. The wines of Marlborough were unlike anything in the world at the time. And over a decade on, a lot of people still love that style. In my opinion, they dropped the ball. It could have been the next Champagne: Limited, rare, expensive. The following fashion was the robust Pinots Noir from Central Otago, for about 18 months they were the hot ticket red.
On the back of these fads, wine lovers discovered other regions. Pinot from Martinborough, Cabernet from Waiheke Island, reds from Hawkes Bay, the whites and Pinot from Nelson.
For me, New Zealand has a lot of potential, and perhaps their best wines are yet to come. I would argue that the wines are made to drink now or drink young. They are delicate with overt fruit, and most don’t chase savoury flavours.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is impressive. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
It is interesting to know that you can make white wine from almost any grape. The colour comes from the skins, and if there is no contact, there is no colour. White wines tend to be delicate, perfumed, higher in acid and lower in alcohol. It seems for this and many other reasons, it is hard to make an incredibly impressive white wine. But those that have mastered the art are indeed some of the best winemakers in the world.
It is a falsehood to think that white wine does not age as well as red wine. But it is correct that white wine, as a rule, doesn’t age for as long.
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.