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Felton Road - 'Block 3' Pinot Noir 2019

$110.00
Sale price

Regular price $110.00

"Tasting Note:  An inviting and intriguing nose: florals compete with rich fruit, a hint of Arabic spices, then a whiff of smoke. The palate is typically diverse and exotic: cherry, savoury, hallmark dried herbs, and a burst of dark red flowers with a finish that just won’t end. The tannins are finely detailed, layered and gradually tighten to show authority over the rich core. There is both serious density and complexity that will amply reward patience. Text book Block 3 that is potentially one of the greatest… yet.

Block 3 is situated on a gentle north facing slope in the heart of The Elms vineyard where a deep bench of silt soil is interspersed with calcarious seams. Meticulous summer management of a single vertical shoot positioned (VSP) canopy ensures even and early fruit maturity. Shoot thinning, shoot positioning, leaf plucking, bunch thinning and harvest are all carried out by hand to ensure optimum quality fruit. Cover crops are planted between rows to assist in vine balance and to improve soil health and general biodiversity. Vintage A season at first remarkable for its persistent rhythm of rain events throughout spring and early summer. Approaching double our long-term average, we never saw more than two weeks without significant precipitation. These wetter seasons however, are usually very welcome, as with our normally excessively dry climate, increased natural moisture is almost always positive for vine health and fruit quality. Heat summation for the season was slightly above normal with healthy green canopies and inter-rows right through to harvest. Maturity arrived rapidly and harvesting of Pinot Noir began on March 29, with all the fruit picked within a 12 day window; except for Block 1 Riesling harvested on April 17. Yields were naturally moderated and bunches were of perfect health with small, loosely packed berries, dense skins and ripe seeds.

Vinification: The unique gravity flow winery enabled the grapes to be gently de-stemmed directly into open-top fermenters without pumping, retaining approximately 25% as whole clusters. Traditional fermentation with a moderately long maceration on skins has extracted good colour and tannin with considerable depth of flavour. This wine was aged for 13 months in 30% new French oak barrels from artisan Burgundian coopers. In accordance with our non-interventionist approach to winemaking, this wine was fermented with indigenous yeast and was not fined or filtered."

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Felton Road

Felton Road dates back to 1991 when Elms Vineyard was planted in Bannockburn, Central Otago. This vineyard actually is on Felton Road (where the name comes from!). The winemaker, Blair Walter, has been there since 1997 and has helped to craft some of New Zealand's most well known and respected Pinot Noirs. 

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir produces some of the world's most expensive, most lauded, rarest and delicious wines. Equally it is one of the most difficult grapes to grow successfully and as a result it is quite hard to make a balanced Pinot Noir. It is historically from Burgundy, most specifically in the Cote de Nuits, so much so that people will refer to Pinot Noir as a 'Burgundy'. Here the wines are light with an array of bright red fruit and floral flavours. 

 

--------THE REGION--------

Central Otago

Central Otago is one of the most southerly wine regions in the world and it is most commonly referred to as Pinot Central, in New Zealand. It has a long history of winemaking dating back to the mid 1800s and in fact a 'Burgundy' from Central Otago won a gold medal in a Sydney wine competition in 1881. A few winemakers including Alan Brady helped to craft it into a leading Pinot Noir region for the world thanks to his fruit-bombs. Many fantastic aromatic white wines excel here also.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir. 

"Tasting Note:  An inviting and intriguing nose: florals compete with rich fruit, a hint of Arabic spices, then a whiff of smoke. The palate is typically diverse and exotic: cherry, savoury, hallmark dried herbs, and a burst of dark red flowers with a finish that just won’t end. The tannins are finely detailed, layered and gradually tighten to show authority over the rich core. There is both serious density and complexity that will amply reward patience. Text book Block 3 that is potentially one of the greatest… yet.

Block 3 is situated on a gentle north facing slope in the heart of The Elms vineyard where a deep bench of silt soil is interspersed with calcarious seams. Meticulous summer management of a single vertical shoot positioned (VSP) canopy ensures even and early fruit maturity. Shoot thinning, shoot positioning, leaf plucking, bunch thinning and harvest are all carried out by hand to ensure optimum quality fruit. Cover crops are planted between rows to assist in vine balance and to improve soil health and general biodiversity. Vintage A season at first remarkable for its persistent rhythm of rain events throughout spring and early summer. Approaching double our long-term average, we never saw more than two weeks without significant precipitation. These wetter seasons however, are usually very welcome, as with our normally excessively dry climate, increased natural moisture is almost always positive for vine health and fruit quality. Heat summation for the season was slightly above normal with healthy green canopies and inter-rows right through to harvest. Maturity arrived rapidly and harvesting of Pinot Noir began on March 29, with all the fruit picked within a 12 day window; except for Block 1 Riesling harvested on April 17. Yields were naturally moderated and bunches were of perfect health with small, loosely packed berries, dense skins and ripe seeds.

Vinification: The unique gravity flow winery enabled the grapes to be gently de-stemmed directly into open-top fermenters without pumping, retaining approximately 25% as whole clusters. Traditional fermentation with a moderately long maceration on skins has extracted good colour and tannin with considerable depth of flavour. This wine was aged for 13 months in 30% new French oak barrels from artisan Burgundian coopers. In accordance with our non-interventionist approach to winemaking, this wine was fermented with indigenous yeast and was not fined or filtered."

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Felton Road

Felton Road dates back to 1991 when Elms Vineyard was planted in Bannockburn, Central Otago. This vineyard actually is on Felton Road (where the name comes from!). The winemaker, Blair Walter, has been there since 1997 and has helped to craft some of New Zealand's most well known and respected Pinot Noirs. 

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir produces some of the world's most expensive, most lauded, rarest and delicious wines. Equally it is one of the most difficult grapes to grow successfully and as a result it is quite hard to make a balanced Pinot Noir. It is historically from Burgundy, most specifically in the Cote de Nuits, so much so that people will refer to Pinot Noir as a 'Burgundy'. Here the wines are light with an array of bright red fruit and floral flavours. 

 

--------THE REGION--------

Central Otago

Central Otago is one of the most southerly wine regions in the world and it is most commonly referred to as Pinot Central, in New Zealand. It has a long history of winemaking dating back to the mid 1800s and in fact a 'Burgundy' from Central Otago won a gold medal in a Sydney wine competition in 1881. A few winemakers including Alan Brady helped to craft it into a leading Pinot Noir region for the world thanks to his fruit-bombs. Many fantastic aromatic white wines excel here also.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir.