Felton Road – 2015 New Release
Barry Weinman: 20th November 2016
The chance to taste the newly released 2015 Felton Road Pinots was an opportunity too good to miss. Needless to say, the quality of the wines was outstanding.
The quality of the Chardonnays was right up there with the Pinots, and the Rieslings provided an interesting counterpoint to the styles typically produced in Australia.
N.B. This was not a blind panel tasting, so please take my points as a guide only.
Felton Road – Riesling – Bannockburn – 2016 (17.5pts – $39). Fresh lime juice and floral characters leap from the glass. Gorgeous, off-dry palate, with apple and rosewater flavours. The finish is long and fine, with enough acid to keep the balance. Different to a German Kabinett, but worthwhile.
Felton Road – Riesling – Dry – 2016 (18.3pts – RRP $39). More minerality here, with subdued fruit initially. The palate is bright and fresh, with steely characters to the fore. Reminds me of a Clare Riesling, though with less overt citrus characters. Builds depth and power in the glass.
Felton Road – Riesling – Block 1 – 2016 (18 – 18.5pts – $51). Restrained and taut, giving away little on the nose. The palate is off-dry (though appears less sweet than the Bannockburn), with similar apple and floral characters, though there is more depth and texture, with excellent acidity adding balance.
Felton Road – Chardonnay – Bannockburn – 2015 (17.5pts – $56). The nose is quite complex, with barrel ferment and lees characters over creamy oak. The palate is quite firm and structured, with honeyed fruit notes. Long, and a touch robust right now, there is a nutty minerality to the finish. Not quite the depth of the Block wines, but will develop with a year or two in bottle.
Felton Road – Chardonnay – Bannockburn – Block 2 – 2015 (18.5pts – $69). So much more finesse and poise than the standard wine. There are all of the worked characters, but this is more subtle and balanced. Minerality and fine acidity add to the restraint and balance. A modern reserved style that will age well for years to come.
Felton Road – Chardonnay – Bannockburn – Block 6 – 2015 (18.7pts – $69). The finest of the chardonnays and very restrained and elegant. The palate is brilliant. Fine and elegant, the subtle fruit is perfectly ripe. The structural components are tightly married to the fruit, making for a seamless finish. A superb wine. Now to 8 years.
Felton Road – Pinot Noir – Bannockburn – 2015 (18+pts – $76). Not quite as fruit forward as the 2014, this has more savoury characters to the cherry/plum fruit. Quite earthy, with almost brambly fruit. With air, the fruit shines. The mouth-feel is supple, though the tannins provide a firm edge. Would benefit from a few years in the cellar.
Felton Road – Pinot Noir Cornish – 2015 (18.5pts – $89). Quite closed and tight. The palate is fine, elegant and structured, though the high quality fruit is somewhat suppressed. That said, there is no denying the quality or the outstanding mouth-feel and texture. This will blossom in 3 – 5 years as the cherry fruit emerges from its structural cocoon.
Felton Road – Pinot Noir – Calvert Vineyard – 2015 (18.6pts $89). Restraint and balance are the key features. Supple, seamless, earthy notes, cherry, spice and brilliant mouth-feel. Very long and fine, this is the most refined wine to date and my pick to drink now (or in 5+ years).
Felton Road – Pinot Noir – Block 3 – 2015 (18.8pts – $122). Wow, this has the balance of the Calvert, with more intrinsic depth and power to the fruit. The cherry fruit sits comfortably within the structural elements. There are earthy notes and great length, but the sublime fruit is the main focus. A wonderful wine anytime over the next 8 years. My pick of the tasting!
Felton Road – Pinot Noir – Block 5 – 2015 (18.5+pts – $122). The vibrant fruit is more overt than in the Block 3.There is inherent depth and power, yet there is silky, almost jube-like fruit on the palate. Despite being seamless, on the palate this is actually quite closed and subdued. An almost ethereal wine for the aficionados, though this may be overlooked initially.