Back in 2011 not long before I left for my trip I attended a media lunch at Vue de Monde with Blair Walter from Felton Road, by accident. I should have been there the day before at the trade lunch but got mixed up, and somehow was able to stay with the illustrious likes of James Halliday, Jane Faulkner, Jeni Port, Dan Sims, Ben Edwards, Matt Skinner and a number of other Melbourne-based journalists and educators. Feeling very guilty and intimidated I then had the fortune of sitting next to Blair himself for the tasting of the entire range of new releases and then the insane lunch prepared by the Vue staff on the hundred-and-whatever floor of the Eureka Building. Over the many courses we were all regaled by tales from the god of Australian Wine James Halliday working the classic 1983 vintage in Burgundy, which not only put me further in awe of his legacy but also look forward to my trip in the hopes I would have even half the experience. That surreal afternoon will stay with me and created quite the connection with Felton Road wines. This week I had the chance to catch up with Blair again as he was in town for the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, and taste a few of the wines.
Bannockburn Chardonnay 2011
Nice hit of lees autolysis and pithy lemon and lime, flinty volcanic minerality, very slightly toasty. Fairly rich and round, nice and creamy on the back but focused and clean acids. Fairly fruit bold and good level of ripeness. Warmish.
Block 2 Chardonnay 2011
Denser and darker fruit, more stone than citric, slightly more oak and lees characters. Fuller heavier, more fruit and denser texture. Richer, more expressive mid-palate and showing youthful oak and alcohol. Powerful yet subtle expression given time.
Bannockburn Riesling 2012
Bright blossomy florals, a touch musky with some candied citrus. Crisp yet soft with the combination of acid and RS. Gentle subtle and long, caresses the palate in a moorish way. Very long acidity certainly mineralic.
Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2012
Bright dark stalky earthy black fruits, blackberries and black cherry, very exuberant. Dense and forward, a little short on the palate for now, not integrate yet. Concentrated fruit and small bunch at that, a touch sharp at the moment.
Cornish Point Pinot Noir 2011
A little more restrained in colour. More focused and less varietal, earthy and more red in fruit, stormy and deep. More elegant and balanced on the palate, showing great mid-palate structure and exceptional length. Fruit needs more time to express itself, a bit closed under selection and barrel. Certainly more terroir-driven and individual.
|Felton Road Tasting