From the Cellar: Felton Road Chardonnay Bannockburn Central Otago 2010 – $$$
I have thought for a while now that Chardonnay grapes grown in Central Otago, due to the cooler climate down there, are well-suited for producing Chablis-like wines – wines with a more minerally, austere character, rather than the more fruit-drive ripe versions grown further north in the Hawkes Bay.
Unfortunately Chardonnay production levels from this region are low (blame the fashion for Central Otago Pinot Noir), and are correspondingly expensive so I don’t get to drink much Central Chardonnays to test this hypothesis. Here is a small chance to put this right:
This is a regional blend from three Felton Road vineyards in Bannockburn Central Otago. Brilliant pale gold colour. 14% alc.
Compressed fruit nose. Nutty and elegant.
Linear and somewhat austere flavours. Lacking a bit of zing and vivacity. Grapefruit and white peach. Dry minerals. A bitter finish. This wine is as good a candidate for a Chablis descriptor as you could get around here. I would have liked a bit more steel, if a full flavour was not on offer.