Felton Road `Bannockburn` Chardonnay 2012 (12 x 750mL), Central Otago, NZ.

Liquor Act 2007: It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or to obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years. Liquor licence LIQP770010049
$47.90 per Bottle
$574.80 per case
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Distinctly bright and mineral with outstanding clarity. The core is soft, rounded and textural. A comforting mid palate is neatly balanced by an intense finale and forward drive. Showing youthful restraint with exuberance to come.

NZ - Central Otago
New Zealand

Expert Reviews

Aromatic and powerful chardonnay with an ethereal texture and lingering finish. Poised, high-energy wine with citrus, mineral, stone-fruit and winemaking flavours delivered with great subtlety. Rating 97 - Gourmet Traveller (OCT/NOV 2013)

2012 is one of the great blends of Felton Road’s three chardonnay vineyards, with a richness of fruit character typical of the vintage, yet with a focused precision and intricately defined structure, thanks to rapid picking. Struck flint and gunsmoke complexity hovers over pristine white peach and lemon purity, with a core of intense stone fruits, swallowing 11% new oak. Focused acidity and fine mineral structure build impressive precision. Rating 95 - Drink to 2017 - Tyson Stelzer, tysonstelzer.com

White peach and grapefruit drive the bouquet and palate, 10 per cent new oak totally absorbed by the fruit. Long, minerally acidity cleanses the mouth, leaving the finish fresh. 100 per cent malolactic fermentation, and neither fined nor filtered. Rating 95 Drink to 2018 - James Halliday, The Australian (AUG/2013)

‘This is the first time we’ve got a Bannockburn to bottle without fining and filtering’, offers Blair Walter, winemaker, ‘we’ve been doing this since the first pinot noir release and it’s been tough to get brighter level of clarity, but we figured that if it’s good for pinot noir it will be sufficient for chardonnay’. This is 60% from the Elms vineyard, 30% from Calvert and 10% from Cornish Point, 20-year-old vines down to 6-year-old vines. Felton Road is pretty much the largest producer of chardonnay in Central Otago, by the by.

Hand-picked off the Demeter certified biodynamic vineyards, ‘we’re getting fruit maturity at lower sugars, so this was picked at the end of March, and came off very quickly’, says Walter, ‘we don’t like the golden coloured chardonnay berries, and we pick for vibrancy’. It’s whole bunch pressed and goes straight to barrel, less than 15% new oak, wild yeast, malo kicks off in spring, usually. Maybe a stir now and then, but no regular batonnage.

Fairly neutral aromas, but pure of fruit, stone fruit it feels, some mealy/nuttiness suggested, but its a pretty entry to the wine born of primary stuff. Delicious straight away with just a faint hint of benign bitterness – really pleasing in that alpine herb kind of way and leaving the palate fresh. Mouthwatering one could say. Cool stone fruit flavour, precise in texture and finishing long and with mineral water-like minerality. A wine of clarity and gentle fruit sweetness. Good gear.

Rating 92 - Drink to 2019 - Mike Bennie, Wine Front (JUL/2013)

Distinctly bright and mineral with outstanding clarity. The core is soft, rounded and textural. A comforting mid palate is neatly balanced by an intense finale and forward drive. Showing youthful restraint with exuberance to come. Rating 92 -Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, eRobertParker.com (OCT/2013)

The 2012 (4½), biodynamic-certified, was fermented with indigenous yeasts, given a full, softening malolactic fermentation, matured for a year on its full yeast lees, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. A rich, ripe, sweet-fruited wine with vibrant, concentrated, citrusy, peachy flavours, gently seasoned with oak, it's already delicious. Michael Cooper's Buyer's Guide 2014

Winery Tasting Notes


Brilliant lemon gold with a seamlessly integrated nose; floral with subtle hazelnut notes and white peach.


Minerality predominates over delicate lemon zest and crisp acid. Very textural on the palate, full not fat. Long, fresh and clean on the finish with not a hint of oak. This wine is unfined and unfiltered, the first time we have achieved this with our Bannockburn Chardonnay.

NZ - Central Otago
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Winery Profile

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Beginning with meticulous site selection and vineyard design in 1991, Felton Road’s story is one of refusal to compromise. A strict 100% estate policy with fully organic and biodynamic viticulture ensures that the fruit arrives at the winery as pure as it can be, whilst the entire estate comes as close to true sustainability as is possible. A commitment to hands off winemaking: gravity flow, wild yeasts, wild malo, an avoidance of fining and filtration all help preserve the wine’s expression of its terroir. No additions or adjustments are performed unless they absolutely need to be. The result is Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir which Felton Road believe express the authenticity and complexity of their unique vineyards.

Felton Road farms three vineyard properties totalling 32 hectares in the Bannockburn sub-region of Central Otago. 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.

Winemaker Blair Walter

Winemaker Blair Walter continues to work his magic with the recent releases from Central Otago’s most famous Estate. There’s not a wine less than excellent in the bunch, but these days it would be more of a story if there was. Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate#191 (OCT/2010)

View Felton Road website


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