2020 Felton Road Calvert Pinot Noir New Zealand

  • 95 Point New Zealand Pino Made for Cellaring
  • 93 Point Vintage ~Wine Spectator
  • "Initially Smooth & Refined, but There’s No Escaping Its Sense of Power" ~VM
  • Organic and Biodynamic Certified
  • Free Shipping on 6 or More Bottles

About the Wine

Before delving into the wine itself, let's take a moment to appreciate the man behind the magic, the proprietor of the apricot orchard turned vineyard dream, Stewart Greening. A true wine enthusiast, Greening embarked on this journey in 1999, transforming Calvert Vineyard into a winemaking paradise. In the same year, he acquired the Felton Road estate, now distinguishable by the iconic elm tree on every screwcap.

But what inspired Greening's foray into winemaking? As he fondly recalls, he was a fervent Burgundy drinker in an era when such enthusiasm was pure bliss. He drew inspiration from legendary estates like California's Calera, setting the stage for his vinous adventure.

As the vines took root in the Calvert Vineyard, so did the principles of biodynamics. Winemaker Blair Walter and viticulturist Gareth King were determined to embrace organic and biodynamic practices.

The wines, however, spoke volumes, especially in the UK, where they made their debut thanks to the late John Avery. Felton Road may not have been on the radar initially, but a glowing review from the renowned US critic Robert Parker brought the spotlight.

Felton Road's story is divided into two chapters, before and after. The turning point came in 2012, what Greening calls their "renaissance." 2011 had sealed their fate, prompting them to harvest earlier than usual. Greening emphatically states, "This is not as ripe, but we like it better." This shift to picking earlier has brought more tension and age-ability to their wines.

Calvert Vineyard, located just two kilometers east of the Elms Vineyard on Felton Road, boasts a picturesque northeast-facing slope below the historic Bannockburn Gold Sluicings. This site is steeped in history, with the tailraces of Bailey's and Pipeclay Gullys providing cold air drainage and minimizing frost risk.

Calvert Vineyard, with its low elevation, basks in ample sunshine, resulting in consistently early ripening. The Dijon clones, range of rootstocks, and minimal shading from western hills create the perfect environment for producing wines with exceptional texture, floral aromatics, and ripe dark fruits. The tannins are fine, focused, and accompanied by a distinct minerality. Organic and biodynamic practices are the norm, and the vineyard is fully certified by Demeter and BioGro.

2020 was a good year for New Zealand, Wine Spectator awarded this year with 93 points and said, "ideal growing season resulted in plenty of stunning wines."

Aging: 13 months in 25% new French oak barrels

Tasting Notes: 100% Pinot Noir. 
See Critical Reviews for detailed tasting notes.


Elegant, firmly-structured pinot noir with floral, spice, plum and red cherry flavours. Youthful and a little closed at this stage but with the potential to develop well with bottle age. Aerate for best results. ~95 Bob Campbell

The 2020 Pinot Noir Calvert may initially seem smooth and refined, but there's no escaping its sense of power; it packs a punch with its concentrated core and structured tannic frame. While you'll find cherry-like fruit and a floral lift, there's a distinctly savory edge to this vintage, which displays Worcestershire sauce, spice and fruitcake alongside herbal notes. It achieves a wonderful balance between the core of ripe fruit and the powerful structure. A Calvert has the brawn to age and will benefit from more time in bottle.~94 Vinous Media

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