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Felton Road Calvert Pinot Noir 2016

Felton Road Calvert Pinot Noir 2016

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"Made with 25% whole clusters, the 2016 Calvert Pinot Noir is floral and herbal up front, with distinct rose petal and thyme aromas. Red berries take charge on the palate, although there's a resinous herbal note from start to finish. This medium-bodied wine is supple enough to be approachable now, but it has the concentration to age through 2025. Drink: 2018-2025. 91 points

I almost feel like Felton Road should need no introduction by now. If two decades of excellence isn't enough to convince you to try these wines, what more can I say? Longtime winemaker Blair Walter and I tasted through some barrel samples of the 2017 Pinot Noirs and then sat down to go through the current releases. Along the way, he offered some comments on the various trends he's seen over the years. On whole cluster in Pinot Noir: "We use 20-30%. It hasn't changed in 20 years. I don't like it when it clouds expression of site." On the effects of vine age: "The wines are less heavily fruited, show more nuance, greater fruit-tannin expression." The white wines are often overlooked here, but the Chardonnays and Rieslings are outstanding. Oak-averse consumers should note that the Block 2 and Block 6 Chardonnays use no new wood, as Walter feels "the mineralogy we have is quickly masked by the flint of oak.""

Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate (235)