The Family of 12 is a grouping of 12 New Zealand wineries who occasionally work together on promotion and other things, see http://www.familyoftwelve.co.nz/ for further information. They were in Dublin yesterday, showing their wares for a really good tasting.
Felton Road is one of the 12, so I went in to help Nigel Greening, the owner of Felton Road, pour the wine and shoot the breeze for a couple of hours. Nigel is an extremly interesting and entertaining guy and it is always fascinating to hear him talk abour wine, winemaking, organics, biodynamics, global warming and anything else that might come up. The wines were, as always, fantastic, ew had four on show:
2007 Riesling - with 50g of residual sugar and 10 degrees of alcohol, this off-dry Riesling was the star of our table and possibly of the whole tasting. Harmonious, fresh and beautifully balanced with lovely fresh citrus flavours, soft acidity and amazing length - really excellent.
2006 Chardonnay - showing really well, again nicely balanced with fruit, acidity and oak. Nigel reckons you should either drink this now if you like your chardonnay young and zesty or stick it away for 4/5 years to let it develop. (We had the 02 recently and it was excellent).
2006 Calvert Pinot Noir - the first vintage of this single vineyard Pinot was tight and quite tannic when I last tasted it before Christmas, but yesterday it was showing really well - very open with beautiful pure raspberry fruit, lightish in body but with excellent concentration and length.
2006 Pinot Noir - much meatier than the Calvert, but with amazing purity, complexity and length - more brambly in character, silky tannins and perfect balance.
Nigel is really excited about his 2007s (see Riesling above) - he reckons his 2007 Pinot is by far the best Pinot they have ever made; look forward to trying them when they land in a couple of weeks time.
There were other interesting wines there as well, some not available in Ireland - I will report on them in my next posting.