Country: New Zealand Region: Marlborough
Varietal: Pinot noir
Vintage: 2018 Colour: Red Style: Dry
Framingham 2018 Marlborough Pinot Noir is blended from 16 base wines made from low-cropped, reasonably well exposed grapes harvested from seven different sites around Marlborough’s Wairau Valley, one being the Framingham estate vineyard, the others being in the Southern Wairau valley with more clay based soils. Approximately 25% of the wine is Clone 5, with 10/5, 115, 667, 777 and Abel comprising the rest.
Winter and spring of 2018 were somewhat drier than normal, and poor weather at flowering meant that low crop yields were set. The run up to harvest felt warmer than average, and thanks to favourable weather over harvest, allied to low yielding vines, Framingham were able to harvest ripe grapes with a good range of flavours, intensity and ripe tannins with negligible disease incidence, a nice contrast to 2017. Fruit was picked between the 12th March and 8th April.
Hand-picked bunches were gently de-stemmed into stainless steel open top fermenters in the winery; however some batches had whole bunch components of up to 20%. These musts were held cold for five to eight days to promote extraction. Plunging was carried out three times per day during fermentation (with both spontaneous and inoculated yeasts) and temperatures were allowed to peak at around 30°C. Once fermentation was complete, wines were assessed daily for extraction and structure, and were pressed when this was deemed to be in balance. Some parcels, largely from the vineyards with more clay content, were left on skins longer to provide structure and some savoury elements. The wines underwent malolactic fermentation and ten months maturation in a mixture of new and seasoned French barriques, approximately 20% of which were new. After maturation, the selected base wines were blended and bottled un-fined and un-filtered.
In the glass, this wine is a bright mid-garnet tone. The nose is complex with attractive savoury notes of smoked meats and spice, along with cherry fruit and herb and floral nuances. The rounded palate, revealing sour cherry fruit, is structured but balanced with tannins and juicy acidity. Summer fruit compote, hints of smoky oak and some whole bunch derived spice complete the picture.