Featured Reviews

Framingham ‘F-Series’ 2018 Montepulciano Rosé and Gewurztraminer, and 2016 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

23 November,2018

Owned by the Portuguese wine giant SOGRAPE since 2009, Framingham in Marlborough has been providing quality Sauvignon Blanc to many export markets. The Sauvignon Blanc production is the main focus of the company, but among wine aficionados, Framingham is best-known for its superb range of Rieslings crafted by winemaker Dr Andrew Hedley. Many, including myself, would assert that the Framingham Rieslings are the best and most interesting of that variety in New Zealand. However, Andrew is not just a Riesling man, and he and his team have made advances in the ‘F-Series’ range of wines. These are limited-production bottlings from selected sites, incorporating more adventurous winemaking techniques, which often find their way into the making of the more mainstream ‘estate’ wines. It’s all about improving the breed and raising the bar of quality and sophistication. I’ve been very impressed with the style of the most recent ‘F-Series’ wines. Here, I review the new release 2018 Montepulciano Rosé and Gewurztraminer, and 2016 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. www.framingham.co.nz


Framingham ‘F-Series’ Marlborough Montepulciano Rosé 2018

Rose from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, peach-pink with eye-of-the-partridge hues, and some depth, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh with firm and tightly bound aromas of strawberries and savoury quince fruit along with watermelon and thirst-quenching mineral nuances. This has good depth and unfolds soft red floral elements. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has luscious and vibrant fruit flavours of savoury strawberries and quince, along with red berry fruits and watermelon, with mouth-watering mineral hints. The mouthfeel is fresh and lively, with a softly packed, rounded core with good concentration. Fresh, lacy acidity enlivens the palate, and the wine carries with linearity along a fine, soft-textured line, to a lingering finish. This is a lush and vibrant, mouthwatering dry rosé with quince, strawberry, watermelon and mineral flavours on a fresh palate. Serve with charcuterie and antipasto over the next 2 years. Hand-picked Montepulciano fruit from the back of the winery, destemmed and given 3 days skin contact and pressed to stainless-steel, with 15% in seasoned oak, fermented, 15% by indigenous yeasts to 13.0% alc. and 2 g/L RS, the barrel portion undergoing MLF. 1,733 bottles made. 18.0/20 Nov 2018 RRP $34.99

Framingham ‘F-Series’ Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2018

Gewurztraminer from New Zealand – Marlborough


Brilliant, even, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. The nose is softly full and voluminous with concentrated and layered aromas of rich, ripe exotic tropical fruit, honey and apricots, with Turkish Delight notes that unfold and build in depth and density. Sweet to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has gently rich and luscious flavours of ripe tropical fruits entwined with exotic florals and apricots, honey and Turkish Delight. The flavours fill the palate from its rich, rounded core, the wine near unctuous in texture. The acidity is soft, adding to the rich mouthfeel, and the wine carries with some underlying power to a long and sustained, opulent finish. This is a rich and luscious, sweet Gewurztraminer with ripe tropical fruit, exotic florals, honey and Turkish Delight on an unctuous palate. Match with Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine over the next 3-4 years. Hand-picked fruit from the back of the winery, WBP and indigenous yeast fermented, 55% in seasoned oak and 45% in acacia wood to 13.0% alc. and 42 g/L RS, the wine aged 6 months on lees. 19.0/20 Nov 2018 RRP $34.99

Framingham ‘F-Series’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, even, straw-yellow colour with green-golden hues, paler on the rim. The nose is taut and elegantly presented, a little shy at present, with finely balanced aromas of white and yellow stonefruits entwined with subtle nutty oak and mealy complexities with a little flint. This is delicate with fine detail and interest, and builds in intensity with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegantly concentrated with a fine, tight core of interwoven flavours of white and yellow stonefruits and subtle nutty notes and hints of mealiness, flint and minerals. The wine flows along a fine-textured line with bright acid freshness, carrying to a moderately long finish. This is an elegant, finely concentrated Chardonnay with delicate stonefruit, nutty and mealy-mineral flavours on a fine-textured palate. Match with seafood and pork dishes over the next 3-4 years. Clone 95 and 15 fruit from ‘Baldie’s Dry Hills Lane’ vineyard, hand-picked and WBP, indigenous yeast fermented in equal parts in seasoned French oak and stainless-steel barrels to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months on gross lees with partial MLF. 1,300 bottles made. 17.5/20 Nov 2018 RRP $34.99

Framingham ‘F-Series’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough


Even ruby-red colour with some depth, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is fresh and gently full with aromas of red cherry and berry fruit forming a tightly bound, elegant core, along with nutty oak notes and a little dark herbal detail adding interest, unfolding suggestions of whole bunch stalk. Medium-bodied, the palate has good richness and sweetness of dark-red cherry and berry fruit intermingling with soft nutty oak and nuances of dark herbs with whole bunch stalk suggestions. The fruit richness is balanced by fine-grained tannin extraction and structure, with soft, integrated acidity. The flavours form a good core with drive, and the wine leads to a long, taut, dry-textured finish. This is a rich cherry and berry fruited Pinot Noir with nutty oak and a fine core with drive and line. Hand-picked fruit, 90% from a vineyard in the southern Wairau Valley on clay and loam soils, and 10% from a lighter soiled vineyard next to Framingham, indigenous yeast fermented with 20% whole bunches to 13.0% alc., the wine spending 26 days on skins and aged 13 months in 25% new French oak barriques. 4,500 bottles made. 17.5+/20 Nov 2018 RRP $39.99

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