Featured Reviews




Fromm 2015 ‘La Strada’, ‘Churton’, ‘Quarters’, ‘Clayvin’ and ’Fromm’ Pinot Noirs

31 January,2017

Fromm Winery has made significant innovations with their 2015 vintage Pinot Noirs, that propel them back to the forefront of Marlborough expressions of the variety. Recently, I reviewed the 2015 ‘Cuvee H’ Pinot Noir, a wine blended from the ‘Fromm’, ‘Clayvin’, Quarters’, ‘Churton’ and ‘Yarrum’ vineyards as a tribute to founding winemaker Hatsch Kalberer. I saw it as an outstanding wine with a sense of completeness (click here to see my review).

Just released are a quartet of single vineyard Pinot Noirs and the more accessible ‘La Strada’ wine to complement and complete the 2015 Fromm Pinot Noir release. The single vineyard expressions of the well-regarded ‘Fromm’ and ‘Clayvin’ sites are now joined by bottlings from the ‘Quarters’ and ‘Churton’ sites. Hatsch and the Fromm team believe all four single vineyard wines possess a "sense of place”, and their individuality insisted they be bottled separately. Fromm now joins a small, but growing group of Pinot Noir winemakers who are bottling multiple wines from different vineyards to show site, sub-regionality and ultimately terroir.

Fromm Winery also employs high quality fruit from the ‘Yarrum’ vineyard which has gone into the ‘La Strada’ and ‘Cuvee H’ wines for 2015. In all probability, there may be a ‘Yarrum’ single vineyard Pinot Noir under the Fromm label in the coming future. Here, I review the 2015 ‘La Strada’ and four single vineyard Pinot Noirs from Fromm. www.frommwinery.co.nz


FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Fromm ‘La Strada’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough

18+/20
Dark, deep ruby-red with pale purple hues, youthful in appearance and lighter on the edge. The nose is firm and tightly concentrated with aromas of fresh, dark-red berry fruits melded with a layer of dark and fresh herbs, unfolding a little pepper and violet florals. The aromatics are even in presentation and balanced in proportion. Medium-bodied, the palate has concentration with bright, fresh and juicy dark-red berry fruit flavours along with a subtle layer of fresh and dark herbs and pepper. The fruit is enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity adding to the sweetness, and underlined by moderately extracted, fine, grainy tannins, The palate carries the fresh fruit flavours with good energy to a lingering finish of dark-red fruits and subtle herb notes. This is a bright and fresh, dark-red fruited Pinot Noir with herb and slight pepper notes on a fine, grainy palate. Match with firm-fleshed seafood, poultry and pork dishes over the next 5-6+ years. Fruit from the ‘Fromm’, ‘Quarters’, ‘Churton’ and ‘Yarrum’ vineyards in the Wairau, Brancott and Waihopi valleys, with clones 115, 667, 777, Abel, 5, 6, 10/5 and 2/10, with small amounts of 114, 113 and 13, vines 14-25 y.o., hand-picked, destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented with whole berries to 13.5% alc., the wine spending 2 weeks on skins and aged 14 month in 12-15% new oak. Certified BioGro organic. 18.0+/20 Jan 2017 RRP $40.00

Fromm ‘Churton Vineyard’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough

19-/20
Full, even, dark ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues, paler on the rim. The nose is firm and concentrated with intensely packed aromas of ripe blackberry and black cherry fruit along with n amalgam of dark herbs and black mineral elements, lifted by dark-red, violet and black florals. Medium-full bodied, the palate features a bright and vibrant, aromatic palate with ripe blackberry and black cherry flavours entwined with black minerals and suggestions of dark herbs. The fruit has richness, sweetness and vitality, with fresh, lacy acidity providing energy and tension. The fruit is supported by tightly bound, fine-grained tannins, and the wine has positive linearity, leading to a long, lingering and elegant finish of black fruits, minerals and florals. This is a vibrant, firmly concentrated, black-fruited Pinot Noir with refined tannin extraction, freshness and mineral notes. Match with lamb, beef and semi-hard cheeses over the next 6-8 years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Churton’ vineyard, Waihopi Valley, clones 115, 667, Abel and 5, vines 14 y.o. on loess and clay over alluvial gravel, destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented with whole berries to 13.5% alc., the wine spending 3 weeks on skins and aged 16-18 months in 10% new oak. Certified BioGro Organic. 300 bottles made. 19.0-/20 Jan 2017 RRP $55.00

Fromm ‘Quarters Vineyard’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough

18.5/20
Even, dark ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, lighter edged. The nose is elegant, very soft and harmoniously presented with gently interwoven aromas of dark-red berry and cherry fruit, along with subtle notes of fresh herbs and lifted dark-red florals. Black cherry notes emerge from the core with aeration. Medium-bodied, the palate has gently mouthfilling flavours of sweet and lush dark-red berry fruits and hints of strawberries, fresh herbs and red florals. The wine has an attractive balance and flows smoothly and seamlessly with supple tannin extraction guiding the fruit. The acidity is softly ripe and integrated, and the wine carries to a gentle, light, red floral and berry-fruited finish. This is a harmonious, smooth-flowing Pinot Noir with red fruits and florals, supple tannins and structure. Match with poultry dishes over the next 6+ years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Quarters’ vineyard, lower Brancott Valley, clones 115, 777, Abel and 5, vines 16-18 y.o., on clay and silt, destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented with whole berries to 13.0% alc., the wine spending 3 weeks on skins and aged 16-18 months in 10% new oak. Certified BioGro Organic. 300 bottles made. 18.5/20 Jan 2017 RRP $55.00

Fromm ‘Clayvin Vineyard’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough

19/20
Even, dark ruby-red colour with youthful cerise-purple hues, a little paler on the edge. This ha a gently full and voluminous nose with well-concentrated aromas of a broad array of dark-red and black-berried fruits, showing ripeness and subtle underlying dark herb notes, with dark-red and violet florals, unfolding nuances of spice and liquorice. The aromatics grow in depth and density with aeration. Medium-bodied, the palate features rich, ripe and lusciously succulent flavours of dark-red berry fruits with a range of florals and subtle herbal nuances at the core. The palate has breadth and depth, and the fruit is supported by serious, fine-gained, powdery tannin extraction and grip, with integrated ripe acidity. The structure carries the wine to a long and sustained dry, textural finish of dark-red fruits and liquorice notes. This is a rich, lusciously succulent, dark-red fruited Pinot Noir with an array of fruits and florals, and considerable fine-grained structure. Match with lamb, beef and venison over the next 7-9+ years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Clayvin’ vineyard, Brancott Valley, clones 115, 667, 777 and small amounts of 5 and 6, vines 18 y.o., on heavy clay, destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented with whole berries to 13.0% alc., the wine spending 3 weeks on skins and aged 16-18 months in 10% new oak. Certified BioGro Organic. 600 bottles made. 19.0/20 Jan 2017 RRP $85.00

Fromm ‘Fromm Vineyard’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough

19+/20
Even ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly proportioned with firmly concentrated and intense, refined aromas of black-berried fruits and black minerals entwined with notes of liquorice and spices, unfolding a layer of dark herbs, black florals and hints of nutty oak. Medium-full bodied, the palate has intense and concentrated flavours of sweetly ripe black-berried fruits alongside black minerals and liquorice. Soft black florals, spices and suggetions of nutty oak add complexing detail. The wine is refreshing with lacy acidity, and very fine-grained flowery tannin extraction balances the fruit richness and intensity. The mouthfeel exudes excellent vitality, energy and drive, and carries to a long, concentrated, elegant and sustained , textural finish of black fruits and minerals. This is an intensely concentrated, very fine-grained Pinot Noir with flavours of black fruits and minerals, with vitality and energy, freshness and linearity. Match with roasted and grilled game meats and semi-hard cheeses. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Fromm’ vineyard, Wairau Valley, clones 115, 667, 777 and small amounts of Abel and 5, vines 18-23 y.o., on alluvial gravel and silt, destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented with whole berries to 13.5% alc., the wine spending 3 weeks on skins and aged 16-18 months in 10% new oak. Certified BioGro Organic. 1,200 bottles made. 19.0+/20 Jan 2016 RRP $85.00
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