Folium Vineyard 2012 Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir Releases
Folium Vineyard is the winegrowing venture of Takaki Okada who came to New Zealand from Japan in 2003 to work at Clos Henri. Developing a passion to craft fine Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, he purchased in 2010, an 8.4 ha block on Brancott Road that was originally set up by Fromm Winery. The vineyard is close-planted at a density of 4,200 vines per hectare, some of the vines dating back to 1996, others established in 2003. Some of the vineyard is dedicated to Chardonnay, Malbec and Syrah, and the yield not dedicated to the Folium label is sold off. The vineyard has been certified BioGro organic since March 2012.
I was present at Takaki’s release of his inaugural 2011 Folium wines at a function at The White House Restaurant in September 2012 (click here to read my report). The name ‘Folium’ is based on the Latin word for ‘leaf’, and is Takaki’s recognition of the most significant role of the vine’s leaves in the making of the wines. However, I was immensely impressed with his humility, enthusiasm and fastidiousness which I described as "measured fanaticism” in the end result. His focus is on meticulous viticulture, no irrigation except for new vines, and hand-harvesting to ensure low yields of healthy and fully-ripened fruit.
Winemaking, which is just as meticulous as the grapegrowng, is carried out at Fromm Winery, with some advice from William Hoare and Hatsch Kalberer there. The ‘estate’ wines are made from the younger vines and the ‘Reserve’ from the older, and the winemaking regimes are essentially identical to allow the nature of each of the blocks to be expressed. The ‘estate’ wines are sealed with screwcap, whereas the ‘Reserve’ wines are sealed with natural cork. Takaki’s first release was around 1,200 cases, with an eventual aim of 3,000 cases at full production. Here, I review the second Folium Vineyard releases, from the 2012 vintage, the ‘estate’ Pinot Noir being a 2013. www.folium.co.nz
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Folium Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 16-Jun-2014Brilliant pale straw-yellow colour with lemon-green hues, light on edge. This has a full, solidly deep and rich bouquet of gooseberries, tropical fruits, and grass, with secondary green bean development notes. Dry to taste and fullish-bodied, the palate is up-front, openly accessible and bold with soft flavours of gooseberries, grass and green beans. The fruit has depth and weight and plenty of presence. The mouthfeel is soft and dry in texture, the palate line supported by good acid drive, carrying the wine to a full-flavoured, long, textural finish. This is a fulsome, bold and accessible gooseberry-fruited, dry Sauvignon Blanc with some bean-like secondary development. Match with salads and vegetables, and with Mediterranean cuisine over the next 2 years. Hand-picked fruit, WBP and fermented at up to 20°C to 13.87% alc., the wine aged up to 8 months on lees. 410 cases made. 17.5/20 Jun 2014 RRP $27.00
Folium ‘Reserve’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 16-Jun-2014Bright pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues. The nose is soft and subtle with ethereal and delicately ripe aromas of white florals and stonefruits entwined with herbs. The aromatics build in intensity and refreshing steeliness revealing wet-stone minerals and cut grass notes. Very dry to taste, tightly restrained and finely presented flavours of white stonefruits and herbs are interwoven with subtle gooseberry fruit notes. The mouthfeel features refined textures and ripe acidity that provides a soft linearity with good vitality and underlying energy. The palate flows smoothly with aromatic and minerally detail to a long, mouthwatering, lacy finish. This is an elegant, refined, refreshingly dry Sauvignon Blanc with white stonefruit and minerally detail. Serve with seafood and fine Asian cuisine over the next 3+ years. Hand-picked fruit, WBP and fermented at up to 20°C to 13.43% alc., the wine aged up to 8 months on lees. 335 cases made. 18.5/20 Jun 2014 RRP $31.00
Folium Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013Pinot Noir from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 16-Jun-2014Very dark, deep, purple-red colour, youthful in appearance. The nose is concentrated and well-packed with primary dark red cherry and berry aromas, along with subtle dark herb notes and violetty perfumes, unfolding raspberry liqueur and whole berry fermentation confectionary elements. Medium-full bodied, soft, plump and fleshy fruit flavours of dark raspberries are entwined with herb, confectionary and jam nuances. The juiciness is stylishly balanced by soft, very fine-grained tannins and ripe acidity. The palate is fulsome, sweet and up-front, and the flavours bloom to fill the mouth and carry through to a long, sustained, juicy and succulent finish. This is a soft, lusciously juicy, primary fruited Pinot Noir with raspberry and jam flavours and a fine texture. Match with duck and lamb, and Asian and Middle Eastern fare over the next 4-5+ years. Hand-picked fruit destemmed, given a cold soak and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.86% alc., the wine aged in 25% new French oak barrels. 280 cases made. 18.0+/20 Jun 2014 RRP $29.00
Folium ‘Reserve’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012Pinot Noir from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 16-Jun-2014Dark, deep, ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues. The bouquet is soft, refined and gently concentrated with aromas of ripe dark raspberry and black cherry fruit harmoniously integrated with notes of raspberry liqueur, black florals and spices. Funky game and earthy elements emerge with aeration. Medium-bodied, soft and plush fruit flavours of dark red berry and cherry fruit are melded with spice and earthy game notes. Some earthy nuances add complexity and interest. The palate has a concentrated core and the mouthfeel features fine-grained tannins that grow, with piquant acidity providing tension and freshness. The wine carries to a fine-textured, dry and elegant finish. This is a soft, gently luscious, fine-textured Pinot Noir with good freshness and dark fruit flavours with a little funky, earthy complexity. Match with lamb, beef and venison over the next 5-6 years. Hand-picked fruit destemmed, given a cold soak and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.86% alc., the wine aged in 25% new French oak barrels. 133 cases made. 18.0/20 Jun 2014 RRP $40.00