Fromm 2016 ‘Clayvin’ Chardonnay, ‘La Strada’ and ‘Fromm’ Syrah, and ‘Fromm’ Malbec
Fromm Winery is the undisputed leader in single-vineyard and terroir-expressive Pinot Noir in Marlborough. Since the beginnings in 1992 with Georg and Ruth Fromm, Hatsch Kalberer has had an unswerving vision to craft some of the region’s finest wines. Fromm now produces the ‘La Strada’ and ‘Cuvee H’ Pinot Noirs, these being of blended origins, the latter wine the company’s flagship. These are supplemented by ‘The Quarters’, ‘Churton’, ‘Clayvin’ and ‘’Fromm’ single vineyard Pinot Noir bottlings.
However it is imperative to note that Fromm Winery has arguably been just as successful with other varieties. The Riesling wines are delicious, but then there are the burgundy-inspired Chardonnays which show great clarity without any reductive characters, and distinctly cool-climate interpretations of Syrah which have received high international acclaim, plus intriguingly the Malbec. Fromm has the oldest single vineyard plantings of Malbec in the country, a variety which is deemed prone to "eccentricity and misbehaviour”. It has taken intensive viticulture and careful winemaking to bring quality bottlings of these wines, particularly the reds. Here, I review the 2016 vintage ‘Clayvin’ Chardonnay, the ‘La Strada’ and ‘Fromm’ Syrahs, and ‘Fromm’ Malbec. www.frommwinery.co.nz
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Fromm ‘Clayvin Vineyard’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2016Chardonnay from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 10-Jun-2018Bright, light yellow colour with some depth, paler on the edge. The nose is taut with tightly bound aromas of white and yellow stonefruits, entwined with citrus fruit elements, along with subtle nutty notes, a suggestion of creamy barrel-ferment, unfolding floral and mineral elements. This possesses aromatic purity and clarity. Medium-full bodied, the palate has impressive presence, depth and weight, the flavours restrained and stylish in expression, showing white and yellow stonefruits along with citrus elements and a delicate array of nutty notes. The mouthfeel is rounded with a creamy unctuousness which is balanced by crisp acidity. This has excellent flow and linearity, and blossoms with an ethereal range of stonefruit nutty and floral flavours as it carries to a long, lingering finish of great clarity. This is a taut, but rich Chardonnay with stylishly subtle stonefruit and nutty flavours on a refreshingly crisp palate in the Corton-Charlemagne mould. This will develop over the next 5-7+ years. Serve with seafood and poultry. Mendoza clone fruit from the ‘Clayvin’ vineyard, Brancott, vines 20 y.o. and close-planted at 5,000 vines per ha, fully indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 16 months in 3 y.o. oak with lowest toast, on fine lees with 100% MLF. Certified BioGro organic. 3 barrels made. 19.0/20 Jun 2018 RRP $68.00
Fromm ‘La Strada’ Marlborough Syrah 2016Syrah from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 10-Jun-2018Very dark, black-hued purple-ruby colour, a little lighter on the rim, youthful in appearance. The nose is full, up-front and accessible with aromas of blackberry fruit entwined with black and white pepper with violet florals, unfolding suggestions of dark raspberries, plums and liquorice. The aromatics grow in depth and density with aeration. Medium-bodied, the palate has plush and juicy, well-poised fruit flavours of blackberries intermixed with black and white pepper along with violet florals, unfolding subtle liquorice and spice notes. The fruit is enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity and the palate is underlined by elegant, supple, fine-grained tannin extraction. This has lovely freshness and balance, with good energy, and the wine flows to a lingering finish of black fruit and pepper. This is an open and accessible, plush and poised Syrah with blackberry fruit along with black and white pepper and floral notes on a supple, fine-grained palate. Match wit Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine over the next 4-5 years. Fruit from the Wairau Valley, hand-picked and destemmed, indigenous yeast co-fermented with 2% Viognier, with a high proportion whole berries to 13.0% alc., the wine aged in 228 L and 600 L barrels, 10% new, for 16-18 months. Certified BioGro organic. 18.5-/20 Jun 2018 RRP $39.95
Fromm ‘Fromm Vineyard’ Marlborough Syrah 2016Syrah from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 10-Jun-2018Full, even, near impenetrable black-hued purple-red colour, a little lighter on the rim, very youthful in appearance. The nose is full and soft with gently voluminous and concentrated aromas of ripe blackberry fruit along with notes of liquorice, black plums and Asian spices, unfolding violet florals. This is packed with subtle detail. Medium-full bodied, the palate is rich and vibrant with juicy and succulent flavours of ripe blackberry fruit along with black pepper, black plums, liquorice and spices, unveiling violet floral notes. The fruit forms a tightly bound and concentrated core, and is supported by considerable, fine-grained, powdery tannin extraction with balanced acidity lending energy and some tension. The flavours carry to a taut, sustained finish of black fruits, violet perfumes and black pepper. This is a rich and vibrant, but well-concentrated Syrah with black fruits, pepper, florals and spices on a fine-grained palate with plenty of extract. Match with roasted and grilled game meat dishes over the next 8-10 years. Fruit from the ‘Fromm’ vineyard, Wairau Valley, vines 20-25 y.o. and close-planted at 4,700 vines per ha, hand-picked and destemmed, indigenous yeast fermented with 2% Viognier, with 85% whole berries to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 17-18 months in seasoned oak. Certified BioGro organic. 6 barrels made. 19.0/20 Jun 2018 RRP $65.00
Fromm ‘Fromm Vineyard’ Marlborough Malbec 2016Malbec from New Zealand - MarlboroughReview Date : 10-Jun-2018Very full, saturated purple-black red colour, very youthful in appearance. The nose is refined in expression with rich and deeply packed aromas of ripe blackberry fruit along with black plums, mulberries and an amalgam of soft spices and florals, unfolding nuances of black herbs and currants. The aromatics grow in depth and intensity with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate is softly full with deep flavours of blackberries, black plums and mulberries along with subtle nuances of spice, unfolding florals and curranty nuances. The flavours are rich and up-front, and unfold a layer of spicy detail. The palate is underlined by plenty of grainy tannin extraction with integrated acidity. The wine carries firm and fulsome finish of black fruits, spices and herbs. This is a full and rich Malbec with black fruits, spices and curranty notes on a considerably well-structured palate. Match with game meat dishes and semi-hard cheeses over the next 8-10 years. Fruit from the ‘Fromm’ vineyard, Wairau Valley, vines 25 y.o., and close-planted at 4,700 vines per ha, hand-picked and destemmed, indigenous yeast fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 18 months in seasoned oak. Certified BioGro organic. 4 barrels made. 18.5+/20 Jun 2018 RRP $65.00