Framingham Classic Riesling 2021  £17.90

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The Framingham label was launched in 1994 with one Riesling and has since expanded to include Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. Framingham produces wines from their 19.5-hectare estate vineyard (certified organic since 2014) and other selected sites. Their Riesling vines, planted in 1981, are among the oldest in Marlborough. Andrew Brown joined Framingham as head winemaker in January 2020, replacing Dr Andrew Hedley, who resigned from his role after 18 years at the helm. A highly regarded winemaker, Brown previously spent seven years at Framingham as assistant winemaker and understudy to Andrew Hedley before working as a consultant in regions including Oregon, Central Otago and Alsace. Last year, one of Brown's Rieslings won the Champion Riesling Trophy at the New Zealand International Wine Show; a fitting accolade from someone taking the reins at Framingham, who have always been renowned for their Rieslings.

Fruit for the Framingham Classic Riesling was sourced from their estate vineyard in the Wairau Valley. The alluvial, well-drained soils of the Wairau were formed by the sedimentation of the Wairau River. In the warm centre of the valley – where there is low rainfall and relatively low frost risk – Framingham is able to harvest controlled yields at desired ripeness. Extensive crop thinning and a degree of leaf plucking are practised when necessary, giving low yields of grapes that have had managed exposure to sunlight.

The growing season saw a wet and cold spring which continued to the start of summer. However, the last significant rain for the summer months fell on Christmas day, with the remainder of the season turning out to be one of the warmest and driest summers on record. This led to naturally lower yields and very low disease incidence.

Fruit comes from three different sections of the estate with each parcel hand-picked and a whole bunch pressed. The majority of the juice was fermented in stainless steel tanks with approximately 7% fermented on skins over two weeks, followed by ageing in oak. All components were aged on full ferment lees for three months,

This wine has a fragrant, complex nose showing mandarin and stone fruit, hints of Belgian beer and smoky and stony notes. The palate is vibrant and intense with orange, lemon and stone fruit flavours with zesty acidity.

The Real Review - 95 Points

Picked seven times over a month to give an array of complex flavours from green apple, to oyster shell, lime zest, white flowers and a tiny hint of honey. A concentrated wine that will age well. Made in the style of 'Classic Rieslings' around a decade ago. From 38-year-old vines

Bob Campbell MW

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