Framingham Pinot Noir 2016  £18.95


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FRAMINGHAM PINOT NOIR 

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. Winemaker Dr Andrew Hedley joined Framingham in 2001, bringing with him an obsession with – and a reputation for – making great Riesling. Indeed, Jancis Robinson MW hails Andrew as “one of the most skilled practitioners of Riesling anywhere in the world”.

Framingham 2016 Marlborough Pinot Noir is blended from 16 base wines made from low-cropped, reasonably well exposed grapes harvested from seven different sites around Marlborough’s Wairau Valley, one being the Frarmingham estate vineyard, the others being in the southern Wairau Valley with more clay based soils. Approximately 25% of the wine is Clone 5, with 10/5, 115, 667, 777 and Abel comprising the rest.

This vintage saw one of the best fruit sets Marlborough has seen in recent years across all varieties. The growing season was warmer than average with an extended dry period up until late January. Some light rain in late February alleviated any water stress, extending the flavour development period. The ideal growing season continued, with very settled autumnal weather keeping disease levels low, to make 2015/2016 a perfect growing season.

Hand-picked bunches were gently destemmed into stainless steel open top fermenters in the winery; however some batches had whole bunch components of up to 20%. These musts were held cold for five to eight days to promote extraction. Plunging was carried out three times per day during fermentation (with both spontaneous and inoculated yeasts) and temperatures were allowed to peak at around 30°C. Once fermentation was complete, wines were assessed daily for extraction and structure, and were pressed when this was deemed to be in balance. Some parcels, largely from the vineyards with more clay content, were left on skins longer to provide structure and some savoury elements. The wines underwent malolactic fermentation and 10 months maturation in a mixture of new and seasoned French barriques, approximately 20% of which were new. After maturation, the selected base wines were blended and bottled un-fined and un-filtered.

In the glass, this wine has a bright garnet colour. The nose is complex with attractive savoury notes of smoked meats and spice, along with cherry fruit and herb and floral nuances. The rounded palate, revealing sour cherry fruit, is structured but balanced with tannins and juicy acidity. Summer fruit compote, hints of smoky oak and some whole bunch derived spice complete the picture.

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