Framingham Series F Sauvignon Blanc 2016  £20.95

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These wines represent an alternative approach to the varieties within the core Framingham range – staying true to their style, but with room for innovation. A strictly limited edition, the F-Series allows head winemaker Andrew and his team the flexibility to experiment with winemaking techniques and create small batch wines that capture the essence of each vintage, resulting in some of Marlborough’s most exciting wines.

Fruit comes from Framingham’s Wairau estate vineyard. The usual core fruit (from the once acre “Quail Trail” block) for this wine was lost to frost in 2016, so two other sections of older fruit on the estate, one in north-south orientation, the other in east-west, were used for this vintage. The east-west orientated Sauvignon Blanc has a “green” side to the canopy and a “ripe” side. The green side sees very little sun during the day, whereas the ripe side has sun for most of the day. Ripe side fruit was hand selected for this wine, with a portion of green side being picked a little bit later. The wine also has a hand selected portion from the north-south rows.

Heat summation data for the 2015/6 growing season shows it to be second hottest only to 1997/8 for recent vintages. Weather was stable and relatively dry under El Niño conditions into March. Generally favourable weather over the harvest allowed the team to pick ripe grapes with well developed late season flavours.

The grapes were all hand picked and underwent different vinifications. 20% of the grapes were fermented on the skins, one parcel underwent skin contact before pressing and the other parcel was whole bunch pressed. The must was spontaneously fermented, 50% in old oak barrels, 30% in stainless-steel tanks and 20% in acacia puncheons. The wine was left on its lees for 10 months and then the barrel portion was aged for 10 months.

A fine, expressive Sauvignon Blanc with bright tangerine and grapefruit aromas and underlying rich pear and apple notes. The palate is fresh and textural, full of stone fruit and savoury complexity. Powerful yet elegant, with great finesse.


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