Marlborough Classic Riesling
Marlborough, at the top of New Zealand’s South Island, is one of the world’s premier cool climate viticultural regions. The area has relatively young riverbed soils that are generally stony, well drained and silty. Marlborough’s growing season is generally characterised by warm, sunny days and cool nights resulting in fruit with good natural acidity and clean, fresh flavours. Conditions for the 2009 growing season could generally be described as cool and wet. Rain in February caused some alarms with the potential for botrytis development in softening fruit, however the rain had stopped by the end of February and conditions for the later stages of ripening were favourable. Good weather through the actual harvest period allowed us to bring in clean, very low-cropped fruit with only a minimal botrytis influence and excellent natural acid structure. This is a single – estate wine from 28 year old vines.
1st to 9th April 2009
A significant amount of work is done in the Estate vineyards that produce grapes for all of Framingham’s Rieslings. Extensive crop thinning and leaf plucking are practised, giving low yields of grapes that have had excellent exposure to sunlight. Fruit for Classic Riesling is harvested largely by machine though some components, up to 25%, are hand picked. Phenolic structure from the short term skin contact that occurs during machine harvesting serves to make the wine more approachable early in its life. After de-stemming, the must, with many berries still in-tact, is loaded through the door of the press to reduce maceration. The juice is extracted at low pressures over a 4-hour period. These juices were clarified by cold settling for 2-3 days before racking to ferment. Ferments were conducted in stainless steel tanks at cool rather than cold temperatures and selected batches were stopped with some residual sugar remaining. Once fermentation was complete, the wines were left on ferment lees for 4 months, with a further 2 months on light lees, to add texture. After blending, the wine was minimally fined to soften its phenolic structure, stabilised, filtered and bottled under screwcap to preserve freshness, flavour and integrity.
Alcohol: 12.0% vol
Total Acid: 7.9 g/l
Pale gold with hints of green.
Lovely fragrant, complex nose showing tangelo, honeysuckle, jasmine, green tea and lemon citrus aromatics along with some wet stone-like minerality.
Intense and concentrated yet delicate palate with tight, juicy acidity showing flavours of Clementine orange, lemon curd and stonefruit with hints of ginger, honey and beeswax, complete with a stony, mineral finish. Though tightly structured, the wine has a lovely, soft feel in the mouth and a lengthy finish.
Framingham Classic Riesling is a generous, off dry style of Riesling akin to a Spätlese halbtrocken, with heady, floral and citrus aromatics, rich fruit and juicy acidity. The residual sugar in the wine is balanced with a backbone of firm natural acidity giving a long dry finish. This, together with relatively low alcohol, makes it an approachable wine when young but it has the potential to further develop in the bottle over the next 5 years.