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Marlborough Pinot NoirVintage ConditionsMarlborough, 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. The main features of the 2006 growing season were a warm spring and mild summer which led to grapes being harvested almost a month earlier than in recent seasons. Low yields from the Framingham vineyards gave grapes with ripe, concentrated flavours, good acid and soft phenolic structure.Harvest Date30th March – 11th April 2006Winemaking2006 Framingham Marlborough Pinot Noir is blended from several base wines made from low cropped, well exposed grapes harvested from different sites around Marlborough’s Wairau Valley. Different clones and soil profiles each contribute to complexity and structure in the finished wine. The fruit was harvested by hand and gently crushed and destemmed into stainless steel open top fermenters in the winery. These musts were held cold for 5-8 days to promote aqueous extraction of fine fruit tannins. Plunging was carried out 3 to 4 times per day during fermentation and temperatures were allowed to peak at around 30C. Once fermentation was complete, the wines were drained and pressed from the skins quickly. These wines underwent malolactic fermentation and 14 months maturation in a mixture of new and seasoned French barriques. After maturation, the selected wines were blended, fined, filtered and bottled under screwcap to preserve freshness, flavour and integrity.
AnalysisAlcohol: 14.0% volTotal Acid: 6.2 g/lpH: 3.60ColourBright garnet.BouquetBright nose with morello cherry, cranberry and light red fruit notes. Some attractive savoury, smoky complexity and hints of cinnamon spice.PalateConcentrated palate with fine, silky tannins that are immediately approachable. Rich flavours of cherry, raspberry and cranberry contrast nicely with supporting charry oak and chocolate notes. Hints of savoury game, mushroom and mineral provide some complexity. Fine acid balance promotes a long juicy, finish.AssessmentNew Zealand Pinot Noir is a bright new star in the World of Wine’s firmament. Marlborough’s combination of soil and cool climate provides typical Pinot Noir flavours which develop slowly during the growing season. Framingham 2006 Pinot Noir is made in a “feminine” style displaying grace and charm with strongly varietal flavours and soft, supple texture. Immediately approachable, the wine should continue to soften and gain complexity.