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. Jancis Robinson MW hails Andrew as "one of the most skilled practitioners of Riesling anywhere in the world". The Classic Riesling is made from hand-selected parcels, vinified separately, with a small component aged in neutral oak barrels. Made in a Beerenauslese style, the Noble Riesling has 185 grams of residual sugar and is a blend of six parcels of late harvest botrytised bunches.
Framingham's Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is very different in style to the others on our list. This is due to a small percentage of the grapes undergoing fermentation on skins, part of the blend going through fermentation in oak and acacia barrels and the entire blend spending six months on lees in order to acquire extra layers of flavour and texture. Their hand-picked Pinot Gris, inspired by the wines of Alsace, is harvested later than their other varieties and spends seven months on its lees, which gives a wine that offers generous baked apple, quince and cream flavours. The Pinot Noir is blended from several base wines made from seven different Wairau Valley sites, including the estate vineyard. It is an elegant style with flavours of summer fruit compote and smoky oak. As wine writer Jamie Goode says, "Framingham's regular range offers some of New Zealand's best value for money."
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