A sweet, botrytis-affected wine inspired by the classic German “Beerenauslese” style. The wine is deeply concentrated, yet elegant and not cloying as a result of its vibrant acidity and naturally low alcohol. On the nose, there are aromas of orange citrus, apricot, marmalade and cream with a rich mouthfeel and extract, lots of stone fruit and zesty flavours, all held together with the bright acidity.
- Feature(s): Practising Organic
- Winemaker: Andrew Hedley
- Alcohol (ABV): 9 %
- Acidity: 10.4 g/l
- Residual sugar: 220 g/l
- pH: 3.30
Grapes for the 2018 Noble Riesling were selected from the old, organically-grown vines on the Framingham estate vineyard. Soils there are of the old river bed type; fist-sized stones composed of greywacke (a hard, dark type of sandstone streaked with quartz and feldspar), mixed alluvial gravel and silt. Vineyard practice for this wine is geared to produce ripe grapes that have had maximum “hang time” on the vine.
Spring was wet and mild with no frost in any of the vineyards. Summer temperatures stepped up with December being the second warmest on record, while January saw the highest temperatures since records began. Superb flowering conditions and a sizeable crop required thinning in almost all vineyards in early February. However, two ex-tropical cyclones brought considerable rainfall in February. Despite the rain, fruit was able to hang on the vine to achieve very good ripeness levels but needed careful hand-sorting to eliminate botrytis once harvest began.
Selective hand harvest took place between 1st and 12th April and 3rd May with a net brix of 37 (163 Öchsle). The wine was blended from eight Auslese picks. Bunches were selected with largely 100% botrytis affected berries, though most were in the relatively early stages of dehydration and not yet fully raisined; the remainder were just turning in colour with early botrytis bloom. The wine was fermented in stainless-steel tanks (60%) and oak barrels (40%) before the final blend was composed.
Sommelier Wine Awards 2019
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. Andrew Brown joined Framingham as head winemaker in January 2020, replacing Dr Andrew Hedley, who resigned from his role after 18 years at the helm. A highly regarded winemaker, Brown previously spent seven years at Framingham as assistant winemaker and understudy to Andrew Hedley before working as consultant in regions including Oregon, Central Otago and Alsace. Last year, one of Brown's Rieslings won the Champion Riesling Trophy at the New Zealand International Wine Show; a fitting accolade from someone taking the reins at Framingham, who have always been renowned for their Rieslings.