To produce the Pinot Noir Marlborough Framingham, each parcel was hand picked and vinified separately with the amount of whole bunch and time on skins varying according to the parcel. The fruit was fermented in stainless steel vats, of which about 10% was whole bunches, spending an average of 20 days on skins. Wines were assessed daily for extraction and structure, and were pressed when these were in balance. Parcels from the vineyards with higher clay content were left on skins longer to provide structure and savoury elements. The wines underwent malolactic fermentation and 10 months’ maturation in a mixture of new and seasoned French barriques, approximately 20% of which were new. After maturation, the selected base wines were blended and bottled, unfined and unfiltered.
Framingham Marlborough Pinot Noir is blended from fruit from low-cropped, reasonably well exposed grapes harvested from eight different sites around Marlborough’s Wairau Valley and one site in Dashwood Pass, including a mixture of seven different clones. The vines are up to 20 years old and are planted on mostly clay based soils.
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. One of Brown’s Rieslings won the Champion Riesling Trophy at the New Zealand International Wine Show in 2019; a fitting accolade from someone taking the reins at Framingham, who have always been renowned for their Rieslings.