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, though significant variation does occur. 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 growing season had a relatively early flowering period, which was followed by several significant rain events which promoted vigour in the vineyards. Heat summation data was somewhat higher than the long term average through December to early March, suggesting a relatively early harvest, however cooler conditions in the late stages of maturation promoted controlled flavour development and the retention of ripe, natural acidity, allowing us to harvest clean Sauvignon Blanc grapes with a good range of flavours over a three week period.
Framingham Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is blended from fourteen base wines sourced from eight different sites in the Wairau valley including the North bank, Southern valleys, Lower Wairau and our own Estate at Conder’s Bend. A range of soil profiles, from stones to clay, as well as different meso-climates and vineyard practices, provide complexity in the finished wine. The fruit was largely harvested by machine, giving skin contact for a limited time which can extract a little extra flavour, and gently dejuiced in the winery. In addition, two components were hand picked. Resultant juices were clarified by cold settling before racking to ferment. Machine picked components were fermented in stainless steel tanks at cool temperatures, whereas hand picked fruit was barrel fermented at warmer temperatures to promote texture. Once fermentation was complete, the wines were racked off gross lees, sulphured and left to age on light lees for 3 months to add a little richness. Barrel ferment components underwent lees stirring weekly and partial malolactic fermentation. Wines with appropriate aromatics, flavours and structure were selected and blended. After blending, the wine was stabilised, clarified and bottled under screwcap to preserve freshness, flavour and integrity.
Alcohol: 13.0% vol
Total Acid: 6.8 g/l
Pale straw with green highlights.
Fragrant aromatics reminiscent of pink grapefruit, redcurrant, nettle, stonefruit, and dried thyme with some stony, smoky mineral notes adding complexity.
A full and complex spectrum of flavours from herbal notes through to ripe tropical fruit salad, with tangy grapefruit, bitter lemon and hints of tomato leaf. Texture has a touch of “chalkiness” and is enriched by the barrel ferment components, which add creaminess too. Acidity is fresh and juicy but by no means tart, and helps to promote a signature dry, stony mineral finish.
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has become famous worldwide for its expression of place and the purity, freshness and intensity of the flavours the combination of soil and climate provides. Framingham Sauvignon Blanc takes classic Marlborough flavours and marries them to a fine acid structure and rich texture with a mineral twist. The wine’s liveliness and punch are immediately appealing and will provide rewarding drinking over the next 18-24 months.