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Fromm’s new super six

Hätsch Kalberer (Photo: Bob Campbell MW)

Fromm Winery has added two new labels to its pinot noir range and done some subtle re-branding to give them renewed strength as a peddler of pinot noir perfection.

This high-flying Marlborough wine producer earned the respect of pinot noir lovers with their hillside Clayvin vineyard and Fromm Vineyard label. They also made a stylish entry level La Strada Pinot Noir and a slightly more expensive Brancott Valley wine, which has now been re-christened to “Quarters Vineyard” which makes sense – it needed to differentiate the wine from the mostly high volume Brancott Valley wines made by Pernod Ricard NZ.

They have also introduced a new flagship Pinot Noir, Cuvee “H”, to honour winemaker, Hätsch Kalberer’s 25-year contribution. It’s a blend of the five completed single vineyard wines – Clayvin Vineyard, Fromm Vineyard, Quarters Vineyard, Churton Vineyard and Yarrum Vineyard (which is not yet bottled as a single vineyard wine).

All of the wines are organic, fully destemmed with a high whole berry content in fermentation, spend three weeks on the skins, fermented using indigenous yeasts, spend 16-18 months in traditional Burgundian barrels, are matured without sulphur for the first year and bottled without fining or filtration.

La Strada is lightly filtered and fined, spends one week less on the skins and 14 months in barrel.

The Fromm La Strada Pinot Noir 2015 (NZD $40), is a pretty serious entry level wine made from a blend of wines from three valleys. More accessible, as entry level wines usually are, but still quite concentrated and with development potential.

Fromm Quarters Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 (NZD $55) is a bright, vibrant wine with good acidity and pure cherry and berry flavours plus a hint of florals. A high energy wine with potential.

The Fromm Fromm Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 (NZD $85) is an impressively dense and very structured wine that I found a little hard to read at this stage – my conservative score reflects that. Firm tannins are a typical feature of wines from this vineyard but so is the ability to age well. It could easily gain two or three more points in as many years.

The biodynamically-grown Fromm Churton Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 (NZD $55) stood apart from the rest in flavour profile, softer and with more savoury character. It tastes (to me) like a biodynamic wine (which it is). Easy to appreciate.

Fromm Clayvin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 (NZD $85) is very typical of previous offerings from this site. Perfumed, elegant and powerful with great ageing potential.

Fromm’s flagship the Fromm Cuvee “H” Pinot Noir 2015 (NZD $65), a new boy on the block, celebrates the virtues of blending by producing a great wine from (mostly) lesser components. I’m not sure whether it’s a good idea to price the flagship below other wines in the range, but I am sure that this will secure many enthusiastic followers.

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