Fabulous Framingham rieslings

Botrytised riesling grapes (Photo: Bob Campbell MW)

New Zealand’s top riesling producer has again released an array of absolutely top wines from the 2017 vintage, a year that appears to be well-suited to the production of botrytis-influenced styles. Framingham’s winemaker, Dr Andrew Hedley, is a man who understands riesling better than anyone I know. He manages to make top wines every year with consummate ease. Andrew is helped by the fact that Framingham has one of the oldest riesling vineyards in Marlborough and the company is prepared to lavish time and money making tiny quantities of wines, which can compete with the world’s best.

The 2017 Framingham F-Series Kabinett Riesling is the only wine out of the seven latest releases that doesn’t have any botrytis influence. Pickers are told to avoid botrytised bunches and to search for “golden bunches” that fully express ripe varietal character. It has 54 gms/l of residual sugar. (NZD $35 – 94 points)

2017 Framingham Select Riesling is an old favourite that normally has zero botrytis influence, but this year it had an estimated 5% and a residual sugar of 62 gms/l. 2013 is the only other vintage that Framingham Select Riesling had any botrytis character. (NZD $35 – 96 points)

The 2017 Framingham F-Series Gold Capsule Spätlese Riesling earns its traditional German symbol of superiority because it “over-delivers” and is between a Spätlese and Auslese style. The wine had about 10% of botrytised berries with great concentration and, I predict, significant longevity. 71 gms/l of residual sugar. (NZD $40 – 97 points)

2017 Framingham F-Series Auslese (375ml) is a wonderful example of the Auslese style with moderate botrytis character and a residual sugar of 115 gms/l. (NZD $45 – 98 points)

The 2017 Framingham Noble Riesling (375ml) is a combination of six separate selection to maximise botrytis. It’s a lot sweeter than the Auslese and a very impressive wine that I thought would have benefited from a little extra acidity. (NZD $40 – 96 points)

2017 Framingham F-Series Beerenauslese Riesling (375ml) is a blend of three picks with 100% botrytis but not fully raisined berries. This is only the third Beerenauslese made by Framingham. It was only a whisker away from earning a score of 100 points. (NZD $60)

Finally, the 2017 Framingham F-Series Trockenbeerenauslese (375ml) had 100% botrytised and raisined berries. Amazing concentration and lusciousness. (NZD$75 – 99 points)

One thought on “Fabulous Framingham rieslings”

  1. doug says:

    Absolutely stunning wines; world class and the benchmark for others. In fact Marlborough is the southern Alsace with brilliant Gewurtraminer and Pinot Gris. These and terrace pinots make Marlborough more than just a SB region, unfortunately these great wines are often overlooked. Pity.

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