Bycatch in online shopping. Most readers will know this. You buy one or two cases of wine and somehow individual, interesting sounding bottles end up in your shopping basket. We will try such a bottle now. We are drinking a Pinot Noir F-Series from the Framingham Winery in New Zealand from the year 2016, which is of course quite young, even if the vintage in the southern hemisphere is always a bit earlier than ours, in this case the harvest was in late March/early April. Framingham makes wine in Marlborough, which is located in the far north of New Zealand’s South Island. The sustainably cultivated and hand-picked grapes come mainly from a vineyard in the Wairau Valley. The grapes are then fermented spontaneously, left on the skins for 26 days and then aged in barriques for 13 months with a quarter of new wood.
The wine appears very dense right after opening it, a lot of red fruit is in the nose, a little grenadine and some root vegetables. A little bit of forest soil happens in the nose and on the tongue, rather tart. Slowly cherry arrives in the aroma spectrum and at the same time the tannin becomes more intense and develops more pull. Half a year more time or not, 2016 is still really fresh for this wine and I think that a few years in the cellar would be really good here.
Even though there was already some structure on the first day, it intensifies on the second day. The cherry is now joined by a little clove, earthy aromas, some marzipan and a lot of strength. I like the tannin structure a lot, feels good, is well integrated, fine-grained, soft and yet gripping.
One day later, the wine actually becomes even denser. It smells of blueberries, some liquorice, then cherry and clove. Intense structure, but not in such a way that the wood becomes rough or puts everything else in the shade. It is clearly noticeable but well integrated. This goes very well with roast beef. The roasting aroma from the meat fit well with the tannin and the fruit gets the stage it deserves. Clear cherry, dark berries and along the food a lot of freshness.
I would not necessarily categorize this wine as a light-footed, elegant and delicate Pinot. There is too much meat on the bone for that, too much bang behind it, too much intensity. But with food it is already a lot of fun and with a little more cellar maturity the wine should be even better solo. Nonetheless I am happy that I bought this bottle.