The wines of Framingham, Marlborough, New Zealand   
One of Marlborough's hidden gems, and New Zealand's Riesling  and sweet wine specialist

Framingham Wines, 19 Conders Bend Road, Renwick, Marlborough, NZ
Tel: +64 3 572 8884

Back in the early 1980s Rex Brooke-Taylor, an entrepreneur from Wellington, bought 17 hectares near Forrest Estate in Marlborough, and began planting grapes. Initially he sold the grapes under contract, but in 1994 the first Framingham wines were released, with a new winery built here in 1997. Framingham was bought by Pernod Ricard in 2004 and then sold to Portuguese company Sogrape in 2007. 

Winemaker Andrew Hedley has established a stellar reputation as a master of Riesling, and Framingham’s Classic (dry-ish) and Select (off-dry, lower alcohol) Rieslings are both thrilling examples. Framingham have concentrated on aromatic whites and are experts in sweet wines. They have the oldest Riesling vineyard in New Zealand, which is nearly 30 years old.

Framingham’s range is quite broad, and a recent addition has been the incredible F-series wines, including a superb Pinot Noir and some remarkable sweet wines from Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer. Some of these are only made in tiny quantities, but they are worth seeking out.

Framingham’s regular range offers some of New Zealand’s best value for money.


Framingham Dry Riesling 2004 Marlborough
Hand-picked, whole-bunch pressed with no botrytis. Nice expressive petrolly edge to limey nose, with a hint of toast. The palate is balanced, expressive and full flavoured with some nice weight. Lovely. 90/100 01/09

Framingham Classic Riesling 2008 Marlborough
A mix of machine and hand harvested fruit. Very expressive aromatic nose is floral and gently limey. The palate has lovely texture and weight. Rounded and complex with beautiful balance. Just off-dry with 17 g/l residual sugar. 91/100 01/09

Framingham Classic Riesling 2009 Marlborough
Beautifully aromatic with honeyed, appley, lemony fruit. The palate is just lovely with great balance and no rough edges. Great personality here. 92/100 01/10

Framingham Select Riesling 2008 Marlborough
Thrilling aromatics. Fresh, minerally, limey with lovely precision. Beautiful palate is rich, limey and lemony with good acidity and nice balancing sweetness. Very elegant. 55 g/l residual sugar and 7.5% alcohol. 92/100 1/10

Framingham Noble Riesling 2008 Marlborough
195 g/litre residual sugar. Very expressive nose with pure melon, peach and lemon notes. Real focus and purity. The palate is dense, spicy and pure with lovely herb-tinged fruit. Viscous and yet fresh at the same time. 93/100 01/09

Framingham Noble Riesling 2009 Marlborough
195 g/l residual sugar, 7.5% alcohol. Very intense with lovely lemony, apricot, spice and raisin notes. Deliciously rich and grapey with nice complexity. 93/100 1/10

Framingham Noble Riesling 2011 Marlborough, New Zealand
8.5% alcohol. Sweet limey nose with some honeyed richness. Viscous and very sweet with concentrated lime and apricot notes. Super sweet but nicely balanced with good acidity and a subtly spicy finish. 91/100 12/11

Framingham F-Series Riesling Auslese 2011 Marlborough, New Zealand
8.5% alcohol. Fine, lemony, grapey, melony aromatics. Real finesse. The palate is very sweet and richly textured, showing lovely balance and poise. Refined sweet lemon and melon fruit here. Nicely complex and subtly spicy. 94/100 12/11

Framingham F-Series Riesling Beerenauslese 2011 Marlborough, New Zealand
9% alcohol. Concentrated, rich and dense with lovely sweet, viscous grape and lemon fruit and a really long finish. Massive power here: the intense sweetness is balanced by the acidity. Remarkable wine of great potential longevity. 95/100 12/11

Framingham F-Series Riesling TBA 2011 Marlborough, New Zealand
7.5% alcohol. A really viscous liquid. Sweet lemon, honey, spice and apricot nose. The palate is incredibly concentrated with fresh lemony high tones and super-sweet apricotty depth. Powerful, incredibly concentrated and yet beautifully focused and with some delicacy. Precise and pure, and will outlive most of us. 97/100 12/11

Framingham Pinot Gris 2008 Marlborough
Gently honeyed edge to the nose, which is fruity, bright and nicely aromatic. The palate is soft and smooth with lovely rounded fruit. Very smooth with some flavour. 88/100 01/09

Framingham Pinot Gris 2009 Marlborough
Lovely fresh, grapey, herby, aromatic nose. The palate is broad and soft textured with nice freshness and purity, a hint of lychee and some grapey notes. 89/100 1/10

Framingham F-Series Pinot Gris VT 2011 Marlborough, New Zealand
8.5% alcohol. Varietally true grapey, spicy nose is fine and expressive. The palate is richly textured and fully sweet with a lingering, spicy finish. Pear, grape and melon fruit characters with nice balancing acidity. 93/100 12/11

Framingham Sauvignon Blanc 2008 Marlborough
Fresh but broad at the same time, with nice weight here and good acidity. Nice intensity and lovely focus. 90/100 01/09

Framingham F-Series Sauvignon Blanc 2008 Marlborough
From one acre of vines, this is fermented in old barrels. Very textured and quite complex with a nutty edge to the focused fruit. Restrained and sophisticated with a hint of grassiness and savoury presence. 91/100 1/10

Framingham F-Series Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Marlborough, New Zealand
13% alcohol. Powerful, taut aromatic nose with grapefruit, spice, smoke and some herbal notes. The palate is dense and quite powerful with grassy green notes and some rich herbal characters. Quince and grapefruit, too. Odd but nice. 91/100 12/11

Framingham Gewürztraminer 2008 Marlborough
Beautifully expressive with floral lychee and herb nose. The palate is soft and smooth with lovely fruit. Pure, expressive and balanced with lovely fruit intensity. 90/100 01/09

Framingham F-Series Gewürztraminer VT 2011 Marlborough, New Zealand
8.5% alcohol. Lovely open lychee, rose petal and grape nose is very expressive with some tea-like complexity. The palate is textured and sweet with rich lychee character. Beautifully balanced with good acidity and spiciness. Thought-provoking. 94/100 12/11

Framingham F-Series Gewürxtraminer SGN 2011 Marlborough, New Zealand
7.5% alcohol. Viscous and concentrated. Engrossing nose of sweet lychee, rose petals and herbs. The palate is incredibly sweet and intense with honeyed Turkish delight characters. Opulent, smooth, viscous and delicious. 94/100 12/11

Framingham Pinot Noir 2007 Marlborough
Hand picked fruit given a 5 day cold soak. 22% new oak. Lovely fresh, beautifully poised dark cherry fruit nose. The palate is elegant and nicely poised with smooth ripe, dark cherry fruit. Really elegant. 92/100 01/09

Framingham F-Series Pinot Noir 2009 Marlborough, New Zealand
14.5% alcohol. Aromatically thrilling: sweet cherry fruit with complex herb and spice elements. Pure, elegant and beguiling. The palate is superbly poised and elegant with sweet cherry fruit offset with a mineral/spice dimension and subtle green notes. A really beautiful wine that’s quite profound. 96/100 12/11

Framingham Montepulciano 2007 Marlborough
They’ve been making this since 1998, and its one of only two examples of this variety in the region. Sweet, pure elegant fruit with a spicy edge – Morello cherry and some plummy bitterness. Really expressive savoury style. 91/100 01/09

Framingham Montepulciano 2008 Marlborough
Sweet dark cherry fruit nose with nice purity and some chocolatey notes. Lovely fruit on the palate: dark cherry and plum, with some spiciness. 90/100 1/10

UK agent: Les Caves de Pyrene

See also:

Visiting New Zealand's wine regions (series)

Wines tasted as indicated (month/year)  
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