Featured Reviews




Fromm ‘Cuvee H’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015

23 January,2017
Hatsch Kalberer is one of New Zealand’s most highly regarded winemakers. From his time in the 1980s with Denis Irwin at Matawhero Wines in Gisborne to the present day, he has maintained the highest standards of winemaking and the most thoughtful approach as is possible in crafting naturally terroir-expressive wines with elegance and classicism in mind, with the least intervention. Hatsch is the most gentle-natured person, but with a subtle, unrivalled drive to achieve his aims. He has the greatest respect of his peers and he is a role model for any serious young winemaker.

Hatsch was the founding winemaker at Fromm Winery in 1992, and the Pinot Noirs he has made, particularly the single vineyard ‘Clayvin’ and ‘Fromm’ wines, have set the standard for Marlborough expressions of the variety. These wines must be counted as the best in the country, and sit comfortably with any high-aspiration bottlings from around the world. They are supremely elegant and show no artefact or winemaking excesses. For that reason, they can be easily overlooked in comparative tastings and show judging. But for sheer drinking pleasure and interest, the Fromm Pinot Noirs have few peers when they have been given appropriate bottle aging. This is exactly why Hatsch has made the wines in the style they are.

The proprietors and staff at Fromm Winery have honoured Hatsch Kalberer and his work with Pinot Noir over the past 25 years with a unique bottling which has been labelled ‘Cuvee H’. The wine not only represents the cumulative observation, learning and understanding of Pinot Noir and the sites it is planted for Fromm in Marlborough, but also his respect, passion and love of the finer expression of the variety. In essence it is a composite of what the single vineyard wines offer. The wine is from the best vintage since 2010, and described by Hatsch as a "vendange de plaisir”. Fromm now deem this as their flagship, but have priced it to be more accessible than the single vineyard bottlings. As Adam Balasoglou of Fromm says, "we just really want to see it drunk and enjoyed!” I review the wine here; it has a completeness of expression. It is due for release at the beginning of February, in time for Pinot Noir 2017. www.frommwinery.co.nz

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Fromm ‘Cuvee H’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough

18.5+/20
Dark ruby-red colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly concentrated with an array of dark-red berry and black cherry fruit aromas entwined with subtle notes of dark herbs, red liquorice, spices and dark-red florals. The aromatics grow in volume with aeration. Medium-bodied, the fruit flavours are stylishly restrained in expression, but open to show a harmonious spread of dark-red berry fruits with cherry and herb notes. Liquorice and spice detail add to the interest. The fruit is supported by fine-grained, supple tannin extraction and structure, with soft acidity lending tension and freshness, enhancing the fruit sweetness. The flavours form a positive and concentrated core and line, leading to a long and sustained finish featuring liquorice and spices. This is a stylish Pinot Noir with a full range of red and black fruits, along with herb, liquorice and spice detail on a fine-grained, supple palate. Match with duck, pork, lamb and beef dishes over the next 6 years. A blend of finished single vineyard components. Predominantly clones 115, 667 and 777, making 80% of the blend with some clone 5, 6 and Abel, from the ‘Quarters’, Clayvin’, ‘Fromm’, ‘Churton’ and ‘Yarrum’ vineyards in approx. equal parts, nearly fully destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine spending 3 weeks on skins and aged 14-16 months in 228 L Burgundian piece barrels. Certified BioGro organic. 2,500 bottles made. 18.5+/20 Jan 2017 RRP $65.00
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