Posts Tagged Framingham

Rieslings for when there is no R in the month.

I drink Riesling throughout the year, but when there is no R in the month – that is, summer – my consumption increases exponentially. I am planning a trip to Germany, the true home of Riesling, and will report back. But in the meantime, here are four bright fresh summery Rieslings from elsewhere. Most Riesling is low in alcohol with enticing aromas, pure fresh fruits and a wonderful brisk, thirst-quenching acidity. It is all about fruit; if there is any oak-ageing, it is well-used barrels that impart no flavour.

New Zealand produces a range of high-quality white wines, including Riesling. Framingham is one of my favourite producers in Marlborough, and they make an excellent range of Rieslings, including the dry wine featured here. Elsewhere from Marlborough, look out for the delicious Greywacke Riesling and JN Wine has the very good Doctor’s Riesling from Forrest for a reasonable €17.50, as well as the Felton Road Dry Riesling.

Australia might not seem the obvious place to grow a cool-climate grape, but Riesling has a long and noble tradition going back to the mid-19th century. The cooler, more elevated sites, such as the Eden and Clare Valleys, produce wines that are usually bone dry with a crisp acidity and mouth-watering green fruits. Favourites include Pewsey Vale, Henschke, Mount Horrocks, Grosset and Leeuwin Estate. O’Briens has two worth checking out; the Koonunga Hill Retro Autumn Riesling (€21.95) and the Petaluma Hanlin Hill Riesling, Clare Valley (€31.95).

Alsace, lying just across the Rhine from Germany, once produced steely, bone-dry Riesling with more body than their German counterparts. These days some are a little sweeter, but the best retain that wonderful austerity that goes so well with food. And, like Grüner Veltliner, Riesling is a fantastic and versatile food wine. It has a sweetness to the fruit that makes it ideal with scallops, prawns and crab. It also pairs nicely with sushi and sashimi, as well as smoked salmon. In Alsace, it is frequently enjoyed with chicken, including coq au Riesling, fatty pork and creamy sauces. And also, of course, with choucroute garnie. Slightly sweeter Riesling is one of the great matches for spicy Thai and Vietnamese seafood and chicken dishes as well as herby, spicy salads.

Looking further afield, O’Briens has the Château Ste Michelle Riesling (€16.95) from Washington, and Whelehan’s the delicious Dr Konstantin Frank Margrit Dry Riesling (€39) from Finger Lakes in New York State.

If you enjoy mature white wines, or want to build up a cellar, I find Riesling is one of the most reliable white wines to lay down (or if it is screwcap, stand up). Over the years I have stashed away odd bottles and now have a collection going back a decade or more, and I have yet to be disappointed.

Specially Selected Kooliburra Clare Valley Riesling 2020, Australia 

Specially Selected Kooliburra Clare Valley Riesling 2020, Australia

12%, €8.99

Fresh, crisp and dry, with green apple fruits and a zesty lime acidity. Great value for money and perfect with most fish dishes or mild Thai green curries — chicken or prawn.

From Aldi

Tim Smith Wines Eden Valley Riesling 2021, Australia 

Tim Smith Wines Eden Valley Riesling 2021, Australia

11.5%, €15.95

Fresh free-flowing green fruits with racy lime and lemon zest. A lovely wine at a very keen price. By itself, with crab salad, or a spicy Thai prawn salad.


Riesling 2019, Calcaires Jaunes, Muré, Alsace 

Riesling 2019, Calcaires Jaunes, Muré, Alsace

13%, €22.95

Clean as a whistle with vibrant yellow fruits, a strong mineral edge and a lip-smacking dry finish. A posh aperitif or with smoked salmon.

From Mitchells, Glasthule and CHQ, D1; Avoca, Kilmacanogue and Dunboyne; MacCurtain Wine Cellar, Cork.

Framingham Classic Riesling 2021, Marlborough, New Zealand 

Framingham Classic Riesling 2021, Marlborough, New Zealand

12%, €26.99

Very moreish tangy orange peel and succulent peach fruits in a beautifully balanced wine of real quality. Enjoy solo or with all manner of fishy delights.

From Baggot Street Wines, D4; Clontarf Wines, D3;; Redmonds of Ranelagh, D6.

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A Speed Tasting of New Zealand Wines


I dropped into a New Zealand mini-tasting (50ish wines) yesterday. I didn’t try them all as I was in a bit of a hurry, but an interesting selection, including two Grüner Veltliners, a Viognier and an Albariño. However, on this occasion, it was the red wines that impressed me most. The 2014 vintage, talked about in glowing terms on my visit there last year, seems to be fulfilling all the promise.


Neudorf Chardonnay 2014, Nelso
One of the greatest producers in New Zealand, now handled by Berry Brothers in Ireland, although Jnwine have the 2011 vintage on their website for a tempting €26.99/£19.99. Wonderful classic Chardonnay, with rich rounded fruits, a restrained use of oak giving it elegant toastiness and lovely refreshing lime zest acidity.


Framingham Classic Riesling 2014, Marlborough

Another great NZ producer. This off-dry wine had lovely honeysuckle and melon fruits with a crisp minerality. The Le Caveau website has the 2009 vintage at €22.65 which should be drinking beautifully.

Escarpment Pinot Martinborough 2014
Larry McKenna, known as Dr. Pinot in those parts, crafts some beautifully rich, but balanced Pinot from his winery in Martinborough. This had lovely ripe dark cherry fruits and very good length. Searsons has the 2011 vintage for €28.95.


Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2014, Martinborough

Ata Rangi make what is probably New Zealand’s finest Pinot Noir. This was completely different in style to that of Escarpment above; a superb, elegant Pinot with youthful precise complex dark cherry fruits. A wine that will develop and improve for years to come, but a joy to drink now. Expect to pay around €65. This or the excellent 2013 vintage is available from The Corkscrew Chatham Street; O’Briens; On the Grapevine, Dalkey;; Green Man Wines, Terenure.

Elephant Hill Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2014
Delicious sweet ripe Syrah with a touch of black pepper. Lovely wine. Taserra Wine Merchants (01 4904047) are listed as distributors. I would suspect it retails for €25-30 a bottle.

Vidal Reserve Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2013, Hawke’s Bay
I tasted and blogged about this wine earlier this year – it is excellent, a clean fresh Syrah with black peppers and savoury black cherry fruits. Well worth seeking out. Barry & Fitzwilliam are the agents – (0214320900)


Trinity Hill The Gimblett Cabernets Merlot 2013, Hawke’s Bay

I also wrote/blogged about this wine earlier this year. It is an impeccably balanced delicious mix of the two Cabernets and Merlot with 1% Petit Verdot; lean and clean with perfectly ripe cassis and damson fruits. €29.99 from independents. Liberty are the agents.

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Battle of the Pinots

We managed to make serious inroads into my Pinot collection last night. We had the Pike & Joyce first as it was the lightest, and a little too delicate for the roast shoulder of lamb that followed.
Pike & Joyce 2013 Rapide Pinot Noir, Adelaide Hills, Australia

Light easy and refreshing with good pure summer fruits – a very decent Pinot, probably best served cool when the temperature increases a little. A very tasty £12.75 or €18.95 from jnwine.

Ara Resolute Pinot Noir 2012, Marlkborough, New Zealand

Smokier with toasty oak flavours alongside layered rich spicy sweet plums. Powerful but silky fruit; I reckon this will improve still further. €29.99, imported by Grape Expectations.

Framingham F-series Pinot Noir 2008, Marlborough


Rich and deep, maturing nicely with a lovely mineral core, great intensity and very good length. Black cherries with a savoury herbal note; delicious now but no rush to drink up. From Le Caveau at a very reasonable €27.90.

Felton Road Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2014 Central Otago

Felton Road is one of the leading producers of Pinot Noir in New Zealand. Nigel Greening and winemaker Blair Walter are responsible for a series of well-crafted ageworthy biodynamically produced wines. The 2014 Bannockburn was closed at first but opened out nicely. Violets and black cherries on the nose and palate with supple soft easy youthful fruits, good acidity and a nice finish. Lovely wine. €33 from jnwine.

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