Since the first 1994 vintage, the small, Swiss-owned Fromm winery has carved out an international reputation for its consistently classy, concentrated pinot noirs. In the five-hectare estate vineyard, in the heart of the Wairau Valley, and the 15-hectare Clayvin Vineyard, in the upper Brancott Valley, the vines are close-planted and most tasks are performed manually.
The firmness, complexity, warmth and muscularity that are hallmarks of the Fromm pinot noir style are clearly derived from the vineyards. “If we think we are in such a God-given place that we can have 7.5 tonnes of grapes per hectare and still make world class pinot noir, we’re kidding ourselves,” says winemaker Hatsch Kalberer. Fromm typically harvests only five tonnes per hectare.
The lower-tier wine, La Strada Pinot Noir, is sturdy and concentrated and the two single-vineyard reds, labelled as Fromm Vineyard and Clayvin Vineyard, are majestic, multi-faceted wines, built for cellaring. “We want long-lived wine, with tannin structure and generosity,” says Kalberer. “We can’t make Burgundy, but we want the same pedigree as Burgundy, expressing these pieces of land.”
It looks well worth a bottle or two.I am very interested to know just how well they do Pinot Noirs in NZ.