K&L Wine Merchants - Header

New Release Pinots from a Favorite New Zealand Estate - 93 Points and Up - 11/17/2017 - New Zealand

The critics agree, Fromm Winery’s 2015 Pinots are outlandishly good. Earning points that range from 93 to 97 and all priced under $40, they count among the best Pinot values in the market today. What struck us the most about these 2015s is just how expressive they are even at this early stage. They are magnificent now and are destined to only improve in the coming years. The talented team at Fromm has always managed to craft wines that beautifully capture the unique terroir of Marlborough, but with this 2015s they have truly outdone themselves. Earthy, but fruit-driven, hugely complex, yet infinitely approachable, they possess that perfect alchemy that Pinot lovers so crave. A large part of Fromm’s continued success can be attributed to the estate’s 25 year old vines, their commitment to organic practices (they are BioGro certified), and the undeniable talents of winemaker Hätsch Kalberer who has been with the property since day one.

While comparisons to Burgundy are a bit overplayed of late, in this case the analogy is more than apt, as these 2015s offer all the nuance and refinement one gets from top Premier and Grand Cru vineyards. Unlike Burgundy however, Fromm’s Pinots, which we import directly, are very attractively priced. We can’t stress enough that this set is sure delight Pinot drinkers of all stripes and offer great cellaring potential. Production is very limited, so don’t delay in securing your bottles today.

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
2015 Fromm "La Strada" Pinot Noir Marlborough 93 $24.99 View
2015 Fromm "Quarters Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough 95 $39.99 View
2015 Fromm "Fromm Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough 97 $39.99 View
2015 Fromm "Cuvée H" Pinot Noir Marlborough 97 $39.99 View


Staff Image

2015 Fromm "La Strada" Pinot Noir Marlborough ($24.99)

93 points Bob Campbell: "Made from a blend of wines from the Wairau Valley, Brancott Valley and Waihopai Valley with a vine age if 14-25 years. The only Fromm pinot to be filtered and fined or to be sealed with a screwcap. It also spends a week less on the skins than the others. Weighty and reasonably concentrated pinot noir with ripe plum, dark berry and a hint of chocolate. An accessible and appealing wine. Drink 2017 to 2023." (01/2017)

93 points James Suckling: "Florals and mixed berries with red-cherry fruits. This has up-front appeal with a palate that is no pushover. The tannins are sturdy, too. Drink now to 2022+." (03/2017)

93 points Sam Kim: "The fragrant bouquet shows beautifully ripe cherry, plum, clove and floral characters with hints of game and nutmeg notes. The palate is rounded and elegantly weighted, and delivers excellent fruit purity and delicate savoury complexity, wonderfully structured by fine, chalky tannins. It is expressive and generous, while remaining elegant and poised. At its best: now to 2021.Certified organic."

91 points Wine Spectator: "Peppery, spicy, velvety flavors of cherry and plum show whiffs of licorice and black tea, melting into Earl Grey tea notes on the finish. Drink now through 2027. (MW, Web Only-2017)"

K&L Notes: 94 points Cameron Douglas MS: "Fresh, steely, youthful and quite primary with freshly gathered red berry fruits, judicious use of oak, but enough to add a layer of wood, wood spice and toastiness, a building complexity as the wine opens it doors. On the palate - frim, youthful and dry; flavours of red berry fruit, some garrigue and wood tones, moderate tannin presence with firm texture adding some tension, a pause, then flows into the finish. Youthful and needs some cellar time. Drink now if decanted first otherwise open from 2019 onwards."

Staff Image

2015 Fromm "Quarters Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough ($39.99)

95 points Sam Kim: "Made from grapes grown on clay loam soils in the Brancott Valley, the wine offers graceful mouthfeel and texture, wonderfully enhanced by complex flavours of dark fruit, game, nutmeg, thyme and mixed spice. The wine is elegant and persistent, and offers waves of attractive fruit, spice and savoury flavours. Only 1 barrel made. At its best: now to 2024. Certified Organic."

94 points Bob Campbell: "From 16-18 year-old vines grown on an organic vineyard in the Brancott Valley. Appealing sweet fruit balanced by fine, drying tannins has produced an accessible wine with cellaring potential. Bright acidity gives the wine energy. Plum, cherry, floral, violet and subtle nutty oak flavours. Distinctive wine, a useful new addition to the range." (02/2017)

94 points James Suckling: "An impressive wine for the density and the vibrant red and dark cherry fruits it delivers on the nose and palate. Gently herbal and nicely spicy, there's an earthiness to both the aromas and the palate texture. Tannins run long and fine. Nicely groomed. Expands out to the finish. Drink now and for some years to come."

93 points Raymond Chan: "Even, dark ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, lighter edged. The nose is elegant, very soft and harmoniously presented with gently interwoven aromas of dark-red berry and cherry fruit, along with subtle notes of fresh herbs and lifted dark-red florals. Black cherry notes emerge from the core with aeration. Medium-bodied, the palate has gently mouthfilling flavours of sweet and lush dark-red berry fruits and hints of strawberries, fresh herbs and red florals. The wine has an attractive balance and flows smoothly and seamlessly with supple tannin extraction guiding the fruit. The acidity is softly ripe and integrated, and the wine carries to a gentle, light, red floral and berry-fruited finish. This is a harmonious, smooth-flowing Pinot Noir with red fruits and florals, supple tannins and structure. Match with poultry dishes over the next 6+ years. Hand-picked fruit from the Quarters vineyard, lower Brancott Valley, clones 115, 777, Abel and 5, vines 16-18 y.o., on clay and silt, destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented with whole berries to 13.0% alc., the wine spending 3 weeks on skins and aged 16-18 months in 10% new oak. Certified BioGro Organic. 300 bottles made."

K&L Notes: I'm pretty sure this is K&L's first "single barrel" exclusive wine! Fromm used the majority of the fruit from thier "Quarters Vineyard" to form the backbone of the 2015 flagship "Cuvee H" Pinot Noir named in honor of long time winemaker Hatch. However one special, distinctive barrel was kept aside for a tiny single vineyard expression destined exclusively for their New Zealand mailing list customers. During my discussions with Fromm about our direct import allocations of their highly sought after 2015 releases I managed to convince them to sell the entire barrel to us (minus a couple cases for thier own cellars and library)! So we ended up with exactly 234 bottles of this delicious wine! It's classic Fromm - balancing wild, brooding fruit with savoury earthy tones. Brambly berry fruits, freshly turned soil, clove and sage. Medium bodied with super fine tannis and a pure, lifted acid line. It's a baby so give it a good decant if drinking before 2020. (Ryan Woodhouse - K&L NZ Wine Buyer)

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 06, 2017

Single Barrel, cask strength Pinot Noir! Not sure if I've ever started a wine review like that before...but yes this is a single barrel wine that we (K&L) bought every available bottle of (234 bottles were left for us after Fromm's own wine making team took some for their own cellars)! Quarters vineyard is an organically farmed block up in the famed Brancott Valley. The soils consist of clay and fine silt giving a softness and generosity to the wines grown here. Bramble fruit, ripe raspberry, sweet wood spice. The palate is medium bodied with beautifully soft silky tannin. The fruit profile is quite exotic, with plenty of energy and flow. Warm earth notes mingle with macerated berries and sandalwood. Eminently drinkable right now with some air but an easy one to lay down for 5-10 should you desire. I'm so happy the folks at Fromm entrusted us with this tiny production, single vineyard wine - Cheers to them!

Staff Image

2015 Fromm "Fromm Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough ($39.99)

96-97 points Raymond Chan: "Even ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly proportioned with firmly concentrated and intense, refined aromas of black-berried fruits and black minerals entwined with notes of liquorice and spices, unfolding a layer of dark herbs, black florals and hints of nutty oak. Medium-full bodied, the palate has intense and concentrated flavours of sweetly ripe black-berried fruits alongside black minerals and liquorice. Soft black florals, spices and suggetions of nutty oak add complexing detail. The wine is refreshing with lacy acidity, and very fine-grained flowery tannin extraction balances the fruit richness and intensity. The mouthfeel exudes excellent vitality, energy and drive, and carries to a long, concentrated, elegant and sustained , textural finish of black fruits and minerals. This is an intensely concentrated, very fine-grained Pinot Noir with flavours of black fruits and minerals, with vitality and energy, freshness and linearity. Match with roasted and grilled game meats and semi-hard cheeses. Hand-picked fruit from the Fromm vineyard, Wairau Valley, clones 115, 667, 777 and small amounts of Abel and 5, vines 18-23 y.o., on alluvial gravel and silt, destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented with whole berries to 13.5% alc., the wine spending 3 weeks on skins and aged 16-18 months in 10% new oak. Certified BioGro Organic. 1,200 bottles made."

97 points Sam Kim: "The wine combines fabulous fruit purity with elegant savoury complexity, displaying dark cherry, plum, game, dried herb and black olive characters on the nose. The palate is refined and finely textured, offering terrific fruit concentration, brilliantly structured by plenty of delicately drying tannins. It is sturdy and firm, yet silky and seductive too. From the Wairau Valley; 6 barrels made. At its best: 2018 to 2027. Certified organic."

92 points Bob Campbell: "From high density, organically grown vines in the Wairau Valley. Average 18-23 years. Dense and quite firmly structured Pinot Noir with dark cherry, berry, spicy oak and very subtle fresh herb flavours. Elegant and obviously youthful wine that deserves a few more years in bottle before drawing the cork. Ive scored it conservatively and would like to reassess in another three years." (02/2017)

92 points James Suckling: " A distinctive meaty edge with plenty of spices, too. Dried red cherries and a subtle earthy note combine with some meaty nuances, too. The palate has a wealth of tannin that really pins the wine down, and there's a savory, tannin-driven feel to the finish. Drink from 2020 to 2027." (03/2017)

K&L Notes: 92 points Cameron Douglas MS: "Quite a lush and vibrant bouquet with aromas of fresh cherry and yellow plum, no mistaking a mineral undertone with a stone and dusty rock suggestion; moderate oak with a layer of spice, a floral note of rose. On the palate - varietal, fruity, tense and poised; a youthful example just beginning to integrate; abundant, firm youthful tannins and plenty of acidity. A wine for the cellar still unless decanted. Best drinking from 2018 through 2028."

Staff ImageDavid Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 06, 2017

Another concentrated and spicy 2015 Pinot Noir from Fromm that has a bit more finesse and nuance than the equally rich La Strada. The fruit is prettier and more feminine in the Fromm Vineyard expression, but the character of the 2015 fruit really comes through with dark bramble fruit and lots of peppery spice. I think these are the flavors that Burgundy fans secretly want, but are afraid to seek out from Down Under! Don't be afraid to admit that New Zealand Pinot can be every bit as good as Gevrey-Chambertin! I got over that fear long ago and I've been drinking happily ever since.

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 06, 2017

As always I think this is Fromm's most thought provoking wine. It's full of complexity and detail; its slowly unfurls in the glass giving off different characters with each swirl. A touch more generous and dark fruited than in prior vintages as the yields were so small in 2015. Personally I think that's a good thing as this wine is traditionally quite structured. This has enough flesh and fruit purity to enjoy now but the tannin structure and natural acidity assure me that this will be a 20 year wine for sure. Briary forest berries, smoked meat, cracked pepper, leather. The savory notes give way to more fruit sweetness with air; loganberry, ripe plum. More stony, mineral notes linger on the finish with fine but notable tannin. Serious Pinot Noir - vigorously decant if drinking prior to 2020.

Staff Image

2015 Fromm "Cuvée H" Pinot Noir Marlborough ($39.99)

97 points Bob Campbell: "This is Fromms new flagship Pinot Noir despite being less expensive than Clayvin and La Strada (the previous two flagships). Its a blend of five completed single vineyard wines representing 'the best Pinot we feel we can make ... in a style we appreciate most.' The wine is named after winemaker Hatsch Kelberer dedicated to the task of making great wine for 25 years. Its a taut, powerful wine with impressive fruit purity. Layered flavours are hard to define, perhaps cherry, violet, plum and spicy oak with other savoury nuances in the background. More approachable than Clayvin or La Strada but with equal cellaring potential."

96 points James Suckling: " Very complex and layered pinot here. There's a wealth of oak spices and gently meaty notes with a cooler floral edge, too. The palate has richness and a very reliable frame of sturdy tannin, and there's a maturity to this wine in every sense. Masterful. Drink now to 2025+." (03/2017)

96 points Sam Kim: "It is awesome to see a powerful pinot expressed so elegantly with poise and structure. Complex aromas of dark berry, smoked game, dried herb, cedar and floral lead to a beautifully weighted palate that is multi-layered and seamlessly woven. The wine offers outstanding fruit purity combined with seductive savoury complexity, leading to an exceptionally long, engaging finish. Cuvee "H" is named after Hatsch Kalberer who has been the guardian at Fromm Winery since the beginning in 1992. At its best: 2018 to 2025. Certified organic."

94-95 points Raymond Chan: "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."

91 points Wine Spectator: "Tangy berry and cherry flavors are polished and exuberant, with red licorice, clove and cinnamon accents. Aromatic and elegant. The details really emerge on the finish. Drink now through 2027. (MW, Web Only-2017)"

K&L Notes: 96 points Cameron Douglas MS: "Fragrant and quite floral then fruity, varietal, no mistaking the oak layer, engaging with a minerality and core of intrigue, complex. On the palate - equally intriguing and fruity with violets ans raspberry, cherry and oak spices; fine tannins and loads of acidity; a wine just beginning to integrate with a core of ripeness and intensity, well made and lengthy. Drink from 2019 through 2030."