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Dayne and Jill Sherwood have always made good Pinot Noir, but the decision to bottle the 2012 Sherwood Estate Pinot Noir with all Waipara estate fruit has further increased their stature and truly upped the ante. Consequently, the exuberant 2012 Sherwood Estate Pinot Noir made us all smile at our panel tasting, as this is one Pinot that brings its welcome with it. It also makes us wonder why more French Burgundies that sell for up to $50.00/bottle (made from 100% Pinot Noir just like the Sherwood Estate) simply fall short. Sherwood’s 2012 Estate Waipara Pinot Noir doesn’t disappoint. It offers an elegant medium body and beautiful aromatics. It’s also positively easy to drink. In short, it provides all the attributes one can expect from well-made, cool weather Pinot Noir. It offers a haunting bouquet that nearly fills a room with its breath, providing a display of ripe strawberry, cherry and sweet plum notes interlaced with delicate spice. And in the mouth, this delicious Waipara Pinot Noir lavishes the palate with a wonderful mélange of fruit, earth, and Asian spice, all of which play within a sleek balanced format. Fine grained tannins frame this round, fruit forward Pinot Noir and give the wine a refreshing, graceful finish. We suggest aerating the 2012 Sherwood Estate Waipara Pinot Noir for at least 15 minutes before serving at cool room temperature (60º-64º F).
In the company of meats, cheeses, and seafood, the 2012 Sherwood Estate Waipara Pinot Noir positively shines. On a trip to New Zealand several years ago, we found New Zealand winemakers exceptionally adept at crafting wines to fit the bounty of their pristine islands and surrounding seas. We recall enjoying wonderful lamb, sheep’s cheeses, and seafood dishes that will pair superbly with Dayne and Jill Sherwood’s exuberant Estate Pinot Noir, all of which can easily be re-created here. Lamb chops, brushed with olive oil and herbs, and then grilled to perfection; a salad of fried sheep or goat cheese with red pepper jelly, caramelized onions, basil oil and arugula; calamari tossed with wasabi glaze, over red bean salsa, chipotle remoulade, sprouts and fresh basil oil; and tuna sliders with wasabi and caper aioli are just a few gastronomic contenders for the crown to accompany Sherwood’s flavorful Pinot Noir. Salmon poultry, and grilled shitake mushrooms provide other wonderful pairings. Enjoy!
Sherwood Estate is very much a family business, with Dayne and Jill Sherwood owning and operating their state of the art winery since the late 1980s. Located in Waipara on New Zealand’s South Island, the Sherwoods have been two of the early pioneers of premium viticulture in Waipara. Waipara is the fastest growing wine region in New Zealand and an appellation that renowned Master of Wine Bob Campbell calls “one of the unsung heroes of the wine industry.” In addition to their excellent estate holdings in Waipara, the Sherwoods own several outstanding vineyards in neighboring Marlborough.
Waipara Valley enjoys a unique location; it lies nestled against the leeward side of the Teviotdale Hills, which sit midway between Christchurch and Marlborough, New Zealand’s most famous wine country. These hills admit the warm, drying northerly and westerly winds into Waipara Valley, but they also protect the area from the cold easterly winds that blow from the sea. Snuggling up against these hills with north facing slopes (the equivalent of a highly coveted south facing terrain in the Northern Hemisphere) provides the ideal sun trap for vines. The unique terroir of Waipara with its long warm autumn days lends itself to the production of round, spicy Pinot Noirs and Rieslings, as well as world class Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
The Sherwoods fashion several lines of wine in limited quantities. Presently, the winery’s Heritage Collection and Estate bottlings of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc constitute the focus of this estate’s handiwork.
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