Saturday, June 11, 2011

Producer Spotlight: Sherwood House Vineyards


North Fork, Long Island

My tasting at Sherwood House was certainly meant to be, but it almost didn’t happen. It was one of the only tastings that I didn’t schedule but came highly recommended by another winemaker on the island. The confusing part was the tasting rooms, because there were two. One, was literally a small shack in the middle of a vineyard off Route 48 (right by Shinn), with limited hours, and the other (on route 25) was one of the most relaxing and stylish tasting rooms I visited during my entire trip. The wines were excellent, made by winemaker Gilles Martan at Sparkling point, and the surroundings were amazing. I even asked if the building, which housed the tasting room, doubled as a Bed and Breakfast, because it had such a feel to it that I can only describe as “welcome home to your luxurious rustic lifestyle.”

One of the most interesting displays
of wine that I've seen in a while.
However, there’s much more to Sherwood House than a beautiful tasting room. Their 2008 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay was one of my top rated of the trip, and the 2005 Merlot was an excellent value at $25. In the end, Sherwood House Vineyards should be on anyone’s short list when going out to the North Fork.

On to the wines:

2005 Sherwood House Chardonnay Blanc de Blancs – On the nose, I found lemongrass, florist shop, and sour apple. On the palate, this showed piercing acidity with flavors of crushed wheat, sour apple and herbs. The finish was dry but very refreshing. (89 points)

2009 Sherwood House Chardonnay Oregon Road ($18) – On the nose, this wine was almost savory, as spices and bacon fat filled the senses. On the palate, I found apple and pear notes backed by an herbal quality. This wine showed beautiful balance in its focused fruit and smooth plush mouth-feel. The finish was floral, fruity and long. (90 points)

2008 Sherwood House Chardonnay Estate Grown ($30) – On the nose, I found buttered toast, pure peach fruit and dried apricot. On the palate, this was smooth with flavors of apple, light vanilla and a core of minerals. It was long and balanced on the finish as the fruit faded away. (91 points)

2007 Sherwood House Chardonnay Estate Grown ($30) – This wine showed a luxurious nose with peaches ‘n cream and hints of new cedar. On the palate, this was full-bodied and smooth with buttery herbs, hints of lime, and vanilla, which lingered into the finish. This barrel fermented Chardonnay showed incredible richness and balance. (90 points)

2009 Sherwood House Merlot Sandy Blush White Merlot ($18) – On the nose, this was rich with an expressive nose showing cherries, melon and hints of burnt sugar. On the palate, it showed a medium soft body that was kept interesting by brisk acidity as white cherry washed across the senses. It finished fresh with floral notes and red fruit. (89 points)

2005 Sherwood House Merlot ($25) – The nose showed red berries, spice, and earthy stone dust. On the palate, it was velvety smooth with wild berries, herbs and spice. The oak was hardly visible in this beautifully balanced Merlot. (91 points)

2004 Sherwood House Cabernet Franc ($40) – On the nose, hints of floral perfume, with lots of spice and candle wax filled the senses. On the palate, I found blackberry, spice, and a hint of greenery. (87 points)

2005 Sherwood House Sherwood Manor ($55) – On the nose, I found red berries, herbs, spice, and cedar. It was finely balanced on the palate, with flavors of strawberry and slight peppery notes. This wine showed beautiful structure leading to silky tannins on the finish but with enough fruit to keep it pleasant, focused and fresh. (92 points)

2007 Growers Alliance Merliance Merlot – On the nose, I found red berries with greenery and tree bark. On the palate, it showed sweet dark red fruits with herbs and spice, which stayed into the finish. (87 points)

For more information and to purchase wines, check out The Sherwood House Vineyards Website.

My trip to the North Fork Long Island, for Snooth, was an eye opening event. Recent vintages have shown what the Long Island wine industry is truly capable of. To read more about recent vintages and the top 10 wines of my tasting, visit Long Island Wines: 10 top picks from the North Fork.

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