2014 Black Estate, “Netherwood Vineyard”, Pinot Noir, North Canterbury, New Zealand


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Roving Sommelier is passionate about premium quality New Zealand regional wines. In 2007 the Naish Family purchased Black Estate, an 8-hectare vineyard framed against the soft, green hills of the underrated Waipara Valley, one hour’s drive north of the city of Christchurch in North Canterbury. Attracted by the site’s potential and its clay and limestone soils, husband and wife team Penelope and Nicholas (who is viticulturist and winemaker) converted everything to organics, released their first vintage in 2008.

I visited Black Estate in 2009, while spending some time with Daniel Schuster, and tasted most of their first vintage wines out of barrel before bottling. They kept their day jobs, that is until a particularly successful vintage in 2010 convinced them it was time to jump in with both feet. They have since begun working with two very special parcels in addition to their ‘Home’ vineyard, implementing biodynamic practices and bringing the total holdings to 24-hectares. The original vineyard is planted with 21-year-old Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines. The Damsteep vineyard was planted in 1999 with Riesling and Pinot Noir, and Netherwood in 1986 with Pinot Noir and a little Chardonnay. All are north facing, planted on clay with limestone, and within 10 km of each other. Wine making is gentle and hands-off, as Nicholas seeks to maximize the unique expression of each site. All the vineyards are managed organically, and they are in year two of conversion to certification with BioGro. The care and hard work Pen and Nicholas have put into each site is remarkable and really comes through when tasting the wines.

Believed to be the first hillside vineyard planted in North Canterbury by Russell Black and Daniel Schuster, Netherwood Vineyard is closely planted on its own rootstocks, unirrigated and unbelievably beautiful. Since 1986, Netherwood has produced Pinot Noir with fragrance, presence and personality. A grown up, stylish Pinot Noir with rich savoury undertones. Best drunk with roast meats, game and poultry such as lamb, venison, pheasant, partridge, guineafowl and duck.

Alcohol: 12% abv (75cl)

Closure: Screwcap

Grape variety: Pinot Noir

Flavour Profile: Clean, Fresh, Soft Red Fruits, Cherry, Plum, Textural, Floral, Savoury