Dashwood Pinot Noir 2007
Established in 1989 and named after the Dashwood Pass which connects Marlborough’s main Wairau Valley to its smaller Awatere Valley, Dashwood crafts wines that are a pure, expressive reflection of these preeminent wine growing regions. Fruit is sourced from estate and grower vineyards to showcase the best of each valley: the concentrated fruit of the cooler and smaller Awatere, and the more expressive, tropical flavors of the wider Wairau. Year in and year out Dashwood produces wines that are consistently balanced and vibrant and over-deliver on Marlborough’s classic style: intense fruit flavors from the Wairau Valley, with the intrigue and complexity of the Awatere.
Dashwood’s winemaking team is led by Stu Marfell who became Dashwood’s Chief Winemaker in 2007, and was a finalist at the 2008 and 2009 Young Winemaker of the Year Awards. In 2018 he was recognized as Winemaker of the Show at the New Zealand International Wine Awards. Born and raised in the Awatere Valley, not far from Dashwood’s vineyards, Stu continues to live a stone’s throw from the winery with his wife and children.
The flower on their label honors New Zealand’s beloved pohutukawa, a Maori word meaning ‘drenched with mist.’ These trees bloom with crimson flowers each December, making a striking display along the nearby coastline where the Awatere River meets the cool waters of the Pacific.
An icon and leading region of New Zealand's distinctive style of Sauvignon blanc, Marlborough has a unique terroir, making it ideal for high quality grape production (of many varieties). Despite some common generalizations, which could be fairly justified given that Marlborough is responsible for 90% of New Zealand's Sauvignon blanc production, the wines from this region are actually anything but homogenous. At the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, the vineyards of Marlborough benefit from well-draining, stony soils, a dry, sunny climate and wide temperature fluctuations between day and night, a phenomenon that supports a perfect balance between berry ripeness and acidity.
The region’s king variety, Sauvignon blanc, is beloved for its pungent, aromatic character with notes of exotic tropical fruit, freshly cut grass and green bell pepper along with a refreshing streak of stony minerality. These wines are made in a wide range of styles, and winemakers take advantage of various clones, vineyard sites, fermentation styles, lees-stirring and aging regimens to differentiate their bottlings, one from one another.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”