Forrest Estate Chardonnay 2000
Leaving behind careers in molecular biology and medicine, John and Brigid returned to Marlborough in 1988 to establish their first vineyard at Renwick - at the heart of the stony Wairau River Valley.
Vintage 1990 saw the first Forrest wine and immediate success with a trophy at the national wine awards - success that has been repeated many times both nationally and internationally over the subsequent vintages.
To the often asked question "why did you do it?" the answer is, a mixture of the wine 'passion' and a desire to achieve and be recognized and rewarded for one's efforts. In hindsight we struck upon a career which suits our personalities - a perfect blend of art and science.
Grape growing and winemaking is an exacting science, however it must have the artistic touch to give the wines 'soul'. That individual expression of style is the trademark of our wines - rich aromatic white wine, and powerfully scented reds - all impeccably structured and a joy to drink.
A relatively young but extremely promising wine producing country, New Zealand is widely recognized for its distinctive wines made from the aromatic, Sauvignon blanc.
The world’s most southerly vineyards are found here, with significant climatic variation both between and within the warmer North Island and the cooler South Island. Overall, the climate is maritime, with plenty of rainfall, as well as abundant sunshine. Producers have almost unilaterally embraced cutting-edge winery technology, resulting in clean, high-quality wines at every price point from wallet-friendly to premium.
Sauvignon blanc, known here for its trademark herbaceous character, is at its best in Marlborough but thrives throughout the nation, accounting for an overwhelming majority of the country’s exports. While this is indeed the country’s most planted and successful variety, it is certainly not the only New Zealand grape capable of delighting wine lovers.
Chardonnay is the second-most important white variety and takes on a supple texture with citrus and tropical fruit aromas in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, respectively. Pinot noir, second behind Sauvignon blanc in national production numbers, is at its best in Central Otago—the most southerly winegrowing region in the world! These wines are known for bright and juicy red fruit. Taking cues from the wines of Alsace, aromatic varieties like Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewürztraminer shine in Martinborough, while red Bordeaux varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have found success in Hawke’s Bay. Throughout New Zealand but especially in Marlborough, Pinot noir and Chardonnay are used to produce traditional method sparkling wines.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.