SherwoodmanorSherwood House Vineyards is a North Fork winery that flies under the radar. They have a tiny little tasting room — the smallest I've ever seen — nestled amongst their vineyards where they pour their Old World-styled wines. Their winemaker is Gilles Martin, formerly of Martha Clara Vineyards, who makes wine for a few other smaller local producers.

The focus at Sherwood House is set squarely on merlot and chardonnay, with cabernet franc and a couple different roses also in the portfolio. This wine, their Sherwood Manor ($45) red blend is the newest edition (with a blanc de blancs coming soon as well).

A blend of 40% merlot, 35% cabernet sauvignon and 25% petit verdot, it's a medium-dark crimson red in the glass with aromas of vanilla, lots of oak, dusty cocoa with hints of black cherry beneath.

Soft and somewhat broad on the palate, the flavors closely match the nose with light black cherry and blueberry flavors accented by significant oak, vanilla, milk chocolate and a sprinkle of black pepper. The tannins are ripe, but a bit more structure would be nice.

I would have liked a bit less oak here. It just dominates the fruit a bit too much.

Producer: Sherwood House Vineyards
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 13%
Rating:   25
(2.5 out of 5 | Average-to-Very Good)

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