Dining with the wines of NZ winery Jackson Estate
A few weeks ago, I attended a dinner hosted by John Stichbury, owner of New Zealand winery, Jackson Estate and his head winemaker, Matt Patterson-Green. I remember sampling a few of Jackson Estates wines in the past and quite liked them so I was looking forward to the dinner and tasting.
I like New Zealand sauvignon blanc although you have to be careful what you buy because there is a lot of boring sauvignon blanc cluttering the shelves. John told me over dinner that Jackson Estate have always prided themselves on quality and have never compromised this idea. In his opinion, there are “too many wines that are boring as hell!” I couldn’t agree more.
To back up his claims, we had a tasting of Jackson Estate wines with dinner at Sushino. A Brazilian/Japanese fusion restaurant, the food was an interesting combination of flavours. My favourite wines of the evening were the Gum Emperor 2010 pinot noir and the Grey Ghost Sauvignon Blanc 2011.
John described The Grey Ghost as a “winemakers wine,” putting s.blanc into oak is always slightly controversial and with the Grey Ghost, it goes into French oak barrels (though they are 6 years old) for an extended amount of time. The result is a smoky, flinty almost steely wine with a lot of complexity and texture. They also make this wine using the wild ferment which might also go towards giving it that elusive quality which gives it it’s name.
The Gum Emperor is a single vineyard wine and his named after the stand of Gum Emperor trees that act as a wind break for the vines. An intense and brooding pinot, it has a lush body, silky smooth with medicinal, herbal notes on the nose and a striking minerality on the palate. Excellent, ripe fruit followed by balancing acidity make this a delicious wine on it’s own or paired with food. We were served Miso glazed lamb chops which were perfectly cooked and excellent with the wine.
A very enjoyable evening with the wines of Jackson Estate and the cuisine of Sushino.