Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2015
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On the nose enticing aromas of caramel covered cherries. The elegant, smooth tannin structure combined with balanced acid creates a well rounded mouthfeel. Lightly oaked, playful and complex.
‘Cloudy Bay Vineyards’ is arguably New Zealand’s most well-known winery. However, it was an idea born in Western Australia in 1985 by Cape Mentelle Vineyards. Today ‘Cloudy Bay’ is part of ‘Estates & Wines’ which is part of The Moët Hennessy Wine Division. The Cloudy Bay team are producing wines that truly reflect their region and strive to showcase and enhance the pure, honest integrity of New Zealand.
Cloud Bay Sauvignon Blanc
Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc was the wine that put New Zealand on the international wine stage and set the reputation for incredible winemaking at an all time high. It was the country’s first internationally exported wine, and set the standard. This is because it’s crisp, elegant and intense tropical fruit flavours were such a drastic change from the Old World style of Sauvignon. From it’s first export over a decade ago it sold so quickly that it was near impossible to get a hold of at any one time. In the following years ‘Cloudy Bay’ has bumped up grape volume for export, but not skimped out on quality.
Cloudy Bay’s Regions
Cloudy Bay has vineyards in both Marlborough and Central Otago – two of New Zealand’s premium wine regions. It boasts 250 hectares over four estate vineyards. It has long standing agreements with nine other growers in the Marlborough region. ‘Cloudy Bay’ has many varieties, with it’s most well known obviously being the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc. They also boast Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. There are smaller quantities of Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Pinot Gris and Sparkling.
Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest and most famed wine region. Early successes with the Sauvignon Blanc varietal range far and wide, landing NZ on the international wine map. With vintners interest in varied terroir and varieties escalating the recognition of the region globally adding fuel to the fire. Soon enough winemakers took to the cooler sub-regions of Southern Valley’s and Awatere. Back in the 1980s as an understanding of the regions potential slowly unfurled, farmers and foresters alike made the switch to viticulture and the industry blossomed.
Resting to the east at the tip of the South Island, Marlboroughs enjoys long drawn out daylight hours, coupled with a clear, cool atmosphere at night. This union results in a long, leisurely ripening period, greatly contributing to the grapes intensified flavours while the chill of the night retains the acidity levels.
Consisting of the three sub-regions; Wairau Valley, Awatere Valley and the Southern Valley’s. Marlborough has a diversified range of terroirs, allowing for impressive variation in style, minerality, and flavour. As the name suggests, the Southern Valleys sit south of the Wairau Valleys and houses the Omaka, Fairhall, Brancott, Ben Morven and Waihopai valleys – Marlborough’s original sites. The southern location of these valleys and the soils relatively heavier clay content is a key factor in the regions ability to produce such a diverse range of wines.
Enjoying the slightly warmer north of the region, the Wairau Valleys sit more inland and benefit from the Wairau River running through, decreasing the need and frequency of irrigation. With each of the sites here having varying soil profiles consisting of alluvial gravel, wind borne loess and greywacke. Each vineyard will produce a unique wine, with flavour inherited from its unique soil composition. Although it must be noted, no matter how far a style strays, the rich fruit intensity that’s a hallmark of the region can always be found.
Close to the Coast lies Awatere, arguably Marlborough’s most distinctive sub-region. The windier and cool location means the vines have a lower yield, meaning the wines produced have an incredibly distinctive character as each abstraction and variation isn’t diluted. The Herbaceous and flinty minerality truly reflect the sub-regions unique Terroir, while the good aromatics one can find stem from a decrease in the vigour of the vines.
As New Zealand’s largest wine region, housing around 77% of the countries vines and producing over 75% of the Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough has an upward trajectory and an exciting future.