Current Tasting Notes
Bright, focused citrus aromatics of grapefruit and kaffir lime abound, supported by subtle tropical notes. A silky, concentrated palate reveals ripe, juicy stone fruit and lemongrass, supported by a subtle minerality. Its racy acidity leads toward a mouthwatering, persistent finish, suggesting a sauvignon blanc with ageability.
Grapes for our sauvignon blanc are sourced from estate and grower vineyards located in the Rapaura, Fairhall, Renwick and Brancott sub-regions of the Wairau Valley. Soils range from free draining stony on the valley floor to aged alluvial loams containing some clay. The majority of fruit is grown on a vertical shoot positioned trellis with a small number of blocks on Scott-Henry.
The 2015 growing season had a cool dry start, numerous frost events provided continuing challenges right up until flowering. A cool mid-November to mid-December period disrupted flowering leading to 15% lower crops than the previous season. The weather took a turn for the better from mid-December; above average temperatures in January,low yields and the driest growing season on record lead to early ripening. The season’s dry conditions meant an increased focus on efficient viticultural practices to ensure the vines were protected from severe stress. With the hot temperatures and dry season, careful management of leaf removal was required to prevent over-exposing the ripening fruit to the hot sun. The quick sauvignon blanc harvest started on March 25th and was complete on April 6th. With the first being 2006, it was the second earliest finish to harvest ever at Cloudy Bay.
Following harvest, the free-run juice was cold settled for 48-96 hours before racking. Fermentation was primarily carried out in stainless steel with a mixture of cultured and wild yeasts. Approximately 10% of the juice was fermented at warmer temperatures in old French oak barriques and large format oak vats. Our sauvignon blanc was stringently blended, including only the strongest batches. Our final blend shows an alcohol of 13.4% with 2.0 g/L RS, 3.12 pH and TA 7.6g/L.