Established in 1985, Cloudy Bay was one of the first five wine makers to venture into Marlborough. At the time, it was almost an unimaginable place to set-up a vineyard but Cloudy Bay’s founder, David Hohnen, was convinced of its potential to produce great wine and invested in the best land of the region. The winery was named after Cloudy Bay, a body of water explorer Captain James Cook found during his voyage to New Zealand in 1770. His discovery coincided with flooding in the region, which washed large amounts of sediment into the sea. Noticing the water’s opaque appearance, Cook christened the area Cloudy Bay.
Powerful and exotic, the 2015 Chardonnay is an embodiment of the artistry and the craft of Cloudy Bay. The grapes are sourced from four vineyard blocks located in separated sub-regions: Brancott, Fairhall, Ben Morven and Central Wairau Valley. The vines are planted on a mix of free-draining gravel and loam based soils.
In 2015 there was an immediate clarity of Chardonnay flavour from the moment that the fruit was received in the winery. The harvest season commenced on March 13th and culminated on March 31st.
After gentle pressing, the juice was pumped into barrels. The vinification utilised naturally occurring yeast populations to undergo a wild fermentation. A portion of the wine was fermented with full solids in order to build additional texture and complexity in the wine. After fermentation the wine rested in French oak barrel for one year of maturation.
Jim White, Technical Director at Cloudy Bay says the following of Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2015: "The 2015 Chardonnay is savoury and complex, a wine whose deftly woven aromatics give way to power on the palate."
The aromas include exotic flavours of orange blossom and preserved lemon with an undertow of smokey lees character. The flavour has the classic characters of zesty grapefruit and citrus rind. The wine lingers with roasted hazelnut notes and linseed flavours on the finish.