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.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes used in the production of Pelorus are sourced from a combination of vineyards located within the Wairau Valley. They have free-draining gravel based soils with shallow sandy-loam horizons.
All Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes are pressed without crushing. Juice is given a short period of settling before racking and inoculation with a pure strain of Montrachet yeast. The base wines are fermented and aged in a mixture of stainless steel tanks, large oak vats and small French oak barrels. Following a spontaneous malolactic fermentation the wines are left to age on lees for a further eight months prior to blending each November. This chardonnay predominant blend is put on tirage using prise de mousse yeast the following February and subsequently allowed to attain a minimum of two years lees ageing in the bottle before disgorgement.
Jim White, Technical Director at Cloudy Bay says the following of Pelorus: "We are not after big, bright, loud flavours; what we are after is pastel colour flavours; apple skin, flowers, light citrus. Elegance meets complexity in a melange of crispness and toasted brioche."
Pelorus is a fresh, aperitif style sparkling wine with apple crisp flavours, underpinned by nutty yeast complexity derived from two years bottle maturation on lees. This is a sparkling wine that manages to subtly combine fresh and fruity Chardonnay notes with rich and savoury hints of Pinot Noir.