93 points, James Suckling; 92 points, Wine Advocate.
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.
The 2016 season was one of the driest that the Marlborough region has experienced since the wine industry was established in the province. A cool start to the growing season created numerous frost events that provided continuing challenges right up until flowering. The months of January to April were all warmer than average, providing excellent ripening conditions, similar to the excellent 2015, 2014 and 2010 seasons.
The 2016 harvest took place in near-perfect conditions, allowing us to take our time. Excellent ripening conditions, with warm days and cooler evenings maintained concentration, structure and freshness in the fruit. The harvest started on 26th March and was concluded by 12th April.
100% Pinot Noir.
The Pinot Noir fruit was entirely hand picked and de-stemmed before being gravity fed into the fermentation vessels. 15% of the fermentation was comprised of whole bunches. The fermentations utilised natural occuring yeast populations under carefully monitored conditions. The grape skins were gently plunged with an average of 18 days skin contact. After fermentation the wines were matured in French oak for 12 months, of which 35% was new.
Appealingly aromatic, the 2016 Pinot Noir reveals notes of Morello cherry, bramble and dark chocolate. Fine, silky tannins and juicy acidity provide an elegant structure, with complexity coming from gentle oak and woodsmoke characters.