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.
Cloudy Bay has built a reputation for refined, elegant Sauvignon blanc, and the 2017 vintage is no exception despite critical harvest conditions: lower quantities to meet high quality standards. The vineyards are located in the Rapaura, Fairhall, Renwick and Brancott sub-regions of the Wairau Valley. The vines are planted on free-draining gravel based soils with shallow sandy-loam horizons.
The Sauvignon Blanc 2017 harvest commenced on April 1st and was completed on April 20th. Grapes were picked with ripe flavours and great acid balance.
Following harvest, the free-run juice was cold settled for 48-72 hours before racking. Fermentation was primarily carried out in stainless steel tanks with a mixture of cultured yeasts and wild yeast. Approximately 3% of the blend was fermented at warmer temperatures in old French oak barriques and large format vats. As usual this sauvignon blanc was stringently blended, including only the strongest batches.
Jim White, Technical Director at Cloudy Bay says the following of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2017: “Cloudy Bay 2017 Sauvignon Blanc is an excellent vintage that reveals an elegant and concentrated palate with ripe, juicy stone fruit and lemongrass, supported by a lovely minerality. Its crisp acidity leads to a mouth-watering and persistent finish suggesting a Sauvignon Blanc that will age well.”
The aromas are bright. Lifted citrus aromatics of Kaffir lime and grapefuit abound, supported by ripe nectarine-like stone fruit notes. An elegant, concentrated palate reveals ripe, juicy stone fruit and lemongrass, supported by a lovely minerality.