Current Tasting Notes
Generosity is the defining word for the 2009 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc. Its aromatics encapsulate a broad spectrum of varietal flavours; tropical fragrances of guava and mango to ripe lime/ citrus and sweet herbs. The palate also is juicy and voluminous, combining concentrated flavours with a mineral acidity that leaves a long, fresh, intense finish.
Grapes were sourced from estate and grower vineyards located in the Rapaura, Fairhall, Renwick and Brancott sub-regions of the Wairau Valley. Free draining, stony soils typify the Rapaura and Renwick areas whilst Fairhall and Brancott are predominantly aged alluvial loams containing some clay. The majority of fruit was grown on a vertical shoot positioned (VSP) trellis with three canes laid down. In 2009, average Sauvignon Blanc yields were 9.52 Tonnes/hectare (3.85 Tonnes/acre).
The Sauvignon Blanc harvest commenced on April 4th under very settled autumn conditions. The first fruit was picked from the stonier, warmer blocks around the winery. Harvesting continued steadily during the month through the progressively later ripening sites, with the last fruit coming in on April 23rd. Some blocks required fruit thinning to remove Botrytis affected bunches prior to harvest. Strict yield management paid off with classic Marlborough flavours and fresh acid levels attained in all blocks. The fruit was machine harvested during the cooler night and early morning temperatures. The grapes were de-stemmed and transferred straight to tank presses within hours of picking. Free run and lightly pressed juice was cold settled for 48 – 72 hours then racked and inoculated with neutral yeast strains. The fermentations were carried out in stainless steel tanks, with a further two months on yeast lees following fermentation. At the blending bench, the winemakers selected only those batches that best reflected the characters expected from a diverse number of Marlborough vineyard sites before bottling in August. Final wine analysis shows an alcohol of 13.5%, pH of 3.23 and titratable acidity 7.6 g/L.
Week-End Australian ~ 2010 February
“Forget all about typecasting Marlborough sauvignon blanc; this wine... has outstanding structure, balance, line and length; the variety is almost irrelevant, for this is terroir speaking through the long-practised mouthpiece of the Cloudy Bay winemaking team.” - James Halliday