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News

Cloudy Bay defies NZ shortage to release two new Sauvignon Blancs

Despite confirmed shortages of Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand, Cloudy Bay will launch two new expressions of the variety – Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2021 and Te Koko 2019 – globally this month.

Cloudy Bay, LVHM’s outpost in New Zealand, is gearing up to release two white wines this month.

The Te Koko 2019 is the first release from this range in two years. Made using wild yeasts and barrel fermentation, this Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is said to be produced in an “alternative style” and only appears when the fruit, harvested from just four vineyard parcels, has exceptional quality. As a result, the wine has an “aromatic and savoury profile with white peach, preserved citrus and honey aroma and citrus, rambutan, guava, warm pancakes notes on palate”.

For Sauvignon Blanc 2021, the vintage has been challenging as the yield in New Zealand is low but the fruit is intensely concentrated. It is a “fresh, vibrant wine with grapefruit, passionfruit, makrut lime leaf on nose and layers of lime, lemongrass and stone fruit flavours,” according to the brand.

John Flanagan, Cloudy Bay’s viticulturist, notes that 2019 and 2021 were remarkable vintages for Sauvignon Blanc.

“After not making Te Koko for the last two vintages, it was important that we were able to not only make a Te Koko 2019, but make it a great example of this wine.

“I can’t remember a vintage like this in my viticultural career — it had the lower yields of 2012 but far better ripening conditions. It had the low rainfall of 2015 and 2019, but not the same heat, which meant that fruit could achieve optimum flavour and acid/sugar balance on the vine.”

Yang Shen, estate director of Cloudy Bay, says: “Our commitment to seeking quality, not quantity, proves its value in both of these wines. Each wine is unique and reveals the skill and dedication of every member of the team, from the vineyards to the bottling line.”

The Sauvignon Blanc 2021 and Te Koko 2019 will be available in retail stores in Hong Kong and internationally.

 

 

Te Wahi, at the edge of the world

In 1985, David Hohnen created Cloudy Bay, the ultimate expression of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Thirty years on, the Cloudy Bay team are keeping that adventurous spirit alive, journeying to one of the country’s most challenging winemaking regions: Central Otago.

 

Te Wahi is our limited release Pinot Noir from Central Otago. ‘Te Wahi’, is a Maori saying depicting, “the place”. Cloudy Bay believes that great Pinot Noir speaks of its origin and Te Wahi provides our encapsulation of the extremely southerly and continental Pinot Noir terroir of Central Otago.

“It takes time to understand ‘the place’,” says Viticulturist Jim White. “With our work in this region, we have come to learn the raw terroir and to hone our skills in expressing Central Otago Pinot Noir through the Cloudy Bay winemaking lens.” White adds that, “In exploring the greater landscape of New Zealand Pinot Noir, we will continue to hone our skills as viticulturists and winemakers.”

 

From vintage 2014, Te Wahi is a blend of grapes from two special vineyard sites, the silky and dense Calvert vineyard on Felton Road in Bannockburn and Cloudy Bay's newly acquired rugged structural Northburn vineyard on the East bank of Lake Dunstan. The Calvert vineyard consists of uniform silty loam soils, formed as part of an ancient lake bed with an altitude of 230m. The Northburn vineyard has mix of 3 soil types, all of glacial origin, across the sloping site at 220-275m of altitude. These complimentary sites share lineage and potential, as well as finesse and power. “The Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir program was initiated in the early 1990s with the goal of making the most expressive Pinot Noir wines from New Zealand,” comments Senior Winemaker, Tim Heath. “We are enjoying the adventure of exploring this exciting and relatively new wine region and have been very fortunate to secure two excellent and unique vineyards in Calvert and Northburn. These carefully selected and cultivated sites are the foundation of our own special Cloudy Bay expression of Central Otago Pinot Noir.”

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History

Innovation and meticulous attention to detail are the guiding principles of Cloudy Bay. The team is committed to producing ‘wines of region’ and strives to enhance the pure, bracing flavours and stunning vibrancy, naturally afforded by the climate and soils of Marlborough.

 

Established in 1985, Cloudy Bay Vineyards is situated in the Wairau Valley in Marlborough at the northern end of New Zealand’s South Island. This unique and cool wine region enjoys a maritime climate with the longest hours of sunshine of any place in New Zealand. Cloudy Bay has estate vineyards located at prime sites within the Wairau Valley, and long-term supply agreements with five Wairau Valley growers. The main varieties grown are sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, and pinot noir with lesser quantities of gewurztraminer, Riesling, and pinot gris.

Cloudy Bay wines are exported to over 30 markets, the principal ones being Australia, United Kingdom, USA, Europe and Japan. Cloudy Bay believes that the future success of specialist wineries lies in the production of high quality wines from varieties best suited to specific regions. At Cloudy Bay emphasis is placed on individual fruit character and the development of a recognisable estate wine style.

 

Cloudy Bay Vineyards was a founding member of the New Zealand Integrated Winegrape Production scheme, set up to develop a programme for sustainable vineyard management, which is now monitored by Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand. Cloudy Bay’s impeccable scorecard reflects the company’s commitment to environmentally friendly vineyard management practices.

The winery takes its name from the bay at the eastern extremity of the Wairau Valley, which was named Cloudy Bay by Captain Cook on his voyage to New Zealand in 1770.

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Vineyards

The vineyards of Cloudy Bay are located at superior sites throughout the Marlborough region to maximise the considerable diversity that exists in micro-climates and soil types. The different sites provide nuances of aroma and flavour, bringing complexity to the wines.

 

Cloudy Bay Estate Vineyard, Rapaura

The original Cloudy Bay Estate, converted from barren sheep and cattle country to thriving vineyard in 1986. Located on Jacksons Road, this vineyard is the home of Cloudy Bay’s Cellar Door, and is the perfect spot to capture views of the magnificent Richmond Ranges, as depicted on the Cloudy Bay label. Planting began on this block in 1986 and after the arrival of phylloxera in Marlborough, the vineyard was replanted on grafted rootstock in 1992. The Estate vineyard is dedicated almost entirely to sauvignon blanc, with some chardonnay.

Soil type: free draining stony soils.

 

Widow’s Block Vineyard, Renwick

This parcel of land was originally purchased by Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin prior to forming a partnership with Cloudy Bay in 1990. It was named in honour of the widow Madame Clicquot. Half of the block was later sold to fund the purchase of the Mustang Vineyard, to bring diversity to the range of soils on the estate vineyards. Planting began in 1998 and was completed in 2002. This vineyard is planted predominantly in sauvignon blanc with a small amount of pinot noir.

Soil type: free draining stony soils.

 

Mustang Vineyard, Brancott Valley

Nestled in the foothills of the picturesque Brancott Valley, this block has significantly lower rainfall and heavier soils than the Estate and Widow’s vineyards, making it particularly suitable for growing pinot noir. Spectacular views from the hill above the Mustang vineyard span 360º, taking in the greater Wairau Valley and beyond to the Pacific Ocean. Purchased in 1994, plantings began the following year and were completed in 2002. Predominantly planted to sauvignon blanc and chardonnay, with some pinot noir and mixed Germanic varieties (gewurztraminer and pinot gris).

Soil type: fine alluvial loams containing some clay and gravels.

 

Barracks Block, Omaka Valley

In an exciting development, this is Cloudy Bay’s first vineyard dedicated entirely to pinot noir. The gently elevated, north facing slopes of the Barracks Block are home to the exciting new Dijon clones that will bring even more complexity to the Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir wine over time. Planting began in 2004 and continued over the following three years, with the first crop harvested in 2007.

 

Cloudy Bay’s Growers

In addition to the four estate vineyards, Cloudy Bay sources fruit from a small group of loyal growers, some of whom have been growing grapes for Cloudy Bay for over 20 years. Each grower works very closely with Cloudy Bay’s vineyard managers, always striving to deliver fruit in optimum condition.

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Winemaking

Winery waste water is a by-product requiring a considered management program.  Cloudy Bay has developed a gum tree and native plantation to utilise this resource.  The gum trees make up our woodlot, a self-renewing resource that feeds on our recycled waste water.  Gums are quick growing and provide firewood for our cellar door and accommodation facilities.  Adjacent to the woodlot is a development of native plantings, also fed by our winery water program.  It is an ecosystem attracting local bird species, notably the native Tui bird, back to the Wairau Valley.  The native plantings are part of the Marlborough Tui to Town project.  Both areas provide grazing for sheep throughout the year.

 

Cloudy Bay Vineyards recently underwent a Stage 2 Energy audit.  This has enabled the company on a whole to identify many areas of operational improvement and energy savings.  Within the winery, modification and improvements are made every day; insulated stainless steel winery tanks reduce refrigeration energy loss, insulation of barrel halls and the installation of rapid roller doors retain heat better and low power lighting reduce energy use.  Electric forklifts utilise a renewable energy source with our energy supplier acquiring 50% of its energy through hydro-electric sources.

Recycling remains an important standard practice.  Paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, bidules, capsules and crown seals all have dedicated programs.

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Inside information

Over a quarter of a century ago we harvested grapes for our first sparkling wine. This crisp, elegant wine quickly became a sparkling benchmark of Marlborough, New Zealand. To reflect its pure, lively spirit we named the wine Pelorus, after the famous dolphin of Cook Strait, the waters between the two main islands of New Zealand.  Pelorus Jack guided ships through these treacherous waters from 1888 to 1912 and became the first dolphin to receive world protection. Cloudy Bay Pelorus is a complex, beautifully framed method traditional with fresh citrus notes, bright acidity and rich layers of toasty complexity.

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11 different wines with 49 vintages

Highlights

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Wine Moments

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 Cloudy Bay  has news

Cloudy Bay defies NZ shortage to release two new Sauvignon Blancs Despite confirmed shortages of   more ...

4m 8d ago

 Richard Hemming MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Cloudy Bay . In a tasting of  17 wines 

Penfolds 802-A Superblend 2018 / Not made in 2019 and 2020. Made to celebrate Cabernet/Shiraz blends. Makes use of the A1-grade fruit that isn't suitable for Grange, similarly to Quantum – so that top-end grower fruit has more options. Cabernet and Shiraz matured separately for 18 months, then blended. Matured 22 months in American oak.
Black fruit, lots of floral perfume – really quite different to the 389 style, and perhaps less typically Penfolds. Still delicious with black cherry, rounded tannins, a touch of tarmac – this is almost Piedmont in aromatic profile. A little less integrated than the 802-B. (RH)

8m 17h ago

 Jancis Robinson MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Cloudy Bay . In a tasting of  18 wines 

Penfolds Bin 144 Yattarna 2018 / Launched in 1998 with the 1995 vintage, Yattarna is the result of one of the most comprehensive, focused and highly publicised wine development projects ever conducted in Australia. The aspiration and independence of mind across generations of Penfolds winemakers inspired the ambition to create a white wine that would set the standard for ultra-fine Australian Chardonnay, a sortof 'White Grange'. They aim to source and select only the very best Chardonnay fruit from cool-climate regions, in this case Tasmania, Tumbarumba, Adelaide Hills. The name Yattarna is drawn from local indigenous language, meaning ‘little by little, gradually’. Acidity 7.3 g/l, pH 3.12. Aged for eight months in French oak barriques (60% new). All three regions enjoyed a relatively wet winter and spring, setting the vines up with healthy soil moisture profiles for the ensuing growing season. Tasmania experienced clear and generally warm conditions from January onwards, with no extreme heat spells leading into harvest. The temperature breached 35 °C only once in January, resulting in optimal conditions for ripening. Tumbarumba had plentiful rainfall right up to December, when a dry spell set in. In February, temperatures were generally cool allowing for slow, consistent ripening. The Adelaide Hills fruit set was slightly above average. The region experienced a warm finish to the growing season, but well-developed canopies shielded the fruit from adversity and ensured the berries ripened evenly. Harvest was an orderly affair across the three regions. 



Fine, complex, really rather burgundian nose and great crystalline fruit and grip without austerity. The acidity level is really quite high compared with many other Chardonnays. Pretty smart. You would be very happy with this if labelled Puligny-Montrachet actually. Good stuff and it should have a long life but could be broached already.

1y 1m ago

 Cloudy Bay  has updated producer and wine information

2y 8m ago

 Tim Heath / Katnoon, Wine Maker (New Zealand)  tasted  11 wines  from  Cloudy Bay . In a tasting of  11 wines 

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2018 / Pale gold, with glints of green.The tropical aromas in this vintage are reminiscent of passionfruit, Thai lime and apple blossom, with complementary hints of bright citrus.Concentrated and vibrant flavours of juicy stone fruits are underpinned by subtle tropical notes, a fine minerality and the acidity of Meyer lemon.


Periods of rain in the latter half of the growing season raised concerns about the 2018 harvest. However, diligent management in the vineyards ensured that, while yields were low, the grapes developed ripe flavours and ideal concentration and acidity. Matured in a mix of stainless steel, French oak and large-format vats, this vintage is characterised by its vibrancy.


 

3y 6m ago

 Andrew Oliver, Wine Merchant (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Cloudy Bay . In a tasting of  12 wines 

The 2009 Kumeu River Coddington Chardonnay displays the typical ripe-peach fruit we expect from this site. The palate is forward with a luxurious creamy texture and lovely balancing acidity. This wine, while delicious in its youth, with benefit from a period of bottle maturation of two to four years. 93p

4y 1m ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Cloudy Bay . In a tasting of  100 wines 

1928 Château d'Yquem; Huge expectations, the best wine I've had, 28 Suduiraut, if there is a wine to beat it..... Difficult to read label, cork states quite clearly Yquem, Lur-Saluces, 1928. B/C level fill, above mid shoulders. Pale amber with broad green yellow rim. Nuts, apricots, apple, lemon, raisins, minerals and even schistes. A glorious, layered and transparent in the best sence of the word mix of mature and more youthfull flavours. Perfect balance in a different league, great acidity, such finesse, pineapples comming to join the elegant party, even coconut and papaya, acidity is tender, doing its job gracefully like the queen greeting her guests. Gorgeous length. Minutes again. But this bottle do not beat the Suduiraut, and that is mainly because of the Suduirauts length and even better freshness. The 28's seems to be marvels! 99

4y 6m ago

 Cloudy Bay  has news

Cloudy Bay defies NZ shortage to release two new Sauvignon Blancs Despite confirmed shortages of   more ...

5y 9m ago

 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  15 wines  from  Cloudy Bay . In a tasting of  15 wines 

“Cloudy Bay To Koko (Sauvignon Blanc) 2005 /
An immediate impression of smelly socks for me. No secret that this is not my favourite wine. I do like the texture, though. Even with that, this is a little more muted than I expected. For other vintages, the 2006 To Koko is a much creamier wine than the 2007. This one has notes of pears, mostly stewed pears. A firm style with some chunky acidity and a blocky finish.
Winemaker, Tim Heath, calls this wine the 'pinot of sauv blancs'. It remains the ultimate 'love-it-or-hate-it' wine. Guess where I fall!
As for a score, for the flavours, I’d go 84; for the texture, 92. So split the difference.
88

5y 9m ago

 Gagan Sharma / Sommelier, Sommelier (India)  tasted  2 wines  from  Cloudy Bay . In a tasting of  21 wines 

“Parker Coonawarra Terra Rossa CB 1996. The 1996 vintage showed aromas of cassis, coffee and truffles against a fat texture of sweet tannins and already round, rich fruit. This very concentrated and superbly balanced wine offered flavours of vanilla, earth and blackberries. Long and very intense finish. This was a charming and very promising wine. 92 points”

5y 11m ago

 Essi Avellan MW , Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Cloudy Bay . In a tasting of  15 wines 

“Cloudy Bay and other Sauvignon Blancs: Cloudy Bay was established by David Hohnen, of Cape Mentelle fame, in 1985. Cloudy Bay takes its name from a bay at the northern tip of the South Island named by Captain Cook in 1770. Cloudy Bay now has 60 hectares of vineyards planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir. Cloudy Bay also sources grapes from elsewhere in the Marlborough region. Cloudy Bay's staggering success can be attributed to its groundbreaking Sauvignon Blanc, as well as its distinctive labels, which reflect the skyline of the nearby Richmond Ranges. It is now owned by Veuve Clicquot.”

6y 2m ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Editor of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Cloudy Bay . In a tasting of  23 wines 

“Lots of wines while visiting in Wiesbaden..some really good your Robert Weils:)”

8y 3m ago

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