2015 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough (Elsewhere $30)

SKU #1230586 95 points Bob Campbell

 Delicately aromatic Sauvignon Blanc showing impressive subtlety and plenty of power with its long and linear finish. Quite a barrow band of flavours focusing on the citrus, lime zest end of the flavour spectrum without being overtly grassy. Very textural wine with hints of nutty lees character. Impressive.

92 points Wine Spectator

 Impressively intense and focused, with vibrant Meyer lemon notes up front, followed by pineapple, green apple skin, dried apricot and green tea details, coming together on the smooth, spicy, juicy finish. (MW)  (10/2016)

91 points Vinous

 Bright, pale yellow. Lovely penetrating aromas and flavors of pineapple, grapefruit, lemon zest, spices and minerals. Bone-dry but the oak element rounds off the wine and contributes a subtle sweetness to its savory, very pure lemon and grapefruit flavors. Fine-grained Sauvignon Blanc with gentle but present acidity and attractive texture and lift. Hints at nettles but this is not a pungently herbal style in 2015. Finishes round and long. Ninety-five percent of these grapes are grown on rugged, free-draining riverbed soil around the winery, which automatically reduces yields, according to Sorrell. "You must get the picking dates right, which means early to mid-March in warm, dry years to preserve freshness," he told me. Incidentally, this was Cloudy Bay's 30th anniversary harvest. (ST)  (5/2016)

Jancis Robinson

 Creamy with apricots and stone fruit on the nose then tight and more nettley on the palate. Overall less pungent than I expected. Some notes of dried grass. Crisp and long. (JH)  (5/2016)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2015 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough has a nose of fresh lemon, white grapefruit and lime blossoms with hints of sage and wild thyme. Medium bodied, dry, crisp with plenty of citrusy zing in the mouth, the finish is long and steely. (LPB)  (12/2015)

Wine Enthusiast

 The Sauvignon Blanc style here has gotten more refined and restrained in recent years, less opulent and flamboyant. This hints at snow pea and struck flint on the nose, then delivers primarily grapefruit on the palate, ending on a slightly austere note. (JC)  (7/2016)

K&L Notes

New Zealand's most iconic producer of Sauvignon Blanc. The one that started it all.

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Varietal:

Sauvignon Blanc

- One of the best known "international" varieties originally cultivated in France and considered the parent of, with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon. Sauvignon's wonderfully distinctive aromatics generate some of wine's most colorful descriptors, among them "cat pee," herbaceous, grassy, citrusy the world over. In France, the apex of Sauvignon Blanc production is the Loire Valley, in the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where the terroir expresses itself most beautifully through the grape. Sauvignon Blanc is also the leading white grape varietal in Bordeaux, where it is paired with the fatter, richer Sémillon to varying degrees. Relatively easy to cultivate, though more suited to cool climates, Sauvignon Blanc has made inroads in Europe outside of France, especially in Northeastern Italy's Friuli and Alto Adige, but also on the Slovenian border. These lovely wines are often overshadowed by Sauvignon Blanc's achievements in the New World, namely New Zealand, South Africa and California. New Zealand's Sauvignon Blancs, more conspicuously fruity than most French examples, landed the small island nation on the world wine map in the late-1980s and 1990s. South African Sauvignons are one of the most successful international varieties produced in that country and are often quite elegant and affordable. In California, Robert Mondavi managed to, almost single-handedly, created a market for Sauvignon Blanc by renaming his oak-fermented version Fumé Blanc. While some wineries still use the name, California Sauvignon Blanc has secured its place in the California wine pantheon, particularly those from the Napa Valley. Washington State, Chile and Argentina also have considerable plantings of the grape.
Country:

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5