From the most famous producer of Sauvignon Blanc in the world, this Chardonnay is pretty amazing white wine as well. The scent of pink grapefruit and lemon blossom is beautifully counterbalanced by smoky, savoury aromatics, reminiscent of roasted cashews and macadamia nuts. The palate is rich yet refined with a chalky texture supporting the delicious mineral-like complexity and creaminess derived from traditional winemaking techniques. Gentle fruit handling has produced a tightly structured, elegant wine that will age gracefully over the next six to ten years.
Cloudy Bay Winery
Cloudy Bay Vineyards, established in 1985, is today a partnership between champagne house Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin and co-founder of Cape Mentelle Vineyards in Western Australia, David Hohnen. The Cloudy Bay team is committed to producing 'wines of region' and strives to enhance the pure, bracing flavors naturally afforded by the climate and soils of Marlborough. The winery and vineyards are 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.
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A few other New Zealand areas include the region of Auckland, high up on the North Island, Nelson, sitting to the west of Marlborough, and Canterbury, just under Waipara on the South Island. Most wines in New Zealand will come from a designated area and say so on the label.
Auckland was one of the first wine growing regions of the country, but now produces very little of New Zealand's wine. It's pretty wet up there so vineyards are planted in the driest spots possible – reds are most popular here. Nelson is the only region along the west coast of the country, producing Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Canterbury's chilly climate is best suited for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The country of New Zealand is about 1000 miles from the coast of Australia. It consists of two long islands, end to end, that are approximately the same length as California. Most of the country's climate is maritime due to the abundant coastline. The northern island is warmer and wetter, while the southern island is cooler and dryer. The most popular grapes of New Zealand are Sauvignon Blanc (made most famous by the bright, crisp wines coming out of Marlborough), Chardonnay and the ever-growing Pinot Noir.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.