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Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2011

Chardonnay from Marlborough, New Zealand
  • WS91
14% ABV
  • RP91
  • RP91
  • RP92
  • WS91
  • JS91
  • RP90
  • WS90
  • WW92
  • WS90
  • RP91
  • WE90
  • WE90
  • WE89
  • WS87
  • WS87
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The appealing nose of the 2011 Chardonnay affords aromas of stonefruit, white floral, smokey oak and spice. The palate it fresh and lively with a bright acid backbone. Flavors abound of nectarines and peaches, juicy citrus and grapefruit pith. Good length with delicate texture and a fine mineral thread.

This 2011 Chardonnay 2011 is an ideal partner to richer foods such as steamed crab, grilled white fish and fresh egg noodle pasta.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
Nicely balanced between a creamy texture and crisp acidity, this offers fresh fruit flavors of lime, grapefruit, peach and melon, with spice and dried floral accents and a minerally edge on the finish. Drink now through 2020.
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Cloudy Bay

Cloudy Bay

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Cloudy Bay, Marlborough, New Zealand
Video of winery
Cloudy Bay’s story is one of vision, passion and perseverance.

In 1984 founder David Hohnen and his partner Kevin Judd were convinced of New Zealand wines’ great potential. They set up their winery in the then little-known Marlborough region; Cloudy Bay was born. Cloudy Bay’s Sauvignon Blanc was an immediate hit with wine lovers due to its unique striking aromatics and mineral wine profile.

It captured the essence of Marlborough and put Cloudy Bay on the international wine stage. Thirty years later, Cloudy Bay remains New Zealand’s most recognized winery. In line with David Hohnen’s visionary spirit, Cloudy Bay planted its first Pinot Noir in 1985 when the potential of the region for Pinot Noir was just starting to be realized. Good things take time, especially with Pinot Noir which is a very challenging varietal, and it wasn't until 1994 that Cloudy Bay released its first Pinot Noir wine.

Today Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir reflects many years of hard earned experience and the provenance of Cloudy Bay's unique collection of premium Pinot Noir vineyards.

Cloudy Bay winemaking philosophy is based on transmitting the interpretation of New Zealand wines and terroirs. The team is committed to producing 'wines of the region' and strives to enhance the pure, bracing flavors naturally afforded by the climate and soils of Marlborough and Central Otago.

Marlborough

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An icon and leading region of New Zealand's distinctive style of Sauvignon blanc, Marlborough has a unique terroir, making it ideal for high quality grape production (of many varieties). Despite some common generalizations, which could be fairly justified given that Marlborough is responsible for 90% of New Zealand's Sauvignon blanc production, the wines from this region are actually anything but homogenous. At the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, the vineyards of Marlborough benefit from well-draining stony soils, a dry, sunny climate and wide temperature fluctuations between day and night, a phenomenon that supports a perfect balance between berry ripeness and acidity.

The region’s king variety, Sauvignon blanc, is beloved for its pungent, aromatic character with notes of exotic tropical fruit, freshly cut grass and green bell pepper along with a refreshing streak of stony minerality. These wines are made in a wide range of styles, and winemakers take advantage of various clones, vineyard sites, fermentation styles, lees-stirring and aging regimens to differentiate their bottlings, one from one another.

Also produced successfully here are fruit-forward Pinot noirs (especially where soils are clay-rich), elegant Riesling, Pinot gris and Gewürztraminer.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

SOU335268_2011 Item# 123311