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Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
  • D96
  • JS93
  • W&S91
  • WS90
  • WW90
13.5% ABV
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Appealing at once, the nose of our Pinot Noir 2012 is ripe with plum, aromatic spice and red florals. The palate is focused with a savory architecture; bittersweet chocolate, dark fruit and spice play with leather and hints of earthiness. Chalky tannins linger on a persistent finish.

Pair the 2012 Pinot Noir with soy glazed bbq pork ribs and confit of duck leg.

Critical Acclaim

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D 96
Decanter
Intense, sumptuous and wonderfully perfumed with dark plum, black cherry, a hint of violets and an appealing gamey, savoury palate. Long and complex, hinting at its potential. The texture is seductively silky, blanketing a spine of fine tannins.
JS 93
James Suckling
A pinot noir that is subtle and complex with dried strawberry, cedar, nut and light meat character. Full to medium body with hints of chocolate, wet earth and mushroom. Such balance and finesse here. Screw cap.
W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
Its black cherry depths of flavor feel fattened up by the tannins, which carry hints of white tea along with a touch of caramel richness. With the clean lines of a Marlborough pinot, this is targeted at grilled salmon or apricot glazed roast pork.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Elegant, with pure, plush raspberry coulis and cherry flavors at the core, gaining momentum as the layers of clove, pine, lavender and red licorice come in. Exhibits power on the finish. Drink now through 2028.
WW 90
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
Brooding with dark fruits, this Pinot Noir explores exciting aromas and flavors that I am certainly not use to but am liking. The firm 2012 Cloudy Bay comes up with ripe strawberries and blackberries; some plum and dried fruit show up as well. A really fined effort that would make a slow roasted pork tenderloin very happy. (Tasted: May 11, 2015, San Francisco, CA)
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Cloudy Bay

Cloudy Bay

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Cloudy Bay, Marlborough, New Zealand
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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.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

CAR561813_12_2012 Item# 131136