2022 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc
From the critics:
Decanter | 93 DEC
Lime peel, sliced green pears, hints of asparagus and lemons. It’s bright and crisp with a medium body. Refreshing, showing restraint and focus. Drink now. Screw cap.
James Suckling | 91 JS
Wine Details for 2022 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc
|Type of Wine||New Zealand White : Great wines don't only come from Europe. New Zealand has some splendid white wines to offer to the world, based on different grape varietals. Sauvignon Blanc is undoubtedly one of the most commonly planted variety, but you can also stumble upon some sweet Pinot Gris, acidic Chardonnay, and even German Riesling, with its wide range of fruity flavors.|
: The varietal of Sauvignon Blanc, which hails from Western France and now successfully grown in emerging and established wine regions all over the world, is an ancient grape. Sauvignon Blanc and its red counterpart, Cabernet Franc, gifted to the world of wine its offspring, Cabernet Sauvignon. Its progeny has become the most popular and widely planted varietal in the world but Sauvignon Blanc is no slouch, ranking among the top ten, itself.
Its exact emergence upon the earth is still undetermined, but appears to be indigenous to central France (the Loire Valley) or to the southwest France (Bordeaux). There is still discussion as to Sauvignon Blanc’s actual origins, with both Bordeaux and the Loire claiming to be the grape’s homeland. Both fashion incredible wine from the varietal and have been a leading force for the wine’s world-wide popularity. Sauvignon Blanc is so popular today, that 123,000 hectares are planted to the varietal across the world, ranking third among all white wine producing varietals, behind only Airen (218,000ha) and Chardonnay (211,000ha). The origin dispute aside, the grape’s versatility means its regions and styles are remarkably diverse, both within France and internationally.
Sauvignon Blanc’s geographical spread and versatility means it is found in a range of styles from classic dry white wines to individual, highly aromatic international interpretations to highly unctuous, sweet wines. The Loire appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume produce, arguably, the greatest example of the quintessential Sauvignon Blanc offering, often as a single-varietal and unoaked bringing forth wines that are mineral, citrusy, steely, bright and reasonably long-lived. Pouilly and Sancerre are home to some of the top selling Sauvignon Blanc domains in the world, from Dageuneau (Pouilly-Fume) to Vacheron (Sancerre).
Bordeaux also produces a classic dry white from Sauvignon Blanc, but is most often in the form of a blend of Sauvignon and Semillon. Haut-Brion Blanc, Pavillon Blanc de Chateau Margaux (100% Sauvignon Blanc) and Cos d’Estournel Blanc are some of the top selling, quality white Bordeaux offerings. Whereas the typical winemaking techniques of Loire do not involve oak-aging, it most often does occur in Bordeaux, giving the wine a signature texture and a mix of herbal and tropical aromas. In Sauternes (including Barsac) a very unique winegrowing method is implemented. The grapes of Sauvignon Blanc (Semillon and Muscadelle) endure a long hang time in which the late Autumn fog and humid climate attracts Botrytis Cinerea, a fungus that attacks the grape, also known as noble rot. The result is an unctuous, utterly delicious golden liquid that has placed the wines of Sauternes as some of the most characteristic and expensive in the world. Chateau d’Yquem and Chateau Climens are undoubtedly among the top producers in the region.
Outside of France, Sauvignon Blanc, with its diverse and easily manipulated qualities has grown in popularity and now inhabits over 38 countries in some of the greatest terroir hotspots including New Zealand, California, Chile, Spain and Australia. Sauvignon Blanc arrived in California in the 1860’s but the varietal’s mainstream influence on American consumers wouldn’t come until 1966 when Robert Mondavi fashioned a dry white in the style of a Loire wine, naming it Fume Blanc. The varietal has only grown in quality and popularity in America since.
Sauvignon Blanc thrives in terroirs and climates that mimic that of the Loire Valley, where it perhaps, reaches its full zenith. The soil consists heavily of flint (silica), which gives it a smoky aroma found in both Pouilly-Fume and Sancerre. However, Sauvignon Blanc is quite adaptable to a myriad of terroirs around the world, revealing each terroir through the wine itself. The varietal of Sauvignon Blanc is simply tremendous in its quality, non-discrimination of its elements (to a degree) and has fashioned some of the world’s most intriguing array of wines.
: Thirteen hundred miles off the coast of Australia is the small island nation of New Zealand. The latter is often spoken of in conjunction with the former, but is very much deserving of its own story. Known far and wide for its aromatic and unique style of Sauvignon Blanc, the small wine producing nation is proving convincingly that it deserves a place among the top producers in the world. New Zealand has successfully developed a wide range of wine styles and is garnering global recognition for its viticultural prowess.
Vines have been cultivated in New Zealand since 1819; planted by none other than the father of antipodean (term used to describe a person from New Zealand and Australia) viticulture, James Busby. He was the country’s first true wine pioneer and helped pave the way towards creating a prosperous New Zealand wine industry. By the late 19th Century, Dalmatian settlers were cultivating vines throughout Auckland and Northland, providing the foundations for modern New Zealand viticulture. Sauvignon Blanc took leaps and bounds in the 1980s and 1990s producing a style of wine that was praised for its forward and herbaceous flavor and propelling the New Zealand wine industry to heights it had never before witnessed.
New Zealand’s key grape and driving force of its wine industry is without a doubt, Sauvignon Blanc. Of the 41,603 hectares under vine, Sauvignon Blanc is planted to 26,559, which corresponds to 64 percent of all vineyard space. Aside from the country’s mainstay, the aromatic whites of Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer have all made good impressions on enthusiasts and wine professionals alike. It is not uncommon to see the regions of Hawke’s Bay, Martinborough and Central Otago gracing the label as they have become synonymous with the country’s well-received offerings. Marlborough is, however, the most productive wine growing region (29,415 hectares) and where Sauvignon Blanc thrives in its host’s hospitable climate and terroir.
Most winegrowing regions in New Zealand have a maritime climate and due to the geography of the land and its proximity to the coast (75 miles) the oceanic influence is ever present. The country lies on the boundary between the Pacific Ocean and the Indo-Australian tectonic plate contributing to the volcanic soils that are found in many wine regions, particularly in the North Island. Conversely, the landscape and geography of the south is greatly attributed to glacial movements. Geywake (a variety of sandstone) and schist are also contributing elements to the wide array of terroirs in New Zealand vineyards and form much of the soil present it the country’s rolling hills, mountainsides and many river terraces. Interestingly, there are very few wine regions on New Zealand’s west coast due to the strong westerly winds from the Tasman Sea. The Kaikoura and Southern Alps mountain ranges offer shelter from these harsh conditions and greatly improve growing conditions in the major wine regions.
While the aromatic white varieties have found a niche in the cooler parts of the South Island, Syrah and Bordeaux Blends (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet France) have taken to the warmer climes in Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne (Chardonnay from these areas have also become quite popular). The small, but intriguing portfolio of red wines produced would not be complete without the mention of New Zealand’s rising star, Pinot Noir; which has made a home for itself in the many popular wine regions, including Marlborough and Central Otago.
New Zealand may be a small wine producing country with an annual output of only 324 million liters, but it is one that offers a wide range of New World wine styles that have taken the world by storm, proving its own identity and a major player in today’s market.