In anticipation of Flavours of New Zealand, the 2019 New Zealand wine tasting event that is taking place on Monday, we decided to take a closer look at Cloudy Bay Wines, who will be exhibiting at the event.

Cloudy Bay was established in 1985 by David Hohnen who was convinced that New Zealand wines had great potential. The winery was among the first five to be established in Marlborough, which was long thought to be an inappropriate region for a vineyard. Thirty years later, Cloudy Bay has become one of New Zealand’s best-known wineries.

If you’re heading along to Monday’s event, make sure to stop at the Cloudy Bay area and try some of their wines. To get you prepared, we have some tasting notes below about the estate’s wines so read on to find out more.

Sauvignon Blanc

Cloudy Bay’s 2017 Sauvignon Blanc is an elegant wine with bright citrus aromas of kaffir lime, grapefruit and nectarine. The sauvignon blanc vineyards are located in the heart of the Wairau Valley, in Marlborough. The 2017 vintage experienced idea growing conditions, with warm temperatures and excellent weather during the ripening season, which gave the resulting wine a delicious flavour. Cyclone Debbie hit New Zealand during the 2017 harvest and affected wineries across the Marlborough region, but the Cloudy Bay grapes had achieved maturity early in the season so many were unaffected, allowing this vintage to be created.

Pinot Noir

When drinking Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2015, you will definitely taste red fruits and subtle spice. With its silky structure, this pinot noir is is as concentrated as it is refreshing, echoing the style and quality synonymous with Cloudy Bay. The 2015 harvest was defined by low yields and the driest growing season on record. Viticulturist Jim White and the vineyard team carefully managed the ripening process to prevent over-exposure of the fruit to the hot sun. Sugar levels of the grapes were tracked exactingly to ensure a sense of freshness in the finished wine.

Chardonnay

The 2015 Chardonnay was the result of a tough growing season. A cool midsummer period disrupted flowering, but the weather took a turn for the better from mid-December, which was followed by above average temperatures in January. This caused low yields and the driest growing season on record, which led to early ripening. Viticulturist Jim White and the vineyard team had to manage the crop carefully in order to prevent over-exposing the ripening fruit to the hot sun, but the resulting fruit was harvested with excellent flavours. With a lower must weight and yields down by 15%, the 2015 Chardonnay is a concentrated wine with bright and energetic acidity.

Te Wahi

Te Wahi 2014 is Cloudy Bay’s limited release from Pinot Noir from Central Otago. ‘Te Wahi’ is a Maori saying which means “the place”. Cloudy Bay believes that great pinot noir speaks of its origin and the 2014 release encapsulates the extremely southerly and continental Pinot Noir terrior of Central Otago. The 2014 Te Wahi is a blend of grapes from two special vineyard sites, the silky and dense Calvery vineyard on Felton Road in Bannockburn and Cloudy Bay’s newly acquired rugged Northburn vineyard on the East bank of Lake Dunston. T

Te Koko

Forget all you know about New Zealand's Sauvignon Blanc, as Cloudy Bay broke the winemaking rules to create a sophisticated style of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc made through wild fermentation and aging in old French oak. The 2013 harvest passed quickly, with varieties ripening at similar rates due to the remarkably uniform growing season. The grapes were harvested in the cool of night to preserve fruit flavour and loaded in whole bunches immediately into presses. After settling for a period of 24 hours, the juice was racked directly to French oak barrels (8% new) and allowed to undergo wild fermentation with indigenous yeasts.  Primary fermentation was completed in 4-5 months, while partial malolactic fermentation tempered its fresh acidity. The wine remained in barrel on yeast lees until October 2014, when it was racked and lightly fined for clarity.

For more about Cloudy Bay, click here. To see more about the Flavours of New Zealand event, click here.