Grapes for our sauvignon blanc are sourced from estate and grower vineyards located in the Rapaura, Fairhall, Renwick and Brancott sub-regions of the Wairau Valley. Soils range from free-draining stony on the valley floor to aged alluvial loams containing some clay. The majority of fruit is grown on a vertical shoot positioned trellis with a small number of blocks on Scott-Henry.
The 2015 growing season kicked off with a cool dry start while numerous frost events provided continuing challenges right up until flowering. A cool mid-November to mid-December period disrupted flowering leading to 15% lower crops than the previous season. The weather took a turn for the better from mid-December; above average temperatures in January and low crops coupled with the driest growing season on record lead to early ripening.
The quick sauvignon blanc harvest started on March 25th and was complete on April 6th. With the first being 2006, it was the second earliest finish to harvest ever at Cloudy Bay.
Following harvest, the free-run juice was cold settled for 48-96 hours before racking. Fermentation was primarily carried out in stainless steel with a mixture of cultured and wild yeasts. Approximately 10% of the juice was fermented at warmer temperatures in old French oak barriques and large format oak vats. Our sauvignon blanc was stringently blended, including only the strongest batches.
Our final blend shows an alcohol of 13.4% with 2.0 g/L RS, 3.12 pH and TA 7.6g/L.
In In 1985, Cloudy Bay released its first sauvignon blanc. Thirty years on, as we launch our flagship wine’s 30th vintage, we maintain the same innovative spirit and devotion to quality and consistency that generated our success in that first year.
With the 2015 season providing one of the driest summers on record and an official drought declared in Marlborough, the Cloudy Bay team watched the weather with baited breath, waiting for even a hint of rain. Just as our team had, years before, triumphed over the drought-like conditions of 1998 and 2001, we succeeded in producing a fresh and vibrant 2015 sauvignon blanc.
The growing season kicked off with a cool, dry start while frosts threatened the vines right up until flowering. Having been relatively unaffected by these frosts, a cool mid-November to mid-December period disrupted flowering, leading to smaller crops than the previous vintage. Viticulturist Jim White explains that, “the cool temperatures in late spring during the flowering season caused fewer bunches to set. As a result, we were down 15% on our targeted yield.”
The weather took a turn for the better from mid-December; above average temperatures in January and low crops, coupled with the driest growing season on record, lead to early ripening and exceptional fruit quality.
Marlborough has long secured a name for itself in producing distinctive and refreshing sauvignon blanc and Cloudy Bay has proudly retained a place at the forefront. ‘‘The 2015 vintage of Cloudy Bay’s flagship wine is another excellent example of our 30-year history of premium wine’’ says Senior Winemaker Tim Heath. “The 2015 sauvignon blanc is intense, concentrated and focused with mouthwatering acidity that gives structure and textural intrigue to the palate.”