Recently arrived at JN is the small range of wines from New Zealand’s Dog Point Vineyard, an emerging star in Marlborough’s Wairau Valley founded by Ivan Sutherland and James Healy, formerly viticulturalist and winemaker at iconic Cloudy Bay.
After leaving Cloudy Bay, the team began making wines from Sutherland’s own vineyards, originally planted in the 70’s and 80’s. Their approach to winemaking is non-interventionist, natural and hands-off. Grapes are hand-picked and with the exception of their unoaked sauvignon; all wines are given extended barrel ageing with minimal racking and handling.
Marlborough’s Wairau Valley
Ivan & Margaret Sutherland
Dog Point’s Section 94, a complex barrel and lees aged Sauvignon Blanc, has generated a great deal of interest amongst the critics as one of the finest examples of the variety made in New Zealand, drawing direct comparisons with Cloudy Bay’s acclaimed Te Koko. The recently released 2007 Section 94 has been widely praised as the best yet. Its latest Chardonnay (2008) is also looking as though it will set a new benchmark for the variety in Marlborough – indeed we received an email last week from the vineyard advising that stocks of the 2008 due to be released shortly are already limited, such has been the demand.
Are their wines better than Cloudy Bay? I think so – they are certainly better value for money.Dog Point Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007 Marlborough, New Zealand My favourite from the Dog Point stable. Superb New Zealand Pinot Noir: complex, balanced and incredibly elegant. Very accessible and far too easy to drink. Slightly floral and herbaceous on the nose tinged with cherry fruit character. Sweet berries follow on the palate with a touch of spice – just delicious.
Dog Point Section 94 2008 – Tasting Note By Simon Woods
Funky wine with toasty oak in support of sappy floral characters and ripe apple, grapefruit and lemon, flavours, also has the yeasty/spent match character of barrel maturation and pithy pebbly minerality. S+