Ivan Sutherland & James Healy
Marlborough’s Dog Point is a partnership between viticulturalist Ivan Sutherland and winemaker James Healy, both formerly of Cloudy Bay. After leaving Cloudy Bay the pair began making wine from fruit sourced from Sutherland’s own vineyards in the Wairau Valley. Abundant sunshine, low rainfall and cool autumn nights here make for a long grape growing season, enabling the slow evolution of a rich array of vibrant fruit flavours.
Dog Point produces a small but high-quality portfolio of four incredibly exciting wines. Their sauvignon blanc is beautifully elegant and fine-tasting with a stunning perfume. Section 94 is, unusually for Marlborough, a barrel-fermented sauvignon blanc which undergoes extended lees contact in older barrels. We regard it as New Zealand’s most distinctive sauvignon - the name comes from a specific plot known as section 94 on an early survey map of the area. The impressive chardonnay too sees some oak and is broad-flavoured yet restrained. Pinot noir is highly perfumed and stylish with a silky palate.
Grapes are hand-picked and winemaking is as natural as possible with only indigenous yeasts being used. The intention here is to remain a hands-on, boutique operation making regionally distinctive and vineyard-expressive wines.