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Dog Point Marlborough Chardonnay 2018

White Wine from New Zealand
Taut, struck-match and flint-driven chardonnay from one of the pioneers of Marlborough. With an impressive balance of savoury, green and citrus-fruit notes and a crisp but generous and textured palate, this is one of New Zealand's most consistently brilliant chardonnays.
Price: £21.00 Bottle
Price: £126.00 Case of 6
In Stock
Code: NZ12431

Wine characteristics

  • White Wine
  • Dry
  • Chardonnay
  • 13% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Now to 2028
  • 75cl
  • Screwcap

New Zealand

Still a baby when compared with other regions, New Zealand has quickly earned a reputation for top-quality wine. New Zealand might be a relative newcomer to the wine world (in 1960, the country had fewer than 400 hectares of vine) but its rise to pre-eminence is extraordinary. The precise, pure flavour of its wines has captured the attention of wine drinkers; Society sales certainly reflect this.

The country’s two islands cover a vast area from north to south (it is often quoted in wine books that if New Zealand was in the northern hemisphere, the country would stretch from North Africa to Paris). The maritime climate is influenced by the strong prevailing winds of the Pacific Ocean and the striking mountainous terrain. These factors give the islands a wide range of growing conditions; broadly speaking, the regions of the North Island tend to be warmer than the cooler South Island.

The cool New Zealand climate offers real opportunity for aromatic varieties like sauvignon blanc,...
Still a baby when compared with other regions, New Zealand has quickly earned a reputation for top-quality wine. New Zealand might be a relative newcomer to the wine world (in 1960, the country had fewer than 400 hectares of vine) but its rise to pre-eminence is extraordinary. The precise, pure flavour of its wines has captured the attention of wine drinkers; Society sales certainly reflect this.

The country’s two islands cover a vast area from north to south (it is often quoted in wine books that if New Zealand was in the northern hemisphere, the country would stretch from North Africa to Paris). The maritime climate is influenced by the strong prevailing winds of the Pacific Ocean and the striking mountainous terrain. These factors give the islands a wide range of growing conditions; broadly speaking, the regions of the North Island tend to be warmer than the cooler South Island.

The cool New Zealand climate offers real opportunity for aromatic varieties like sauvignon blanc, riesling, pinot gris and gewurztraminer . Of the latter three, young plantings mean many styles rely more on sugar than fruit, which we avoid buying. But the very best share the intensity and palate weight of great Alsace examples with vibrant, lifted flavours. South Island’s Marlborough region is the benchmark setter for the former, and there are many pungently aromatic sauvignons that are stunning. Look out, too, for some of the exciting sub-regional wines – the Awatere is Marlborough’s coolest valley, now making really attractive, delicate and grassy wines, and Nelson across the hills is yielding superb wines from quality conscious producers like Neudorf.

The first sauvignon blanc vines were planted in Marlborough around 30 years ago, when most farmers were raising cattle or growing fruit. The wines have since taken the world by storm. Farms have been replaced by vineyards, and today, chardonnay and pinot also flourish in Marlborough’s cool climate. The choice is sensational, so is the consistency in quality. However, Marlborough is not only about sauvignon blanc and there are crisp, juicy chardonnays and ripe but balanced pinot noirs of excellence.

Further south is Central Otago, in the centre of the island. Pinot noir is something of a speciality here, though on the wrong site it can have difficulty reaching full maturity in this continental climate. The best seasons produce the country’s most dazzling examples of the grape, full-flavoured and superbly pure, and the greatest wines of this scenic region are in high demand around the world

The north island also boasts excellent wine regions. North of the city of Auckland there is the Bay of Islands where a unique microclimate helps winemakers produce some wonderful reds, and the Brajkovich family’s Kumeu River Estate, specialising in rich but elegant chardonnay, can be found just north-west of New Zealand's biggest city. Waiheke Island, just off the coast close to Auckland, also produces some excellent wines.

Hawkes Bay on the east coast of the North Island covers an extensive area of rolling hills, a sweep of coastline and the sharply dominant Te Mata Peak. The warm climate successfully ripens red grape varieties, the very best grown in the gravelly alluvial soils of the Gimblett Gravels appellation. Syrah is now adding its name to the roll call of successful varieties like cabernet and merlot. Chardonnay is well established here too, and the area makes some of New Zealand’s fullest and ripest examples.

Close to Wellington at the southern tip of the North Island is Martinborough, arguably New Zealand’s most exciting area for pinot noir. The long growing season is particularly suitable to the slow, gradual ripening that this Burgundian grape so enjoys.
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Dog Point

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.

2018 vintage reviews
2017 vintage reviews
2016 vintage reviews

The Times

As tasty as a grand cru burgundy, a spicy, quince butter and toasted walnut mouthful: heaven.

- Jane MacQuitty

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