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2003 Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc
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- ABV 13.6%
- Closure: Cork
Notes sourced from Cloudy Bay.
The sauvignon blanc grapes for this wine were sourced from two Cloudy Bay estate vineyards and one grower vineyard in the Fairhall sub-region. The soils are predominantly free draining gravels requiring irrigation. Trained using the Scott Henry divided canopy, the vines are planted at a density of 1,850 vines per hectare. In 2003 the vineyards yielded an average of 9.5 tonnes per hectare.
The 2003 growing season was punctuated by two severe spring frosts (October and then November) that caused considerable damage to newly formed shoots and grape inflorescences. The cumulative effect of these frosts and cool weather over flowering resulted in very small crops being set, in some vineyards well below 50% of expected yields. Summer weather conditions were settled and dry, but cooler than average temperatures were recorded from January through to March. Marlborough's sunny autumnal conditions came to the rescue ensuring physiological ripeness was achieved across all varieites - even though below average night-time temperatures prevailed throughout harvest - and finally delivered a modest crop with terrific flavour profiles and great fruit intensity.
Batches of fruit from five blocks in three vineyards were picked depending on maturity and in exceptional condition from the 11th of April to the 17th of April, averaging 22.8 Brix, pH of 3.20 and titratable acidity of 8.0g/l.
The grapes were harvested in the cool of the night to preserve fruit flavour and a mixture of whole bunches and de-stemmed fruit was loaded directly to tank presses. After settling for a period the juice was racked directly to French oak barrels (a low proportion of which were new) and allowed to undergo a slow spontaneous fermentation using indigenous yeast. The primary fermentation, which took until Christmas to complete, was followed by malolactic fermentation. The wine was subsequently left in barrel, on yeast lees until the very end of October of the following year when it was racked, lightly fined for clarity, and bottled (under cork) in mid November 2004. Analysis shows the wine to have a pH of 3.20, acid of 5.9g/l and an alcohol of 13.6% v/v.
Tasting Note: A heady infusion of tropical fruit and exotic spices melds aromas of mandarin and lychee with caraway and bergamot. The palate strikes the beautiful balance of a mango crème brûlée ... rich and weighty with a fruit freshness that belies the extended maturation afforded this compelling wine.