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2005 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc
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- ABV 13.6%
- Closure: Screw Cap
Notes sourced from Cloudy Bay.
Grapes were sourced from estate and grower vineyards located in the Rapaura, Fairhall, Renwick and Brancott sub-regions of the Wairau Valley. Free draining, stony soils typify the Rapaura and Renwick areas whilst Fairhall and Brancott are predominantly aged alluvial loams containing some clay. The majority of fruit was grown on a vertical shoot positioned (VSP) trellis, and the balance on the divided Scott Henry trellis system. In 2005 sauvignon blanc yields averaged 10.0 Tonne/hectare (4.0 Tonne/acre).
The season started well and early spring conditions were settled with a couple of chilly mornings, but thankfully, no frost damage. The weather during December and early January was unseasonably cold and cloudy with consistent, intermittent rainfall. This led to variable flowering and resulted in tonnages on the low side of average. The weather improved considerably during early January and for the rest of the summer fine conditions prevailed. By the time harvest commenced the season had 'clocked up' enough sun to catch-up with the long term average of heat summation levels. Harvest commenced under sunny skies but an unwelcome cold spell produced a couple of inches of rain and delayed picking over Easter. A dry April allowed the rest of harvest to be completed at a very measured pace. The light crop loads meant all vineyards were able to ripen in the cool Marlborough autumn. When a record frost occurred over most of the valley on the 25th of April the majority of Cloudy Bay's vineyards had been harvested.
The Sauvignon Blanc harvest began on the 13th April under settled conditions, the first fruit coming from the stonier, warmer blocks around the winery. Harvesting continued steadily during the month through the progressively later ripening sites, finishing abruptly on the 29th of April after a significant frost that affected most of the Wairau Valley. All vineyards were picked at optimum ripeness with great concentration of fruit aromatics.
The fruit was machine harvested during the cooler night and early morning temperatures and transported directly to the winery. The grapes were de-stemmed and transferred straight to tank presses. Free run and lightly pressed juice was cold settled for 48 hours then racked and inoculated with a neutral yeast strain. The fermentations were carried out in stainless steel tanks; after fermentation the wine remained in contact with yeast lees for about two months, prior to blending in July and subsequent bottling in August. Final wine analysis shows an alcohol of 13.6%, pH of 3.25 and titratable acidity 7.6 g/L.
Tasting Notes: Pale straw green in colour and vibrantly aromatic, the 2005 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc is like an exotic infusion of fresh ginger, sweet basil, and lemongrass layered over ripe tropical and citrus fruits. With great purity of fruit flavours, the palate is mouth-wateringly juicy yet finishes with a refreshing crispness.