See Decanter experts' rating, tasting notes and drinking window for Cloudy Bay, Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand 2011.
Cloudy Bay, Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand 2011
Individual judges’ scores: Peter McCombie MW 91 Christine Parkinson 88 Joanna Simon 83.
Peter McCombie MW: Subtlely seductive nose of spice, dark fruit, sous bois and flowers; youthful, quite dense fruit, still somewhat angular, but should develop well over next few years.
Christine Parkinson: Ripe and exuberant blackberry aromas. Intensely fruity palate, with black cherry and bramble notes plus delicate layer of vanilla oak, especially on finish. Alcohol is well balanced by the concentration of fruit and refreshing acidity. Very long, with plenty of oak but still a streak of fruit right to the end.
Joanna Simon: Gently fragrant and spicy; hints of the exotic. Peppery, black cherry fruit on the palate. Structured, balanced, but could do with more fragrant, pure fruit on the palate. A bit plodding.
Cloudy Bay was founded by David Hohnen and Kevin Judd, and is now owned by luxury goods giant LVMH. It is situated in the Wairau Valley in Marlborough, New Zealand’s largest wine growing region and home of some of the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc.
The winery’s plots, all based in the northern end of the South Island, benefit from the longest hours of sunshine in the country with coastal influences providing cool, clear nights. The area boasts two main types of soil which shape the different wines Cloudy Bay makes: ‘You’ve either got a clay based soil or a gravel based type of soil.’
Cloudy Bay owns four vineyard sites around the valley – two of which are 100% Sauvignon Blanc focused – Estate Vineyard and Widow’s Block. Two are based on the southern side of the valley – Barracks Vineyard, which is 100% Pinot Noir, and Mustang Vineyard, which has a mixture of the two varieties.