Wine of the Week – 92 Point Rated New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc – Dog Point Vineyards is the project of Cloudy Bay alumni Ivan Sutherland and James Healy, former viticulturist and chief winemaker for New Zealand’s most famous Sauvignon Blanc producer. Started in 2005, shortly after the two left Cloudy Bay, Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc was an immediate success and the wine consistently garners 90+ point scores from all of the major trade journals. The 2014 Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc, rated 92 points by Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast, might be their best to date.
After leaving Cloudy Bay, Ivan and James began making wines with fruit from Sutherland’s vineyards which were planted in the 70’s and 80’s. These are some of the oldest vineyards in the Marlborough region, and all of them are farmed using organic principles as established under the New Zealand Sustainable Winegrowing Program. This combination of experience, old vines, and clean farming practices result in one of the region’s most distinctive Sauvignon Blancs.
One of our biggest complaints about New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is that so many of them taste extremely similar. Grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefruit all the way! It’s not that we find that flavor unpleasant, we just think that Sauvignon Blanc is capable of so much more, and Dog Point’s version exemplifies this. On the nose, it offers up a lovely mix of green apple, honeydew melon, nectarine, and passion fruit combined with classic notes of fresh cut grass and green herbs. As enticing as that sounds, the palate is even better and it is what sets this wine apart from the other upper echelon New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. There is a balance and harmony in the texture of this wine that makes it downright chuggable. Ripe, smooth, and fleshy, but still bright and zesty, the aromas continue on the palate, and all of those flavors linger from some time on the finish.
Wine Spectator: 92 points
“A smooth, fleshy mix of honeysuckle, ripe melon, dried mango, peach and nectarine flavors, with a squirt of lemon juice. Succulent and complex, offering a whiff of smoky tea and celery leaf notes on the finish. Drink now.”
Wine Enthusiast: 92 points
“Everything you’d ever want in a Sauvignon Blanc is here—and then some. Grassy, herbal, citrusy aromas set the pace, joined by some slightly feral, wooly pungency that adds even greater complexity. On the palate, it’s plump and mouthwatering without being excessively tart, and lingers gloriously on the finish.”