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Featured Reviews

Cable Bay Awatere 2016 Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, and 2015 Chardonnay

07 June,2017
Cable Bay is best known as a producer of elegant, sophisticated Waiheke Island wines, that are readily obtained from the stylish cellar door complex at Oneroa. However, owners Loukas and Caroline Petrou have also invested in Marlborough, purchasing their Redwood Pass Road vineyard in the Awatere Valley 2013. There are 28 ha of close-planted vines, in Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The vineyard is under the care of Bart Arnst, who is heading towards organic certification. As the vines mature and as winemaker Chloe Somerset has become more familiar with the nature of the site and the fruit, we are seeing an increasingly interesting and more serious bottlings with each vintage. Here, I review the new 2016 Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, and 2015 Chardonnay.


Cable Bay Awatere Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

Bright, light straw-yellow colour, pale on the rim. The nose is softly full with aromas of ripe passionfruit entwined with notes of cut grass and nettles, unfolding green herbs and suggestions of green bean secondary development. This is classical Awatere Valley in expression. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate is gently firm with concentrated flavours of passionfruit, fresh herbs, nettles and cut grass. The flavours have good intensity and form a tight core and line. The wine flows with good energy along a fine-textured phenolic line energised by fresh, lacy acidity. Subtle notes of bean-like secondary development emerge as the wine carries to an elegant, lingering finish. This is a tightly bound Sauvignon Blanc with intense passionfruit, nettle and grassy flavours on a firm-textured, lively palate which is just beginning to show some bottle development notes. Serve as an aperitif and with Pacific Rim fare over the next 2 years. Estate fruit from the ‘Cinders’ vineyard, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.5% alc. and dryness, the wine aged 5 months on lees. 17.5/20 Jun 2017 RRP $23.00

Cable Bay Awatere Valley Marlborough Pinot Gris 2016

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough

Full, even, light straw-yellow colour with pale golden hues. The nose is full with bright and elegantly proportioned aromas of white stonefruits along with notes of white florals and nuts and subtle mineral elements. This is fresh and detailed, with clarity and an underlying power. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has lively and vibrant fruit flavours of white stonefruits and exotic florals that form an elegantly concentrated core. The mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh acidity and the wine carries with good drive and tension along a tight, finely-textured line. The fruit sweetness grows and honeysuckle nuances emerge as the wine leads to a lingering slender finish. This is a tightly bound, intense, dry Pinot Gris with exotic floral and white stonefruit flavours along with honeysuckle detail on a fine-textured, brisk palate. Match with Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine over the next 3 years. Estate fruit from the ‘Rocky’ vineyard, fermented in stainless-steel to 13.0% alc. and dryness, the wine aged 5 months on less, a portion in oak. 17.5+/20 Jun 2017 RRP $23.00

Cable Bay Awatere Valley Marlborough Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Marlborough

Bright, full, light yellow colour with lemon-gold hues, a little paler on edge. The nose id full and broad with good volume of savoury white stonefruit aromas along with subtle notes of creamy barrel-ferment, fresh herbs and subtle earthy secondary development detail. Medium-full bodied, the palate has good weight and presence, the flavours of citrus fruit and white stonefruits a little restrained in expression. Some creamy barrel ferment, nutty oak and secondary earth hints add interest. The mouthfeel is fresh with lacy acidity and the wine flows smoothly with good energy and tension, carrying to an elegantly concentrated, lingering finish of stonefruits and citrus fruits with savoury elements. This is a lively, well-weighted Chardonnay with citrus and savoury stonefruit flavours showing the beginnings of bottle development, on a fresh, smooth palate. Match with seafood, poultry and pork over the next 3+ years. Mendoza, clone 15, 6 and 95 fruit from the ‘Redwood Pass Road’ vineyard, fermented in stainless-steel with 11%, the Mendoza portion in barrel to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months on lees. 17.5/20 Jun 2017 RRP $25.00
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