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Featured Reviews

Dog Point 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and 2015 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

06 October,2017
The Dog Point label of the Sutherland and Healy families is one of the most exciting, spearheading the development of the more complex, alternative styles of Sauvignon Blanc, contemporary funky Chardonnay and rich, characterful Pinot Noir. I’ve attended vertical tastings of the wines from the first releases (click here to see), and can’t help but be impressed by the drive of Ivan Sutherland and James Healy, their families and team in making distinctive, high quality and complex wines. The basis of the wines is the fruit source of mature vineyards of proven ability, these mainly in the Southern Valleys sub-region, under the expert eye of Ivan. But it is the ‘on the edge’ winemaking by James that takes the wines to their unique style and place. Ivan and James concur that they only make wines they like to drink. Clearly their tastes are adventurous and explore where Marlborough can go in creating more sophisticated wines. Here, I review the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, from a cool growing season, but low-cropped for earlier ripeness, and the 2015 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, from a small yielding vintage, giving concentrated wines.


Dog Point Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

Brilliant, very pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is very fresh with intense, penetrating aromas of gooseberries, greengages and green stonefruits, entwined with dark herbs, unfolding white and yellow floral notes and subtle, complexing mineral elements. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate possesses sweet and luscious flavours of gooseberries, nectarines and green stonefruits with fresh herbs and suggestions of thirst-quenching minerals. The mouthfeel is brisk with crisp acidity, and the palate flows along a soft and very fine-textured line with excellent underlying energy and vitality. The wine carries to an elegant, lingering finish of stonefruits, gooseberries and herbs. This is an elegant and intensely concentrated luscious green stonefruited Sauvignon Blanc with a brisk palate and soft, fine-textured linearity. Match with seafood and Pacific Rim fare over the next 2 years. Hand-picked fruit from estate vineyards, WBP and partially indigenous yeast fermented to 12.5% alc. and 3.8 g/L RS, the wine aged 2-3 months in tank. Certified BioGro organic. 18.5+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $27.00

Dog Point Marlborough Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Marlborough

Even straw-yellow with lemon hues, a little paler on the edge. The nose is softly full and gently concentrated, unfolding deep, integrated aromas of ripe white stonefruits layered with nutty lees and oak notes and complexing gunflint and mineral elements. The aromatics are refreshing with an underlying tautness. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and mouthfilling flavours of sweetly ripe white and yellow stonefruits entwined with an amalgam of mealy detail, soft creamy barrel-ferment elements nutty lees and oak, complex gunflint and minerals, revealing some oak toast. The flavours form a concentrated core, and the palate has fresh, lacy acidity providing energy and tension. The wine carries smoothly to a long and sustained finish of stonefruits, nuts, and flint. This is a rich, concentrated, deeply layered Chardonnay with complex flavours of stonefruits, mealy and nutty notes, gunflint and toast on a fresh, but smooth palate. Match with grilled and roasted seafood, poultry and pork dishes over the next 5-6 years. Approx. two-third Mendoza and one-third clone fruit, from vines dating back to 1981 in age, hand-picked, WBP and directly pressed to barrel, indigenous yeast fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 15% new oak with full MLF. 19.5/20 Oct 2017 RRP $37.00

Dog Point Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough

Full, dark ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, lighter edged. This has a firmly concentrated and intense nose of ripe black cherry and dark raspberry fruit with an amalgam of dark plums, violet florals and fresh herbs, and a suggestion of nutty oak. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a deep and concentrated heart with rich, integrated flavours of ripe black cherries, raspberries and plums, melded with nuances of fresh herbs, a suggestion of whole bunch stalk perfumes, violet florals, with nutty and spicy oak. The fruit is supported by fine-grained, flowery and supple tannins providing a velvety structure, with harmonious, balanced acidity. The wine flows to a long, lingering finish of black and dark-red fruits, herbs and florals. This is a rich, finely concentrated, ripe black cherry and raspberry fruited Pinot Noir with subtle, complexing herb, floral and nutty detail on a velvety, but structured palate. Serve with pork, beef, lamb and venison dishes over the next 6-8+ years. A blend of 6 clones from vines dating back to 1983, indigenous yeast fermented with 10-25% whole bunches to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 30-40% new oak. 19.0/20 Oct 2017 RRP $47.00
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