Cloudy Bay never fails to rise above the rest with their distinctive take on Sauvignon Blanc. This shows incredible complexity with an expansive, unfolding deliciousness that really needs to be experienced. The winemaking style here goes against the grain, born of a little playful experimentation that developed into something special and well worth a taste – and possibly a case.
Distinctive and complex. Honeysuckle, beeswax and candied ginger notes add complexity to the pear, yuzu and tangerine flavors at the core. Spicy and crisp on the finish. Shows impressive harmony and intensity.VN93
In recent years, Cloudy Bay has curbed its enthusiasm when it comes to making Te Koko, and that's a good thing. New oak has fallen to around 10%, as has the ratio that undergoes malolactic conversion (between 1996 and 2009, this cuvée was 100% mlf). Round and supple, this offers tangy notes of fresh black currant, white flowers, nettles and subtle passion fruit. Balanced yet linear acidity provides length and purpose on the fragrant, drawn-out finish. A couple of years in bottle has allowed the components to harmonize; this is drinking beautifully now but will hold.JS93
Barrel-fermented character and complex aromas of beeswax, limes and preserved lemons lead to a palate that has assertive acidity cut and a juicy, vibrant and lively, fresh finish.WA91
Cloudy Bay's 2016 Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc is marked by scents of pencil shavings and citrus fruit on the nose, while the medium-bodied palate features a silky texture allied to bright acidity that calls to mind certain well-made Pessac-Léognan whites. Rather taut and linear, it could use another year or two to settle down, although it will likely never be as opulent or generous as the wonderful 2015.DC95
Cloudy Bay was established in 1985 by David Hohnen, having previously founded Margaret River’s Cape Mentelle in 1970. Sauvignon Blanc was the first wine to be produced, quickly becoming instrumental in gaining New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc a worldwide reputation for quality. Having cemented its status as an iconic brand, the estate was bought by Louis Vuitton-Moët Hennessy in 2003 and is today set across seven vineyards in Marlborough’s Wairau Valley. Introduced in 2000, Te Koko was the forerunner of a new, more full-bodied style of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc fermented using indigenous ‘wild’ yeasts in French oak barrels, less than 10% of which are new. Rebecca Gibb MW: Notes of blackcurrant, nectarine and green capsicum come together harmoniously in this light-bodied, crisp and vivacious Sauvignon Blanc. Roger Jones: This has evolved beautifully; an elegant, buttery nose unveils a zesty and bright palate offering enticing notes of lemon curd and citrus peel, while restrained acidity fuels a lovely, lingering finish. Phil Tuck MW: Rich creamy oak on the nose; there is a good overall balance here and it has held up very well in bottle, with a perfectly-pitched oak influence that has not swamped the fruit.