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Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, with its lime-scented grapefruit flavours and tingling acidity, is still one of the most sought-after wines in the world. To this day the annual release in October is talked about and much allocated.
It is extraordinary to think that the first vintage was only produced in 1985. David Hohnen, co-founder of Cape Mentelle in Western Australia, tasted a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc for the first time in 1983, and was blown away by the vibrancy of flavour and definition that he found in the glass. Learning that the Sauvignon Blanc he had tasted hailed from the Marlborough region of South Island, he persuaded some backers to buy some land in the Wairau Valley, and grow Sauvignon Blanc. This was a very risky proposition at the time as the economy was struggling and the 23.5% interest on the bank loan was pretty frightening but his conviction shone through. The first vintage was released in 1985, and the 2nd vintage, 1986, was rapturously received at the London wine Fair. The rest, as they say, is history.
Cloudy Bay's tasting note for the 2014 vintage: a definitive expression of the region and its season. Appealing concentration and poise suggests a wine with the ability to age. The nose is bright with aromas of kaffir lime and grapefruit. A generous palate reveals ripe citrus, stone fruit and lemongrass flavours balanced by crunchy acidity. Perhaps the hallmark of this vintage is its persistent finish rich with minerality.
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