In our view, the 2016 Cloudy Bay seems cleaner than 2015. Fruit profile for the time being is leaner and less tropical than 2015. Like the 2015, it has a vibrant mix of kaffir lime, lemon zest (slight bubbles as well). Compared to the 2015, the additional dimension seems to be the nectarine aromatics more than tropical traits, as well as the bright perfume of orange blossom. On palate the 2016 gives ripe citrus and stone fruit flavours that are framed by the smart and sleek structure.
Weather condition for Vintage 2015 seems drier. So the 2015 Cloudy Bay seems more concentrated, revealing ripe, juicy stone fruit and lemongrass, and has a subtle minerality to the fruit palate warped with subdued tropical tones.
Grapes this basic Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc are sourced from estate and grower vineyards located in the Rapaura, Fairhall, Renwick and Brancott subregions of the Wairau Valley. Soils range from free draining stony on the valley floor to aged alluvial loams containing some clay, hence there is always certain intensity and broadness of palate intermingled. The majority of fruit is grown on a vertical shoot positioned trellis with a small number of blocks on Scott-Henry, hence there is always has certain ripeness to it. Same for both vintages
To concentrate the fruit for the 2 vintages ,whole canes are removed in October. In November shoot thinning a green harvest prior to verasion was done. Picking times were different though.
The sauvignon blanc free-run juice was cold settled for 48 - 96 hours before racking. Fermentation was carried out in stainless steel with a mixture of cultured and wild yeasts. A selection of batches saw warmer than typical fermentation temperatures and high solid content which contributed to palate weight and texture.
There is lots of Cloudy Bay comparable through these years, and, we have to admit, they are as good. Regardless, no other similar SBs has been able to lure consumers to pay such consistent prices(relatively high for humble Sauvignon Blancs). That, in our view, speaks for the popularity of the wine.