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Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Review

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Review

Cloudy Bay Vineyards is a winery which is based in the Marlborough winemaking region of New Zealand.

The company sports vineyards in both the Marlborough and the Central Otago regions.

Cloudy bay was established in 1985 as one of the earliest wineries founded in Marlborough and quickly attracted international acclaim for the first Sauvignon Blanc wines, which they produced in the 1980s.

The company was instrumental in establishing New Zealand’s international reputation for world-class white wines. Namely, Sauvignon Blanc.

Cloudy Bay joined Veuve Clicquot in 2003 and became part of large umbrella, which is the Louis Vuitton Moët and Hennessy family, in 2010.

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Review

Cloudy Bay’s wide-reaching legacy originally began in Marlborough with Sauvignon Blanc and today includes Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pelorus méthodetraditionnelle wines.

The winery is still continuing its attempts to innovate with Te Koko, a barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc, and TeWahi, a refined offering from Central Otago made up of Pinot Noir from two high-quality southern vineyards.

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc

  • Brand: Cloudy Bay
  • Country: New Zealand
  • Region: Marlborough
  • Wine Type: White Wine
  • Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
  • ABV: 13.5%
 
 

Appearance

The wine has some nice greenish hues to it but is otherwise a light straw color. The legs are quite delicate, forming and falling quickly after giving the glass a good swirl.

Smell

This is stereotypically New Zealand, with unmistakable aromatics of gooseberry, fresh cut grass, grapefruit, and orange zest.

There are also some more subtle notes of expressed Thai bay leaves, underripe green apples, and tart lime juice.

Outside of some of the “greener” notes, it takes a bit of coaxing to get the fruit out of the glass on this one. That said, I promise that the extra few sniffs are well worth the effort.

Taste

The flavors here largely follow what you would expect. Lots of grapefruit juice upfront, gooseberries following after, and tart lemon juice coming through on the end.

You also get some much more subtle notes of papaya and guava, though you have to do a bit more looking to find them.

The wine features a bit of zippy acidity and a relatively short finish, which makes it extraordinarily crushable.

The lingering flavors largely consist of fresh citrus fruit and just a hint of herbaciousness, which leave you with a sense of freshness after each sip you take.

What does Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc pair with?

This wine works wonderfully all by itself on a warm day. If you do not have one of those on hand, then I recommend reaching for some softer cheeses, such as Brie, Ricotta, Camembert, Chevre, Roquefort, and Gorgonzola.

These all make for great pairings for Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc.

Additionally, this wine works very well with seafood. I have thoroughly enjoyed it with octopus calamari, shrimp cocktail, oysters Rockefeller, and just about any white fish.

Chilean sea bass with a mustard sauce is a personal preference of mine and really helps to complement almost every facet of the wine.

What wines are similar to Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc?

One of my favorite alternatives to this bottle is Craggy Range’s Te Muna Sauvignon Blanc, which boasts a lot of the same fruit characteristics as Cloudy Bay.

There is a bit more tropical fruit found in Craggy Range, and it is a bit juicier.

Outside of that, I strongly recommend Kia Ora Reserve. Kia Ora, roughly translating to “what’s up” in the native Maori language, is a relatively new brand, having only come into the spotlight in the last three years or so.

That said, it consistently delivers wine that screams “classic New Zealand” from the top of a mountain.

Final Thoughts

Honestly, I am not the world’s biggest fan of mass-produced wines. That said, Cloudy Bay has remained remarkably consistent as far as quality is concerned.

While it may not be the pinnacle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, it is a staple for a reason, and I strongly recommend at least giving it a try.