New Zealand Superstars -10 Reasons To Choose Dog Point Wines
If you want to discover some new affordable high-quality wines this weekend, then look no further. We're delighted to have added The highly acclaimed Dog Point range to our portfolio. Dog Point is one of the oldest private vineyards in Marlborough, New Zealand’s premium wine-growing region and they produce outstanding top quality wines year after year. This prestigious boutique family-owned winery has impressed the likes of Jancis Robinson. "This is a seriously admirable wine estate that manages to produce great Pinot Noir as well as Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough – and, also unusually for an NZ producer, takes Chardonnay seriously." And while we've mentioned the Chardonnay, Jane Mac Quitty featured it in her article "The Best Kiwi Chardonnay To Buy Now" in The Times, while Decanter rated it as one of the 2020 "Wines Of The Year"! As the Chardonnay rates so high you can only imagine how good the Pinot & Sauvignon they are renowned for crafting actually are!
Dog Point winery was established in 2002 by partners Ivan & Margaret Sutherland and James & Wendy Healy. Ivan and James were once part of the team that made Cloudy Bay one of the most admired wine brands in the world, during their time there they discovered they shared the same passion and decided to return to a more hands-on approach and establish their own wine label.
The name "Dog Point" ” dates from the earliest European settlement in Marlborough, an
area where shepherd’s dogs either wandered off or became lost eventually breeding
to form a marauding pack that attacked the same flocks they were meant to be
protecting. Over time the settlers were able to remove these wild dogs and the area
was named Dog Point. Dog Point Vineyard is also home to one of New Zealand’s cultural and ecological treasures, the native “ti kouka”, or cabbage tree which is an aesthetic feature of the Vineyard landscape and a stylised version has become a key part of the Dog Point Vineyard brand, under this brand they produce wines that reflect the experience and passion of the people that make them.
Dog Point is one of the earliest private vineyards established in Marlborough’s Wairau Valley, the land was purchased and developed by Ivan and Margaret in the 1970s, which means it has some of the oldest vines in Marlborough. The vineyard is centrally located at the confluence of the smaller Brancott and Omaka Valleys. These older, well-established vines situated on free draining silty clay loams are supplemented with fruit from closely planted hillside vines on soils with a clay loam influence.
It is managed using organic viticultural practices and the Vineyard and winery are both certified organic under the Biogro New Zealand programme, which is an independent certification process established to promote environmentally friendly, sustainable and responsible practices. During the winter months, 2,500 sheep and 25 steers are brought onto the property to keep the grass and weeds down, and to add organic matter to the soil. Beehives dot the landscape, while groves of olive trees and pine nuts complement the organic vegetable garden.
These organic philosophies drive their approach to winemaking and help ensure the vines are their best for next year’s harvest. Today, four wines are produced at Dog Point Vineyard - a sauvignon blanc typical of the Marlborough style, ‘Section 94’, a barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc, a Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir. In every bottle of wine, there is impeccable attention to detail and a thoughtful hands-on approach. Before we introduce you to these wines here's a quick reminder of why you should absolutely try them!!
10 Reasons To Try Them.
▪ Dog Point is 100% family-owned and one of the oldest privately established vineyards in the Marlborough region with plantings established over 30 years ago
▪ New Zealand’s largest certified organic vineyard by BioGro New Zealand
▪ The vineyard’s topography is unique to Marlborough, taking in hillside blocks and flat land parcels, with clay and silty loams
▪ Focus on producing four quality wines – Sauvignon Blanc, Section 94, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
▪ All fruit is hand-picked from low cropped vines
▪ Wines are bottled without fining and minimal filtration, a reflection of our low interventionist ethos
▪ Goal is to produce wines that have age-ability and cellar well
▪ Section 94 is an iconic barrel-fermented style of aged Sauvignon Blanc released after 5 years
▪ Wines are vegan, vegetarian and gluten free
▪ Biodiversity on the property with native plantings and walkways, an organic vegetable garden, orchards, beehives, olive and pine nut trees
A citrus-driven style of Sauvignon Blanc. Complimentary flinty and smoky notes in the background provide a complex balance to the primary fruit.
Cropped at an average of 7.5 tonnes/hectare. Fruit is organic, hand-picked, whole bunch pressed and cold settled before fermentation for 2-3 months in stainless steel tanks. A portion of this wine is fermented using indigenous yeast. Bottled without fining.
"Very racy, alluring, complex nose with some reductive struck-match character. Rather splits the difference between Marlborough and Sancerre. Creamy undertow with exciting top notes. Extraordinary tension on the palate. Dry but not drying finish. Long. Very accomplished and intense.” Jancis Robinson
A fuller-bodied, textural style of Sauvignon Blanc. A wine that can be enjoyed now but also ages well while retaining its freshness.
Section 94 wine uses Sauvignon Blanc fruit from a 26-year-old single site vineyard on the property. The name 'Section 94’ was given to that particular parcel of land by early surveyors who divided Marlborough up into sections. It is located at the lower reaches of the Brancott Valley. The fruit is organic, hand-picked, whole bunch pressed, fermented and aged in old French oak barrels for 18 months The hint of struck match aromas reflect the use of solids during fermentation and ageing, adding a dimension of complexity and interest due to time on lees.
“Mid coppery gold. Like the 2019 regular Dog Point Sauvignon, this has a strong struck-match character. I love it but not everyone will. The varietal character is almost submerged beneath the reductive fume. Much drier than the Sauvignon 2019. Really vibrant and deep. A New Zealand Sauvignon for white-burgundy fans.” Jancis Robinson
A citrus driven Chardonnay with complex flinty, toasty biscuit notes derived from extended barrel ageing on full solids.
2/3 Mendoza, 1/3 B95 clones from vines dating back to 1981. Cropped at 5 tonnes/ha from the home vineyard in the Brancott Valley. Fruit is organic, hand-picked, whole bunch pressed, and transferred directly to French oak barrels (15% new) and left to undergo indigenous primary and secondary malolactic fermentation for 18 months in barrel. Bottled without fining and minimal filtration.
“Definitely not shying away from matchstick on the nose, but it costs once heck of a lot less than a Coche wine. Very crystalline with good fruit focus on the mid-palate. Very far from sweet. Crisp and rewarding. Great balance and fans out on finish.” Jancis Robinson
Bright, lifted, red fruit-driven with Marlborough’s hallmark spiciness complemented by dried herb, smokey and meaty notes in the background.
Comprising six different pinot noir clones from vines dating back to 1983. Vines are cropped at 5 tonnes/ha. Fruit is organic, hand-picked and hand-sorted, before de-stemming (15% whole bunch included). Fruit is fermented in small stainless steel open-top fermenters without pumping. Fermentation is conducted by indigenous yeasts over a period of 2-3 weeks before pressing into French oak barrels (40% new) for 18 months. Bottled without fining or filtration.
It’s savoury and dry – there’s no distracting sweetness, no beetroot quality, no obvious oakiness. Very light vegetal note but it’s fully ripe
fruit. So neat! You could certainly enjoy it now, but I suspect it might be even better next year. Amazing that one producer can be so good at both Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, and pretty smart Chardonnay too.” Jancis Robinson
Check out the Dog Point Vineyards story here
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