Wines of Dog Point Vineyard, Marlborough

These tasting notes accompany our feature on Marlborough as part of our New Zealand 2020 series


White

(2020) Hand-picked from its own vineyards in Marlborough, Dog Point's Sauvignon is bright, crisp and super-fresh, more typical in Marlborough style than the barrel-fermented 'Section 94' cuvée, with huge punch and verve. Passion fruit is there, with tropical notes suggesting lychee and guava, a touch of capsicum, but really all about the fruit. In the mouth the texture has some richness and mealiness to it, the citrus blast of the acidity balanced perfectly against that more unctuous, tropical fruit into a dry and beautfully balanced finish. Typical and yet not, this is a fine example of Marlborough's unique Sauvignon style.
(2020) A little bit of wild ferment in this wine, around 6%. Just a touch of deepening, oily, waxy character, a touch of green bean, a little touch of flint and reductive notes nicely managed. There is a lovely creaminess and punch to this, all salts and minerals, and pithy, keen citrus. Touches of peach, passion fruit even a little quinine/tonic in the finish. Who says Marlborough Sauvignon does not age well? Price and stockist given for the most recent vintage at time of review.
(2020) Made mostly from the fascinating Mendoza clone of Chardonnay which has a 'hen and chick' propensity, developing different sized berries. That means a higher skin to juice ratio and keener acidity than more regular fruit growth. Fermented and aged in French oak barrels, 15% new, from organic vineyards and made with natural yeasts and minimal filtration, it's a carefully crafted - but in some ways very un-crafted - wine that displays enough of the flinty, reductive character that is so appealing, without losing sight of the fruit. A creamy almond sheen to the fruit, the palate delivers a smooth and refined continuation, oatmeal and light vanilla notes over gorgeous tropical fruit, sliced through with lime and grapefruit, the swirl of smoke and flint enduring. It's a cracking Chardonnay. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2020) Murray and Matt had lined-up all of their 2010 wines for me to try, but sadly the Chardonnay was corked, so this 2013 was pressed into action. Made with 70% Mendoza clone, the oak is all French. There is almond, oatmeal, plenty of reductive notes, but a big grapefruit tang and brilliant orange fruit and acidity, the two melding together so seamlessly into a long, poised and tapering finish. Fabulous. Price and stockist quoted are for the most recent vintage at time of review.
(2020) A Sauvignon Blanc that marches to a different beat, fruit is hand-picked, whole bunch pressed and fermented and aged in older French oak barrels for 18 months. Grapefruit and nutty, almondy oak combine, along with a ripe orchard fruit character. In the mouth lovely juiciness and thrust, the pithy, mineral freshness of the acidity, a touch of flint, and squeeze of citrus to finish.
(2020) The 2010 Section 94 is 100% Sauvignon Blanc from a special block of the vineyard. Hand-picked, whole-bunch pressed and fermented and aged in older French oak barrels for 18 months there's a hint of buttercup yellow to the colour. Big, flinty, mineral nose, the fruit submerged, searing citrus fruit and acidity, nutty and savoury, so dry, so grapefruity and mouth-watering. Stockist quoted at time of review has cases of 12 available. Bottle equivalent price quoted.

Red Wines

(2020) Deep but soft colour, lovely spicy nose with some rhubarb and beetroot character, clove and a touch of something floral, red fruits too. In the mouth silky textured and creamy, with plenty of keen, bright fruit, raspberry and some cherry moving into plum, a little spice and chocolate and the oak adding more silky depth. Lovely acidity, cherry fresh and clean in the finish.
(2020) Quite a solid fairly deep red. Perfume to spare, floral, red cherry and rose hip, a solidity of fruit just touched with clove and spice, but the flowing perfume. Intense, concentrated a touch of meaty reduction. Just a glorious wine, perfumed, fruit, silky structured and spicy. Price and stockist quoted at time of review are for a full case, but bottle equivalent price quoted.


Back to Dog Point profile in our feature on Marlborough

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