Dog Point Vineyard
Pinot Noir 2020
Dog Point’s Pinot Noir is a head-turner because of the immense reputation they have as a Sauvignon Blanc producer. Their Pinot is not just good – it’s one of the very best in New Zealand, and truly world class. The intensive vineyard work they carry out to produce distinctive Sauvignon Blanc results in fantastically complex Pinot fruit when carried out in clay hillsides of Marlborough. And, in turn, their use of wild yeasts and long aging gives the wine a generosity and integration that provide both easy and intellectual pleasure.
Dog Point grows Pinot Noir on the clay hill slopes, and more specifically has 6 clones that were planted starting in 1983. Vines are managed so that yields are 35 hl/ha, and as with all Dog Point wines, the picking is by hand (only 5% of New Zealand fruit is hand-picked). Dog Point operates under what is called the “Biogro” program, an initiative to promote the production of premium quality wine utilizing environmentally friendly and responsible practices, details of which are further down.
Hand picked and chilled overnight prior to hand-sorting. 70% destemmed and 30% whole bunches are fermented in small stainless open top fermenters with 100% indigenous yeasts over a period of 3 weeks. After pressing, the wine is aged in French oak barrels for eighteen months (30% new), and then bottled without fining or filtration.
A warm growing season with very dry conditions between January and April with only 45mm falling (less than 30% of the average). A season which will be remembered for other reasons however, with calm decision making and patience were required. That patience resulted in perfect ripening conditions at the end the harvest, and the hand-harvested fruit required very little sorting. Over-all a very rewarding vintage — one of the best the region has experienced in recent years.
Deep ruby in color, dark plum and baking spices are pronounced on this aromatic and alluring Pinot Noir. Heady floral perfume of violets and rose add a complexing dimension. Palate Bright and pure dark berries and plums characteristic of the Southern Valleys sub-region are evident. There is an opulent fruit profile with a fine velvet texture from fine boned tannins. The fruit is framed by judicious French oak adding spice and a tightly grained tannin profile.
Dog Point have farmed organically for over a decade, are now certified. From a sustainability standpoint, their major work is with turning vine pruning and mulch into organic compost for use on the property; planting cover crop to encourage beneficial insects for biological control of pests; and bringing in 2,500 sheep and 25 steers in the winter to keep weeds down and add organic matter to the soil.
Certified Organic & Sustainable. All vineyards were converted to organic farming in 2009. 2,000 sheep graze and fertilize in winter; prunings are composted and spread; 25 steer also graze the property.
Suggested Retail Price
"Blueberry at the core"
Wine Spectator - February 24, 2023 "“Plush and expressive, offering blackberry, black cherry and blueberry notes at the core, backed by hints of bittersweet chocolate, dried herb and tobacco. The velvety tannins linger effortlessly.” - M.W. 2/23
Other Wines by this Producer
Several influential voices in the wine industry believe that in time Chardonnay may prove New Zealand’s single highest achievement. All three of the Dog Point wines fermented in barrel are small in production, but the Chardonnay is the smallest, and and times indeed the most dazzling.
Section 94 Sauvignon Blanc
Section 94 is widely regarded as the most distinctive and greatest Sauvignon Blanc being made in New Zealand today. James Healy and Ivan Sutherland were among the first to begin fermenting their Sauvignon in barrel with wild yeasts, a technique that along with the old vines they use, leads to a full-bodied wine that is less fruit-forward, more exotic, and has immense textural complexity.
Dog Point’s Sauvignon Blanc has become the icon in its category, a stainless steel Sauvignon Blanc that pulsates with energy, expressiveness and complexity that push the boundaries of what you may expect from Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.