Thursday, July 12, 2007

Dogpoint Vineyards Section 94 Sauvignon Blanc 2003

This wine is a bit of an enigma for me. I absolutely love the smell of the wine, but tastewise it isnt my bag. Its kind of odd that way, and i have to say its probably the only wine I can think of that this happens with.

Dogpoint vineyards is the efforts of James Healy and Ivan Sutherland, both ex-employees at Cloudy Bay. Well employees doesnt really do them justice, James was the winemaker and Ivan the viticulturalist. In their spare time they were making wines at a neighbouring winery and selling some of their fruit to Cloudy Bay. I think its easy to spot the influence of CB on the Dogpoint wines, particularly the Section 94 which bears a passing similarity to CB's Te Koko. But where the Te Koko overdoes the oak (IMHO), Section 94 has the balance perfectly, allowing the fruit to still shine but adding a more floral element to the wine.

On the nose the Section 94 has a very aromatic elderflower and gunflinty character, as it opens up in the glass the smokyness becomes more dominant, but still the floral sweetness shines through. On the palate this is richer and "fatter" than their straight savvy, the oak adding body and touches of spices to the flavour. Im not sure where their oak is from, but if I had to guess Id go for american, based on the more toasted coconut flavours rather than vanilla. Obviously with it having some barrel fermentation and aging, the acidity isnt as dominant, but thats a good thing. This is a food wine, but not something thats crying out for sharpness and searing acidity, but perhaps something with a bit of piquancy - caramelised scallops and cauliflower carpaccio with vintage parmesan and pea mousse.

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