New Zealand has a well deserved reputation for making some of the best pinot noir in the world. But until recently Marlborough on the South Island was far better known for its sauvignon blanc than its pinot noir.
A couple of weeks ago Marlborough’s Dog Point Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 picked up three very impressive gongs at the prestigious Six Nations Wine Challenge in Sydney – joint recipient of ‘Wine of the Show’ and individual awards for ‘Best Pinot Noir’ and ‘Best Red’ wine .
The Six Nations Wine Challenge is no ordinary wine show. An initiative of the Association of Australian Boutique Winemakers, wines are selected for entry by a leading wine writer from each of the six nations represented and then judged blind by the same wine writers. The six nations are the world’s top ‘New World’ producers: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Argentina and the United States.
Wine critic and show judge Huon Hooke described the Dog Point Pinot Noir 2012 “as arguably the greatest pinot noir yet seen from Marlborough, a wine that takes power and density to a new level in a region better known for white wines and lighter pinot noir.” (Six Nations Wine Challenge winners by Huon Hooke, Hooked on Wine, 15 October 2014)
The 80 hectare Dog Point Vineyard is run by winemakers James Healy and Ivan Sutherland. Working with their wives Wendy and Margaret, the team launched the Dog Point label in 2004 using fruit from the 2002 vintage. Rave reviews soon followed with the Wine Advocate’s Neal Martin describing their 2006 offerings of sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir as “nothing less than exceptional.”
The partners have brought a wealth of experience to their very hands-on Dog Point Vineyard venture. Healy and Sutherland worked together for over a dozen years at Cloudy Bay, playing an integral role in bringing world-wide acclaim for the Cloudy Bay brand and international recognition for New Zealand sauvignon blanc.
Fruit for the 2012 Dog Point Pinot Noir was hand-picked from low-yielding estate grown vines. The wine was matured for 18 months in new and older French barrels before bottling.
The Dog Point Pinot Noir 2012 is available from the winery for $NZ504 a case. ($NZ42 a bottle)