Dog Point Vineyard
Section 94 Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Section 94 is one of the world’s most distinct wines, and regularly named New Zealand’s greatest Sauvignon Blanc. It’s so tough to place, which is extraordinary given that Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most defined and recognizable wine styles in the world. The exotic smoky and spicy flavors mingling with floral and ripe citrus notes, textural roundness playing against cool and fresh raciness; it’s not about generalities of the grape variety or the region, it’s a very specific wine made to emphasize the qualities of a very special place.
Section 94 is Dog Point’s signature wine, an update on James’ Healy’s Te Koko, the barrel-fermented Sauvignon he created while at Cloudy Bay. The names refers to the singular parcel of old vines where the grapes are sourced. Fruit is hand-picked at low yields (virtually unheard of in New Zealand), green harvested at times (totally crazy), and fermented entirely with native yeasts. The wine sees extended aging in barrel with virtually no intervention. High risk winemaking resulting in high reward individuality.
The single vineyard parcel called Section 94 was planted in 1992. The vineyard is managed to reduce yields, and as is the case with all Dog Point wines, fruit is hand-picked (only 5% of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is hand-picked).
The soils are free draining silty clay loams on the flats of the valley, as these express intense citrus and grapefruit flavors. 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.
Hand picked and gently pressed to tank for 24 hours of settling prior to eighteen months fermentation and aging in older French Oak barrels. 100% natural ferment. Bottled without fining and only minimal filtration.
The 2017 harvest will be remembered as the shortest one ever (21 days) at Dog Point Vineyard, later than normal due to the abnormally late summer weather, and finishing before major rain events in mid April. It began with warm spring and summer weather resulting in good bud-burst and desirable even growth. Cool weather followed in early December with dry, and at times windy, weather mid-summer. Late February rain helped replenish the soil prior to harvest, and cooler but otherwise excellent growing conditions prevailed into the autumn. Attentive viticultural practice allowed for optimum physiological ripeness at lower sugars, resulting in impressive fruit flavors.
Pale straw in color. A more restrained Section 94 from earlier harvest dates. Fresh lemon and oatmeal aromas upfront leading to toasty and biscuit notes. In the background, aromas of honey, citrus blossoms and jasmine flowers linger.
Fresh and brisk across the palate, the wine is youthful and energetic upfront before the complexities and rounded textures of extended barrel maturation present themselves. The finish is complex, with citrus, saline and toasty flavors lingering.
Drinks beautifully now or can be cellared for 10+ years.
A great meal accompaniment, we enjoy this wine with a variety of fish, poultry and soft white cheeses. It is especially great with salmon!
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
James Suckling - "This is a very tight, complex and concentrated sauvignon with flint, grilled-lemon and struck-match aromas, as well as passion-fruit pastry. The palate has a smooth textural build with pastry-like texture and flavors of peaches, lemons and mangoes that hold long."
Other Wines by this Producer
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.
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.
Dog Point's renown as a Sauvignon Blanc producers has done nothing to lessen the enthusiasm around their Pinot Noir, today considered one of the finest in New Zealand. What sets their wine apart is the generosity of the structure, which comes off as rich but not sweet, and the complex mingling of fruit and savory notes.