New releases from star Marlborough producer Dog Point

Dog Point Vineyard in Marlborough's Southern Valleys

Dog Point Vineyard in Marlborough’s Southern Valleys

I tried these new releases from Dog Point, another of the leading wineries in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, where I’m staying for a while. They are such characterful wines. As many readers will already know, Dog Point was started by Ivan and Margaret Sutherland and James and Wendy Healy, who previously worked together at Cloudy Bay, and the basis for these wines is the substantial vineyard that the Sutherlands own, which is on the border of the Omaka and Brancott Valleys (in a subregion known as the Southern Valleys), near where vines were first planted in Marlborough back in 1973. Unusually for the region the grapes are all hand harvested and viticulture is organic.

Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Marlborough, New Zealand
12.5% alcohol. This is intense and lively with keen acidity and pronounced lemon and grapefruit characters, together with a hint of green pepper and cut grass. It shows a racy, lean character, but there’s a bit of pear, citrus and apple fruit sweetness there on the mid-palate binding all the zippy notes together. There’s a lovely presence and harmony to this wine. Grown up Sauvignon Blanc. 92/100

Dog Point Vineyard Section 94 2015 Marlborough, New Zealand
Cork sealed. This is so distinctive: bold chalky, green pepper and pear notes with some citrus and fine herb character. Really linear with some grapefruit on the finish. Powerful, edgy and potentially age worthy. 92/100

Dog Point Vineyard Section 94 2007 Marlborough, New Zealand
Cork sealed. 13.5% alcohol. Now aged 10, this is a Sauvignon built for ageing. Natural cork. Deep yellow colour. This is superb stuff, with some nectarine and canteloup melon, as well as a twist of fig and some toast character. There’s some quince, too. Multidimensional and delicious with lovely weight and richness, and still lots of freshness. Finishes fine and spicy, with a hint of cabbage. Lovely wine. 94/100

Dog Point Vineyard Chardonnay 2015 Marlborough, New Zealand
Cork sealed. 13.5% alcohol. Such precision here. There’s some matchstick minerality on the nose, which blends beautifully with the sweet but taut citrus fruit. Intense and direct on the palate with a fine crystalline acid and mineral spine, fleshed out with some yellow plum and white peach fruit. Incredible precision and concentration here, with real finesse and massive potential for development. World class. 95/100

Dog Point

Dog Point Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough, New Zealand
Cork sealed. This has a really nice density to it. Concentrated with a savoury, slightly cedary edge to the sweet cherry and raspberry fruit, with nice focus and structure. A bit grippy in its youth but showing nice texture and potential to develop medium-term in bottle. Very appealing and with some seriousness, possessing non fruit complexity. 93/100

Find these wines with wine-searcher.com

3 comments to New releases from star Marlborough producer Dog Point

  • 12.5% alcohol seems slightly low..? If so, does this reflect the year or the trend towards less full-on, higher acid styles, or the house-style? What do you reckon is the median alcohol for a standard Marlborough Sauv Blanc? Whilst you’re down there would be interesting to hear your thoughts on where this important style may be heading – if anywhere.

  • Murray Cook

    Hi Andrew – indeed 12.5% is lower than typical for us at Dog Point, I would say 13.0-13.5 would be more expected. However, 2017 threw two significant weather events at us meaning we picked earlier than normal. We also chose not to chaptilise, aligning with our philosophies of minimal intervention to reflect what the vintage dealt us. As usual, organic viticulture hand picking also paid dividends.

  • Even with the low ac, still want to try!

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