Almost since its inception, Dog Point’s Sauvignon Blanc has been named by major critics as New Zealand’s top Sauvignon. Dog Point is the result of a collaboration between two Cloudy Bay alumni, enologist James Healy and founding viticulturalist Ivan Sutherland. Both left Cloudy Bay at the end of 2003, although they have produced their own wines from the 2002 vintage forward. This estate has been one of the most eagerly anticipated new ventures to come out of New Zealand in recent years, and the wines represent a new level of quality and complexity for the region.
Dog Point Vineyard wines are hand-crafted from estate fruit grown on some of the oldest vines and best sites in Marlborough, some plantings dating back to the 1970s. These older well-established vines situated on free draining silty clay loams are supplemented with fruit from closely planted hillside vines with a clay loam influence. Yields are low, and the grapes are hand-harvested. Marlborough\'s Wairau Valley is the major grape growing region of New Zealand, a confined geographical area at the northern tip of the South Island. Abundant sunshine, low rainfall and cool autumn nights characterize the long growing season, enabling the slow evolution of a rich array of vibrant fruit flavors.
The winemaking is non-interventionist, and all the wines (with the exception of the stainless Sauvignon) are given extended barrel aging with minimal racking and handling. Bottling is done without fining and with minimal filtration. The resulting wines are intense, complex, with racy natural acidity and ripe, full fruit flavors.
The name Dog Point dates from the earliest European settlement of Marlborough and the introduction of sheep to the district. These were the days of few fences, of boundary riders and boundary-keeping dogs. Shepherds\' dogs sometimes became lost or wandered off and eventually bred into a marauding pack which attacked local flocks. Their home was a tussock and scrub covered hill, overlooking the Wairau Plains, designated by the early settlers as Dog Point.
“Since debuting with the 2002 vintage, ex-Cloudy Bay winemakers James Healy and Ivan Sutherland have been fashioning some of Marlborough’s finest wines under their label Dog Point.” Neal Martin, Wine Advocate
“Taking NZ Sauvignon Blanc to the Next Level” Wine Advocate
“New Zealand’s most distinctive Sauvignon Blanc” Jancis Robinson
“Gathering cult status” James Halliday
“Only 6 years after the first anticipated releases from these ex Cloudy Bay stalwarts, it’s now hard to imagine Marlborough’s complex jigsaw puzzle of players complete without this dynamic duo that is Dog Point. Emphasis on the vineyards, proponents of cork for all but their Sauvignon and use of indigenous yeast aren’t the only things that define their edges – the wines are simply superb.” Wine Advocate