The aromas and flavours invoke impressions of ripe stone fruits, such as nectarines and peaches, supported by hints of tropical spices, passionfruit and lycees. There is a backbone of tangy lime- and lemon-like citrus fruits which add a zesty “nervosity”. It has a spine of minerality and crisp acidity which keep it tight-knit and focussed, drying out its lingering after-taste.
Winemaker "We hand pick the fruit from Matthews Lane vineyard ensuring each parcel of fruit is in pristine condition. After a yeast starter the juice rests on yeast lees for 11 months in new 1,000L German Oak Fuder Barrels. The use of Fuder barrels in this way ensures our Single Vineyard white wines develop a greater complexity and refinement because oak doesn’t dominate. The ratio of wine in contact with the barrel surface is less than smaller barrels so oak pick up is less. The staves of Fuder barrels are thicker which means the temperature of ferment tends to be warmer and we find the fruit characters gain greater depth and complexity."
Stuart McCloskey "Without doubt, the best new world Riesling I've tasted."
18.5+ Raymond Chan "Bright, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, paler on the edge. The nose is elegant in proportion with rich and concentrated, well-packed aromas of ripe citrus fruits along with honey, marmalade and musk, unfolding exotic floral elements. Dryish to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has a concentrated, dense heart packed with harmoniously integrated flavours of ripe citrus fruits, marmalade, honeysuckle and musk. This has real body and presence, and the palate has a rounded and gently unctuous mouthfeel. The acidity is ripe and soft, providing underlying energy and drive, and the wine carries to a long, lingering finish of honey, citrus fruits and musk. This is a full and concentrated dry Riesling with ripe citrus fruits, honey, musk and marmalade botrytis flavours on a rounded, unctuous palate.
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Reductive with aromas still very much in development. That said, this impeccably made wine is centred around textural elegance, satiny structure, mid-palate depth and an effortless sense of cohesion. Decanting for a short while is essential as the oxygenation takes it from the ordinary to immensely appealing. Layer upon layer of fruit and white flowers harmonises beautifully with oatmeal and a beautiful vein of minerality. This is more tensile, finer than many, which adds an intellectual quality found with high-quality Burgundy. This is a superb Chardonnay from one of New Zealand's leading producers. I recommend a drinking window from now to 2025 but would not be surprised to this peak beyond 10 years.. Sampled in Zalto Bordeaux glassware and comes highly recommended”.
Winemaker "Intense passionfruit aromas combine with tropical fruit flavours, as well as some herbal notes apparent in the background. A classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that is fresh, pure and long on the palate. This wine reflects premium vineyard sites within the Wairau and Awatere Valleys."
Finalist, FINE WINES OF NEW ZEALAND. 2019
18.5/20 Raymond Chan "Very pale straw colour. The nose is soft with ripe, passionfruity aromas and gentle density. This has lovely harmony. Medium-bodied, the ripe passionfruit flavours are softly presented, and the palate is composed of fine phenolic textures with bright acidity. The integration, balance and togetherness is gorgeous. Luc Cowley reported that 2018 wasn’t an easy vintage, but lessons learnt from 2017 were invaluable." Tasted August 2018
Bob Campbell "Bright, tangy sauvignon blanc with gooseberry, lime, grapefruit, pineapple and a suggestion of passionfruit flavours. A punchy, assertive and flavoursome wine." Tasted October, 2018
Cameron Douglas "Seductive and alluring bouquet of SB with softer fruit spice layers woven between suggestions of lemon and sweet grapefruit, apple, mineral and fresh lychee. Crisp, dry, packed with flavour and texture. Notable acidity well balanced against the ripeness of fruit and gentle fruit spice moments. Lengthy and quite complex finish. Drink now through 2022." Tasted February, 2019
Five Stars, Michael Cooper "Estate-grown on the south side of the Wairau Valley, on a site where the region’s first wines were made in the 1870s, this youthful wine was mostly handled in tanks; 5% was fermented in old French oak casks. Mouthfilling (13% alc/vol) and dry, with excellent weight and depth of ripely herbaceous, grapefruit/lime flavours, it’s a powerful, finely poised wine with a long finish." Tasted November, 2018.
94 Points - Bob Campbell "The first Bilancia Chardonnay I have tasted. Fruit from La Collina vineyard and Bridge Pa Triangle. Indigenous yeast and 15 months in oak without fining or cold stabilisation. Attractive, elegant chardonnay with tight citrus, mineral, struck flint and savoury yeast lees and spicy oak flavours. A classy chardonnay with development potential."
95 Points - Mike Bennie, The Wine Front "One of the top chardonnay wines in New Zealand, generally speaking. Indeed, Dog Point in general excels at its quarries. This one is for the flint and mineral fans. Strong slate and graphite scents, lemon and apple underlying. The palate is racy, whipcracked with citrus/white flesh stone fruit, charged with that flinty mineral thing going on. Sheesh, it's got some velocity too. In its style, it's done brilliantly. A fancy racing car of a wine. Cellar long too."
17 Points - Tim Jackson MW (JancisRobinson.com) "Pale-mid lemon. Celery seed, toasted hazelnut and quite integral, struck match. Orchard fruit. Bright rather than brisk acidity, with hazelnut, toast and struck match. Creamy-spicy finish. Complex and layered, needing time for the reduction to fall back more."
95 Points - Bob Campbell "Intense, ripe sauvignon blanc with tree fruit, nectarine, red capsicum and guava flavours. A rich, gently tangy and deliciously accessible wine that stood out from the crowd in a tasting of 2018 wines.
17 Points - Jancis Robinson "Very racy, alluring, complex nose with some reductive struck-match character. Rather splits the difference between Marlborough and Sancerre. Creamy undertow with exciting top notes. Extraordinary tension on the palate. Dry but not drying finish. Long. Very accomplished and intense."
92 Points - James Suckling "This offers a complex take on fruit-driven sauvignon style with fresh limes and lemons, as well as peaches on offer and there’s a succulent wrap of smooth-textured fruit to close. Drink now. Screw cap."
97 Points Stuart McCloskey "Dog Point's Section 94 has always been a favourite of mine and can, in correct cellaring conditions, mature wonderfully over a decade. This is another example of a medium to full-bodied, textural style of Sauvignon Blanc. The grapes for Section 94 come from a single, low cropping vineyard parcel first planted in 1992. The fruit is hand-picked, whole bunch pressed and aged in older French oak barrels for 18 months. Every vintage has a funky edge which you either love or not. Those seeking simplistic Kiwi fruit pops should avoid at all costs as this is a serious, large scale wine that deserves a little respect. The aromas are taut, tightly wound with the ‘funk’ reducing with 20/30 minutes in a decanter (highly recommended). Tropical no - Yellow stone fruits in abundance with a vein of minerality appearing mid-palate. There’s a real intensity which is exceptional and rarely found with the majority of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. The finish is endless… In short, brilliant!"
17 Points – Jancis Robinson "Smell as though there is some light oak influence here. Dense and thrilling. This is a wine to convert me to Marlborough Sauvignon! Much more concentrated than the regular 2017 Sauvignon Blanc. Tense and rich at the same time but not particularly mineral. Reminds me a bit of PHI in the Yarra Valley. Impressively long."