The 2016 season was one of the driest that the Marlborough region has experienced since the wine industry was established in the province. A cool start to the growing season created numerous frost events that provided continuing challenges right up until flowering. The months of January to April were all warmer than average, providing excellent ripening conditions, similar to the excellent 2015, 2014 and 2010 seasons.
Cloudy Bay broke the winemaking rules to create a sophisticated style of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc made through wild fermentation and aging in old French oak.
We began hand-picking the Sauvignon Blanc used for Te Koko on 4th April. The fruit originated from the Rapaura, Renwick and Brancott subregions. The harvest window was short and swift with the picking completed within the week, on 10th April.
After gentle pressing and settling for a period of 24 hours, the juice was racked directly to French oak barrels (8% new) where it underwent a slow and steady fermentation that was initiated by indigenous yeasts. The primary fermentation carefully progressed, gaining complexity over four to five months under the watchful eye of our winemaking team. The wine rested in barrel on fine for 15 months. Careful maturation in the cellar creates the unique texture and acid profile of Te Koko, with the resultant wine reposing a delicate balance. The barrels were diligently tasted prior to the final blending and bottling.