Cloudy Bay was established in 1985 by David Hohnen, having previously founded Margaret River’s Cape Mentelle in 1970. Sauvignon Blanc was the first wine to be produced, quickly becoming instrumental in gaining New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc a worldwide reputation for quality. Having cemented its status as an iconic brand, the estate was bought by Louis Vuitton-Moët Hennessy in 2003 and is today set across seven vineyards in Marlborough’s Wairau Valley. Introduced in 2000, Te Koko was the forerunner of a new, more full-bodied style of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc fermented using indigenous ‘wild’ yeasts in French oak barrels, less than 10% of which are new. Rebecca Gibb MW: Notes of blackcurrant, nectarine and green capsicum come together harmoniously in this light-bodied, crisp and vivacious Sauvignon Blanc. Roger Jones: This has evolved beautifully; an elegant, buttery nose unveils a zesty and bright palate offering enticing notes of lemon curd and citrus peel, while restrained acidity fuels a lovely, lingering finish. Phil Tuck MW: Rich creamy oak on the nose; there is a good overall balance here and it has held up very well in bottle, with a perfectly-pitched oak influence that has not swamped the fruit.
93pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
As more wineries have adopted this style of Sauvignon Blanc, Te Koko isn't the standout wine it once was. That doesn't mean it's not still excellent. The 2015 Te Koko offers pungency and passion fruit on the nose, followed by a wine of great concentration and intensity. Hints of struck flint add complexity, while the mouth-filling palate boasts a rich, multilayered texture and a lingering finish. Only 8% aged in new French oak and about a third of the wine went through malolactic fermentation, leaving it with crisp acids and a great sense of elegance and balance.
92pts James Suckling
Plenty of chamomile and beeswax here, with dried lemon pith, grassy and woody complexity. The palate has an assertive line of lemony acidity that holds long, amid gooseberries and green mangoes. Gently nutty notes to close. Drink now. Screw cap.
91pts Wine Spectator
Stylish, offering an intriguing mix of honeysuckle, lanolin and beeswax flavors, with a spicy backdrop for the lemon curd, pear and yellow apple notes. Vibrant acidity.
Aromatically, the 2015 Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc unfolds with a complex array of citrus and stone fruit, complemented by exotic floral notes on the finish. Flavors of grapefruit and white nectarine displays a fresh counterpoint to the richer notes of lemon curd and beeswax. The palate is tightly focused with a taut entry, though the texture builds towards the finish. This palate shape can be attributed to barrel fermentation and time on lees. The finish is an amalgamation of nectarine, glacé fruit and a subtle smoky oak complexity. Floral characters linger in the background: jasmine, honeysuckle and pollen.