The very existence of Te Koko is the result of winemaking curiosity. The idea of using indigenous yeast was unheard of in New Zealand when the Cloudy Bay winemakers made their first trial in 1991.
The grapes come from the same meticulously managed vineyards as Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, and the parcels of fruit destined for Te Koko are identified at the time of harvesting. Te Koko is released as a three year old wine, only after all of the individual components are fully integrated.
With its unique flavours and creamy texture, Te Koko is a true leader in its class, a one-of-a-kind wine that offers a rare taste. A great food wine and engaging style for wine lovers.
Cloudy Bay’s winemakers suggest the following pairings to enhance Te Koko’s creamy and complex palate and delicate citrus finish.
Baby paua (Abalone) on glass noodles with coconut saffron reduction.
Baked groper, saffron broth, Florence fennel, Cloudy Bay clams & fresh dill.
John Dory, zucchini, herb salad & lemon curry oil.
Baked local fresh snapper, sautéed New Zealand scampi, ratatouille, olive oil salsa & micro herbs.
Goats cheese pumpkin, tartlet, wild rocket lettuce & walnut oil.
Freshly shucked oysters.
The 2006 Cloudy Bay Te Koko is an intriguing and alternative style of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. A tantalising infusion of jasmine flowers and sweet garden herbs with lemon and mandarin citrus steeped in ginger spice. The palate is creamy and full yet finishes with an intuitively balanced lemon citrus twist. Subtle smoky oak and fermentation with indigenous yeast bring a rich savouriness to this wine.
‘Te Koko is leading a new wave of sauvignons that will continue to emerge slowly over the next couple of decades, being aged in the bottle prior to release. Forget about gooseberries and green flavours and think instead of weight, body and creamy texture and full body.’
The New Zealand Herald, Viva Magazine. Joelle Thomson, 6 March 2006
‘Distinctive and idiosyncratic individuality of one of my favourite wines. It’s not everyone’s taste but I love its funky complexity with mineral savoury aromas and flavours showing the influence of lees and oak on this New Zealand sauvignon blanc. So what can be done when you’re prepared to push the envelope.’
West Australian. Ray Jordan, 28 June 2007
‘An increasing number of winemakers are putting their signature on sauvignon blanc. Most notable of these is Cloudy Bay’s Te Koko, a big, rich and complex wine that’s a product of barrel maturation, plenty of yeast lees influence and even a buttery malolactic influence. Buried under all that is some sauvignon blanc fruit flavour, but you’ve got to work hard to find it. I love the wine, others are less enthusiastic because it’s simply too quirky.’
Taste Magazine. Bob Campbell MW, January 2007
‘The latest release of Cloudy Bay ‘Te Koko’, definitely the most serious and interesting of the new-wave, complex Sauvignon Blancs. The intricate nature and subtleties of the wine can be seen from the vinification employed. Intriguingly aromatic with citrus fruits, mangos and passionfruit along with a spice twist, the wine has a density and concentration of succulent flavours on the palate that is framed by the subtle textures that provide refinement and a long, dry finish.’
Regional Wines and Spirits ‘Grapevine’. Raymond Chan, March 2008
‘With its creamy, spicy, richly toasty notes underpinned by a fresh minerally acidity and just slightest tinge of green herbs, Te Koko is not immediately recognisable as Sauvignon Blanc. Wild yeats, total fermentation and maturation in French oak and a high malolactic component may have effaced some core Sauvignon character, but Te Koko is an undeniably smart wine, enhanced in my opinion this vintage by a little less malolactic influence.’
Wine New Zealand. Jo Burzynska, Autumn 2008
‘New release from New Zealand’s most revered sauvignon producer. This is a very different sauvignon?nougat rich, citrus succulence, gorgeous mineral edge and fresh exotic spice.’
Weekend Herald. John Hawkesby, 23 February 2008
They asked the question “Why not ferment some juice with indigenous yeast... wild micro-flora, untrained, uncultured?” This was uncharted territory in New Zealand winemaking and only nature could decide the outcome...
From this, a few barrels were set aside for trial and the juice quickly fermented into a pungent brew. Unperturbed, the winemakers let nature take its course, and by spring, the ugly duckling had transformed into a savoury complex wine with great intensity and voluptuous mouthfeel.
Years later, Te Koko has come into its own as a deliciously savoury and richly textured wine style.
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