There are worse places to be on a Tuesday afternoon than the lawn of a mansion by Sydney Harbour, and there are worse things to be drinking than Cloudy Bay. That was more or less the scene Tuesday 1 October at the début of the New Zealand winery's 2013 sauvignon blanc - a vintage described by Cloudy Bay estate director, Ian Morden, as generous, intense and very concentrated. "For me, the 2013 vintage is very classic Marlborough," he said.
The food Proceedings kicked off at the seafood bar with Yamba prawns, Cloudy Bay diamond-shell clams, steamed mussels and Merimbula oysters. Next up was lunch prepared by chef Jared Ingersoll, who served platters of manuka honey cold-smoked salmon with baby radishes, salt-baked beetroot with avocado and skordalia, crisp-skinned fillets of Chatham Island blue cod, poached lamb shoulder with buttermilk-roasted onions, and to finish, fennel marshmallows with sheep's milk cream and blackberry meringue.
The drink Cloudy Bay's 2013 sauvignon blanc (which made a stellar entrance in a timber Riva speedboat aptly namedLa Dolce Vita), naturally, along with the winery's 2011 pinot noir and a 2008 late-harvest riesling.
We loved The food and sparkling set-up styled by Sibella Court were a highlight, but at the end of the day it was the 2013 vintage that stole the show - it did, after all, arrive in a speedboat.