Greywacke Chardonnay Marlborough 2021  £34.16

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Greywacke was created in 2009 by Kevin Judd, chief winemaker at Cloudy Bay from its inception for 25 years and instrumental in the international recognition which Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc enjoys now. The name 'Greywacke' was adopted by Kevin for his first Marlborough vineyard located in Rapaura in recognition of the high prevalence of rounded greywacke river stones in the soils of the vineyard, a sedimentary rock which is widely found in Marlborough. Kevin Judd is also New Zealand's finest wine photographer and has recently published a book 'The Landscape of New Zealand Wine'.

The grapes for this wine are primarily sourced from the low-yielding Mendoza clone, known for its concentration of flavour and crisp acidity; the balance were from Clone 95. The majority of the fruit was sourced from the lower reaches of the Brancott Valley and Fairhall, grown in gravelly, clay-loam soils, the remainder coming from Renwick and Rapaura, grown in young alluvial soils containing high proportions of New Zealand’s ubiquitous greywacke river stones. The majority of the vineyards were trained using a two-cane VSP (Vertical Shoot Positioning) trellis with the balance on the divided Scott Henry canopy management system.

In Marlborough, the winter of 2020 was abnormally dry and warm, which led to an early budburst. Spring brought a handful of frosts, and due to the early budburst, yield was reduced in some sites. Cool, wet weather during flowering had an adverse affect on fruit set across the region. Hot and dry conditions during the summer only added to the reduced yields. The warm weather and smaller crop size led to an early harvest which began on 2nd March. The weather during harvest was near-perfect which allowed the fruit to reach optimal ripeness without disease pressure. Overall, the 2021 vintage was smaller than initially anticpated but the fruit that was harvested had excellent concentration.

The fruit was hand picked separately at high ripeness levels and whole-bunch pressed using very low maceration press cycles. The resulting juice was lightly settled and racked to French oak barriques (16% new). The juice went through spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation, the final phase continuing for many months. The wine received occasional lees stirring and underwent a complete malolactic fermentation. It was transferred out of oak after 11 months and bottled in October 2022.

A seductive combination of pink grapefruit and lime juice with a dash of fresh ginger and orange zest. Tropical aromas of mango and pineapple merge with the bright citrus notes and mingle with an earthiness reminiscent of petrichor. The palate has a uniqe dry, flinty character, tight structure and incredible concentration.

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