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Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2020 £28.12
Greywacke Wild Sauvignon
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 fruit was sourced from various vineyard sites in the Southern Valleys and the central Wairau Plains, specifically in Woodbourne, Renwick and Rapaura. Soil types vary from the young alluvial deposits of Rapaura and Renwick, which contain high proportions of greywacke river stones, to the older and denser clay- loams of the Southern Valleys. A high percentage of the vineyards were trained using the divided Scott Henry canopy management system, with the balance on two- or three-cane vertical shoot positioning.
Spring was wet and mild with no frost in any of the Greywacke vineyards. Summer temperatures stepped up with December being the second warmest on record, while January saw the highest temperatures since records began. By February it was looking like an early harvest, with superb flowering conditions and a sizeable crop necessitating thinning in almost all vineyards. However, two ex-tropical cyclones brought considerable rainfall in February. Harvest started mid-March with grapes at a good level of physiological ripeness but needing careful hand-sorting to eliminate botrytis. Despite the rain, fruit was able to hang on the vine to achieve very good ripeness levels.
Some vineyards were harvested by machine and others by hand, all into half-tonne bins, which were tipped directly into tank presses. The grapes were pressed lightly and the juice was cold settled before racking into mostly old French oak barriques. The juice underwent spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation which continued for well over six months. The wine had occasional lees stirring and approximately two-thirds underwent malolactic fermentation. It was transferred out of oak before the following harvest and left on lees for a further eight months before bottling in January 2019.
This Sauvignon Blanc from Kevin Judd is intensely complex, thanks to fermentation with wild yeasts and ageing in old French oak barriques – a delicious concoction of almond friand, white nectarine, blood orange laced with tarragon and a hint of smoked tea.
95 Points The Real Review
Light yellow colour, with an oak-touched bouquet of smoky sulfides, lemon-citrus fruit and toasty barrel nuances. The palate is intense and slightly chewy, thanks to some oak tannins, but the wine has enough fruit concentration to balance. A powerful sauvignon blanc that could reward cellaring
Fermentation by indigenous yeasts in mostly old barriques then matured in barrel for nearly one year and left on the yeast lees in tank for a further six months. Rich, textural sauvignon blanc with a funky-reductive influence, baguette crust, citrus, nectarine and rockmelon characters. A complex wine
Biob Campbell MW