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Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2021 £30.27
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.
Winter of 2020 was abnormally dry and warm, leading to an early spring. A handful of frosts coincided with an early budburst, leading to reduced crops in some sites. Cool, wet weather during flowering negatively affected fruit set across the region and hot, dry conditions during the summer months further compounded the already reduced yields. Weather during March and April was near-perfect, allowing the fruit to achieve optimal ripeness without disease pressure and allowing a relatively early, leisurely harvesting schedule. Sadly, the tonnages that arrived at the winery were surprisingly modest, under-delivering on even the most conservative crop estimates. The wines show great promise, particularly the Sauvignon Blancs which shows intense flavours and great concentration.
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.
Flavours of a summer fruit salad of papaya, honeydew melon and ripe, golden quinces – drizzled with citrus flower water and a squeeze of orange skin oil. A delicious floral fragrance and juicy tropical fruit, infused with a fennel-like herbal thread and a faint whiff of wood smoke. Fermented entirely with naturally occurring yeast, this is an alternative style of Sauvignon Blanc that is both intricate and textural, with a rich, succulent palate finishing crisp and long with a flinty dryness.
96 Points The Real Review
Intense bouquet with spicy and balsamic notes pointing towards wild fermentation, quite 'out there'—but also recognisably sauvignon blanc—while the palate is rich and refined at the same moment, rounded and ample with seamless acidity and a clean, dry but soft, resonating aftertaste that rolls on and on. A hint of sweetness mid-palate is nicely balanced at the finish, where there's a touch of alcohol warmth. A superb example of the variety, produced with inventive winemaking.
Sophisticated, complex barrel-fermented sauvignon blanc. It is easy to see why this label has attracted a cult following—it is different, distinctive and very appealing. Impressively textural wine that retains its varietal identity while offering so much more than simple fruit flavours.
Bob Campbell MW
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