Greywacke, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2019
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'.
Fruit was sourced from various prime vineyard sites in Marlborough’s Southern Valleys, the central Wairau Plains (specifically in Woodbourne, Renwick and Rapaura) and a spectacular river terrace site in the upper Awatere Valley. Soil types vary from the young alluvial soils of Rapaura, Renwick and the upper Awatere, which contain high proportions of New Zealand’s ubiquitous greywacke river stones, to the older and denser clay- loams of the Southern Valleys. The majority of the vineyards were trained using the divided Scott Henry canopy management system, with the balance on a vertical shoot positioning trellis.
A wet, mild spring ensured soil moisture levels were topped up and the growing season raced off to a frost-free start. Intermittent rain in late spring brought ideal growing conditions, but cool periods during December resulted in variable fruit set. Sauvignon Blanc set with small, open bunches, leading to modest yields. The new year brought sunny, settled weather with no significant rain for the first two months. In typical Marlborough fashion the hills to the south became parched and the dry conditions necessitated careful management of water resources. The drought was partially quenched by a brief period of rain in early March. All varieties were harvested at optimum ripeness, albeit lower yields than expected. In all an excellent, dry season that provided superb quality grapes, with great concentration.
Harvested largely by machine during cool (often cold) nights, the Sauvignon Blanc was picked into half-tonne bins, which were tipped directly into the tank press and lightly pressed. The resulting juice was cold-settled prior to fermentation, primarily using cultured yeast in stainless steel for cool, slow fermentation. A portion was allowed to undergo spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation in old oak barrels. All individual vineyard batches were left on lees and kept separate until late July, when the blend was assembled.
Yellow- fleshed peaches, rock melon and blackcurrant alongside lemon icing, chamomile and hints of rose petal – this is a delicately perfumed and deliciously ripe-fruited interpretation of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. The palate is both subtle and textural, showing considerable ripeness and concentration, with a crisp and long, juicy finish.