Tasting Reviews

Greywacke Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009

The 2018 vintage marked Kevin and Kimberley Judd’s tenth vintage with their Greywacke label. For them, it has been an incredibly rapid journey to success, with strong export market sales and a very visible domestic presence. When Kevin left Cloudy Bay after 25 years with that iconic company, I suspect he was worried about what the future would bring, as solo traders often don’t achieve the recognition as they’ve developed when part of a larger machine. But he needn’t have, as over a quarter of a century of top winemaking, Kevin’s skills were well recognised, his profile remaining high, partly due to his photography, but more importantly due to his extensive contacts in the industry. Kevin’s association with Ivan Sutherland and James Healy while at Cloudy Bay gave him and Kimberley access to quality fruit from excellent vineyards, and the ability to make the Greywacke wines at the Dog Point facility set up Ivan and James. And the rest is history, as they say.

I was invited to celebrate Greywacke’s tenth vintage with Kevin and Kimberley in Marlborough last month, but unfortunately could not attend. Kevin did say I was missed, so in a way of giving me a sense of the celebration, he sent me a bottle of his first Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc – from the 2009 vintage. For most of us, a 10 y.o. Sauvignon Blanc should be well past its best, as the variety generally lends itself to attractive early drinking. I think I remember Kevin once saying that he thought Sauvignon Blanc was at its most delicious straight out of the tank, before it was bottled! But it is also well-known that Sauvignon Blanc, from a ripe-fruited vintage, and those with some sophisticated (but sensitive) winemaker inputs, has the ability to keep and develop complex secondary and tertiary characters of real interest. Particularly notable for me were a number of 1991 Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs that seemed to grow in bottle superbly. Here, I review the 2009 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc which seems to fit the above parameters. www.greywacke.com

Greywacke Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Bright straw-yellow colour with suggestions of pale gold and with some depth, lighter on the edge. The bouquet is full and softly packed with deep and layered aromas of ripe tropical fruit and green stonefruits harmoniously melded with subtle savoury herbal notes and a suggestion of green bean that is more positive in interest than distracting. An array of yellow stonefruits shows the good condition of the wine. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has sweetly rich flavours of ripe green and yellow stonefruits with tropical fruit elements, savoury herbs and soft green bean nuances, along with nutty elements. The flavours form an elegantly concentrated heart. The palate is just beginning to show some phenolic dryness as the fruit begins to recede. The mouthfeel is lively with crisp acidity and the wine carries to a sustained finish of soft, savoury green stonefruits. This is a fully mature Sauvignon Blanc still on a plateau, with ripe green stonefruit and savoury herb notes with a touch of green and the beginnings of drying textures, but still possessing a fresh mouthfeel. Match with Mediterranean cuisine over the next 2-3 years. Fruit from Woodbourne, Renwick and Rapaura, cool-fermented by cultured yeasts in stainless-steel, with a portion in seasoned French oak barriques by indigenous yeasts, to 13.4% alc. the wine aged approx. 3 months on lees. 18.0/20 Nov 2018 RRP $N/A
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