Featured Reviews

Greywacke – 2016 Whites, a 2015 Pinot Noir and 2011 Botrytis Wine

05 September,2018

Kevin and Kimberley Judd have been making their Greywacke Marlborough wines for 10 vintages now, but Kevin’s fame of 25 years from being the founding winemaker at Cloudy Bay has never left him. Cloudy Bay, of course has moved onwards and upwards, venturing into Central Otago, but Kevin and Kimberley have elected to develop their style of Marlborough wines to such an extent that they are among the most interesting and complex, and deliciously friendly, and thus are among the most highly regarded in the region. Kevin and Kimberley, assisted by Richard Ellis who came on board in 2014, employ the classical Marlborough varieties of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and have made wines that have layers of complexities and textures, with richness and style that take them above the norm. They do the same with Pinot Gris and Riesling, and the limited amount of specialised wines (usually sweet) too, such that any Greywacke bottling is one worth investigating, drinking and enjoying.

The immediate comparison many consumers make is how they compare with the Dog Point wines of Ivan Sutherland and James Healy. These three men spent many years together at Cloudy Bay, and still continue an intimate association, as the Greywacke wines are made at the Dog Point facility. The easiest way to answer this is that firstly, the fruit sources differ, and that the winemaker styles are distinctly different. For me, the Dog Point wines can have an incredible intensity and firmness that requires bottle age to show their best. They are superb wines of outstanding quality. Kevin, from what I can see, opts for a softer, richer, more accessible approach, but with similar levels of complexity. They probably have an earlier drinking window. It’s an exercise in comparing excellence. Here, I review the new release 2016 ‘Wild’ Sauvignon, Pinot Gris and Riesling, 2015 Pinot Noir and 2011 Botrytis Pinot Gris. www.greywacke.com


Greywacke ‘Wild Sauvignon’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, light golden-hued yellow colour with lemon-green tints and some depth. The nose is full and firm with gently packed and concentrated, layered aromas of green stonefruits with greengages and gooseberries entwined with a complex nutty oak and lees amalgam, unfolding notes of fresh herbs and minerals. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has vibrant and lively green stonefruit flavours with greengages and nectarines, gooseberries and fresh herbs, melded with a layer of nutty oak and flinty lees detail with mineral elements. The complex flavours are integrated with plenty of presence and weight, and the fruit is underlined by a fine, phenolic-textured line with fresh acidity lending energy. The wine carries to an elegant and sustained finish. This is a vibrant and lively lees and oak-influenced Sauvignon Blanc with a range of complex stonefruit flavours on a fine-textured palate. Match with Mediterranean fare and seafood over the next 4 years. Fruit from sites in Woodbourne, Renwick and Rapaura, indigenous yeast fermented in seasoned French oak barriques to 14.0% alc., the wine undergoing batonnage and two-thirds MLF, aged a year in barrel and given a further 6 months on lees in tank. 19.0/20 Sep 2018 RRP $37.95

Greywacke Marlborough Pinot Gris 2016

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, even straw-yellow colour with green-gold tints. The nose is taut and elegant in proportion with softly intense and tightly bound aromas of white stonefruits and florals entwined with delicate nutty and flinty detail, unfolding mineral elements providing freshness and cut, Off-dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has a positively concentrated and intense core with plenty of presence, showing subtly interwoven flavours of white and yellow stonefruits with floral notes, hints of honeysuckle all melded with nutty and flinty detail. There is some underlying alcoholic power and drive, the rich and rounded palate carryingto a long finish with depth and weight. This off-dry Pinot Gris has restrained but complex flavours on a palate with great weight and presence, and some alcoholic drive. Match with poultry and pork dishes over the next 4 years. Predominantly Selection Ovaille and Mission clone fruit from the ‘Wrekin Terrace’ vineyard, Brancott, with clone 52 from the ‘Riverbrook’ vineyard, Rapaura, hand-picked, WBP and the majority indigenous yeast fermented in seasoned French oak barriques, the remainder in stainless-steel to 14.4% alc. and 10 g/L RS, the wine spending 7 months on lees an barrel and a further 5 months on lees in tank. 18.5/20 Sep 2018 RRP $29.95

Greywacke Marlborough Riesling 2016

Riesling from New Zealand – Marlborough


Bright, even, light yellow colour with pale golden hints, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is full, soft and broad with rich and deep aromas of ripe lime and lemon fruit, along with nuances of tropical fruit and yellow florals with hints of herbs melded with honeysuckle. Medium in sweetness and medium-bodied, the palate is softly full and rich with mouthfilling and luscious honey-infused flavours of lime fruit with ripe tropical fruits and exotic florals. The fruit forms a broad and open heart but has an underlying firmness and drive. The wine flows smoothly and seamlessly with balanced acid freshness leading to a lush, gentle, lingering finish. This is a softly full, broad and up-front medium Riesling with ripe citrus and tropical fruit, exotic florals and a smooth, seamless palate. Match with mildly spicy Asian and Middle Eastern fare over the next 4+ years. Hand-picked fruit from the ’Ashmore’ vineyard, WBP and 40% fermented in tank and 60% indigenous yeast fermented in seasoned oak to 12.0% alc., 19 g/L RS, TA 7.7 g/L and pH 2.96, the wine aged on lees in barrel for 7 months. 18.5+/20 Oct 2018 RRP $29.95

Even, light-yellow colour with lemon-green hues. The bouquet is elegantly concentrated with rich and well-packed aromas of white and yellow florals, subtle notes of citrus fruits, along with nuances of toast melded with honey and a suggestion of kerosine complexities. The aromatics show with finesse. Medium-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a taut and finely concentrated core of savoury citrus fruits along with white and yellow florals, hints of honey and a subtle toasty edge. A little nuttiness adds detail, The fruit has richness and vitality, and is balanced by fresh, lacy acidity. The wine carries along a fine-textured line, leading to piquant and poised, refreshing finish. This is a taut and concentrated medium-dry Riesling with complex citrus and floral flavours with a little honey and toast, with nutty detail on a fresh, textured palate, Serve with Asian and Middle Eastern fare over the next 4-5 years. Fruit from the ‘Ashmore’ vineyard on soils typical of the Southern Valleys, hand-picked and WBP, 40% fermented in stainless-steel and 60% in old French oak barriques with indigenous yeasts to 12.0% alc., 19 g/L RS, TA 7.7 g/L and pH 2.96. 18.5+*20 Sep 2018 RRP $29.95

Greywacke Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough


Dark, deep, black-hued red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is softly full and voluminous with gently packed and harmoniously interwoven aromas of ripe, dark-red and black-berried fruits with subtle plum notes and nuances of spices, dark herbs unfolding a little whole bunch stalk perfume and rich nutty oak. This unfolds layers from its dense core. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich, bright, lively and spicy flavours of dark-red and blackberried fruit, with plum notes and some dark herbs with nutty oak. The fruit richness is supported by plenty of fine-grained tannin extraction lending positive structure, with fresh, lacy acidity providing energy. The wine carries to a lingering, sustained finish. This is a rich and bright Pinot Noir with ripe dark-red berry and plum fruit along with spices, herbs and oak on a well-structured, fine palate with a fresh finish. Match with wild duck and pork over the next 6+ years. Fruit predominantly from the ‘Yarrum’ vineyard in the Southern Valleys, mainly clones 115, 777 and 667, with smaller amounts of 5 and 10/5, hand-picked and generally destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented with a portion of whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 40% new French oak barriques. 19.0-/20 Sep 2018 RRP $47.95

Greywacke Marlborough Botrytis Pinot Gris 2011

Sweet Wine from New Zealand – Marlborough


Full, brilliant, golden-yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is taut and tightly bound, but unfolds to reveal a core of ripe yellow stonefruit with tropical fruits and apricot marmalade, revealing a little savoury, nutty secondary complexity with a touch of volatile lift. Very sweet to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has a well-packed, but rounded heart with flavours of ripe yellow stonefruits, tropical fruits and honey with apricot marmalade and nutty elements. This is now beginning to show some savoury secondary development. The mouthfeel is unctuous and the fruit is underlined by a little alcoholic power and drive. The acidity is soft and integrated, but the power and linearity carry the wine to a very long, deep and rich, plush finish. This is a sweet, botrytised Pinot Gris with ripe stonefruit, tropical fruit, marmalade and honey, now showing some savoury complexities. Match with fruit desserts, light steamed puddings and blue cheeses over the next+ years. Mission clone fruit from the ‘Wrekin Terrace’ vineyard, vines 14 y.o., picked in two lots, the first at 25° brix, and the second with considerable botrytis infection, WBP, the wine following blending was fermented in seasoned oak, to 14.0% alc. and 110 g/L RS, the wine aged 3 months on lees in barrique. (375 ml) 18.5+/20 Sep 2018 RRP $37.95

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