Greywacke – Vintage 2018 Wild Sauvignon & Pinot Noir and 2017 Chardonnay


In 2009, Kevin Judd and his wife Kimberley established the Greywacke label. A living legend, Kevin’s fame of 25 years as founding winemaker at Cloudy Bay has never left him, and he continues his legacy with Greywacke, developing their style of Marlborough wines to such an extent that Greywacke are already among the most interesting, complex and highly regarded in the region.

They’re best known for the Greywacke Wild Sauvignon with its layers of complexities and personalities that never fails to impress. I personally enjoy their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir just as much. They both have brilliant weight and complexity – they’re perfectly delicious and soulful.

The Chardonnay I tasted was vintage 2017 - a mild frost-free spring followed by a cool December, which led to poor fruit set in chardonnay and pinot noir. Dry, cooler than normal temperatures from December to January provided fine conditions and led to superb quality fruit, though two cyclonic rains in April forced picking. This was the shortest and most challenging vintage for Marlborough and Greywacke. Despite an average sized crop, fruit achieved good ripeness and structure. It was a slightly warmer than average season, with 1330 GDD.

The Wild Sauvignon and Pinot Noir were from 2018 - a year of extremes, with record high temperature in December and January, superb flowering conditions and a high crop size necessitating thinning to focus on producing concentrated and quality grapes. In February, two ex-tropical cyclones brought considerable rainfall and set another wettest period on record. Pinot noir was picked at good physiological ripeness but required careful hand-sorting to eliminate botrytis. It was a considerably warmer than average season, with 1510 GDD.

There have been a couple changes with the Greywacke team recently. After seven years of assisting Kevin and Kimberley, Richard Ellis announced his departure in April to pursue a personal project. Rich had been intimately involved in the winemaking and marketing at Greywacke and has helped enormously to cement Greywacke’s reputation in the world of wine.

Last week, Greywacke has announced Richelle Tyney has joined the team. Richelle firmly believes in minimal intervention winemaking and that wine should express its turangawaewae (a place to stand). Her special vinous passion is pinot noir and the hillside terroir of Marlborough’s Southern Valleys holds a very special place in her heart. She will be managing the Greywacke winemaking programme and will be travelling to marketing events. You will find Richelle along with Alex Judd at the Negociants Fine Wine Tour in July (Auckland, Wellington & Christchurch) and The Rees Culinary Series with Greywacke Wines winemakers dinner in July (Queenstown).



  • Greywacke Chardonnay 2017, Marlborough
  • Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2018, Marlborough
  • Greywacke Pinot Noir 2018, Marlborough

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