2014 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc Greywacke

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Average critic rating : 90.5 points



Bright, pale lemon-yellow. Musky aromas of lemon drop, peach, fresh herbs and pepper. Sweet and supple, conveying excellent intensity and lift to its peach and orange zest flavors, with some bound-up CO2 keeping it fresh. A bit less generous and more youthfully compressed than the 2015 version, with a peppery element that still needs to harmonize with the wine's fruit, but boasts terrific sappy intensity and length. May 2016, www.vinous.com, Drink: 2016-2020



The 2014 Sauvignon Blanc exudes a slightly yeasty / savory fruit nose with plenty of lemon and lime character presiding over nuances of lightly browned toast, white blossoms and coriander seed. There's also some coriander coming through on the elegantly fruited palate that also has a nice suggestion of minerals on the long finish.

I met-up with legendary Marlborough winemaker and very talented photographer Kevin Judd in Central Otago this trip. Along with the new releases, he presented me with a vertical tasting of The “Wild Sauvignon Blanc” to demonstrate how it ages. Kevin Judd (who, I should probably point out, was one of the founders and the former winemaker at Cloudy Bay), was emphatically not looking to reinvent Cloudy Bay's Te Koko with this wine. And although it too is a barrel fermented style, this is where the similarities end. Produced from a sub-set of the batches that go into his straight Sauvignon Blanc label, for this wine he is looking for a riper cross section of batches with slightly higher alcohol. So ten different batches usually compose the wine. The real difference between these two styles is in the fermentations. With the Wild, it is wild, i.e. all natural fermentation and malo-lactic. He begins with clear juice so as not to produce too much of that (currently trendy) sulfide character. Fermented in oak - 7% new, Mercury French oak, lightly toasted - the wine is unsulfured until it comes out of barrel. 2/3 -3/4 of the barrels go through malo-lactic. It is then transferred to tank and stirred on lees in the tank. In contrast to Te Koko, which is in some ways more about the winemaking, with this wine Judd told me he wanted to show more of the Sauvignon Blanc fruit, and and is ultimately looking to forge a fresher, more varietally expressive style. Dec 2014, www.robertparker.com, Drink: 2014-2018

Kevin Judd named Greywacke after the drab grey sandstone found everywhere in New Zealand, but the wine he makes is anything but: it's bold but never brash, deeply fruited, complex and above all refined. As founding winemaker at Cloudy Bay and the man responsible for the first 25 vintages of New Zealand's most iconic Sauvignon Blanc, Kevin Judd has gone from strength to strength and Greywacke is a perfect insight into skills. The wine is made at Dog Point Winery from fruit sourced from his own small vineyards along with grapes from the Wairau Plains and Woodbourne and Renwick in South Marlborough.

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