A pleasure to see these new Greywacke 2022 releases land on the doorstep recently, reminding me that I haven’t been to New Zealand in years (when it was once an annual thing). Now the borders are open, I’ll get back soon, I promise.
Anyway, Greywacke. This is the label of Kevin Judd, the legendary photographer and Marlborough winemaker. You’ve probably heard it before, but Judd was the inaugural Cloudy Bay winemaker, working alongside Ivan Sutherland and James Healy to drive Cloudy Bay to its stratospheric heights.
Judd left Cloudy Bay in the late noughties to start Greywacke, however, while Sutherland & Healy went off to start Dog Point. The trio didn’t split up, though, as the Greywacke wines are still made in the Dog Point winery in what has been affectionately called the ‘Cloudy Bay retirement home’. These days, it is the next generation who are driving both Greywacke & Dog Point, with Kevin’s son Alex at Greywacke and the next generation of the Sutherland family now running Dog Point.
What I’ve always found fascinating about Kevin, and indeed all of the ex-Cloudy Bay trio is how grounded they are. I can remember sitting next to Judd at a wine lunch in NZ years ago, and he just wanted to talk about travel rather than his wines. The Greywacke releases reflect that persona, too – these aren’t showy wines but thoughtful examples of the regional highlights, with an extra layer and complexity so often missing in Marlborough.
Sauvignon is the hero here, and I guarantee that both these wines can shift your perception of what Marlborough Sauv can taste like.
Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2019
Welcome to the pointy end of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Fermented wild in mainly older barrel, it then spends 6 months in barrel before racking, then a further eight months on lees. 3/4 went through malolactic fermentation. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto. Still, it smells varietal. Passionfruit and lemon citrus, undoubtedly. Ripe too. It tastes younger than three years old but chunky too, with this expansive back palate that is Chardonnay-esque but with herb-edged acidity. Wow. There is still passionfruit, still a little melon, still green fruit to go along with the leesy, more generous hints of creamed pineapple. Super flavour punch. A proper flavour ride. Best drinking: good now, no hurry. 18.5/20, 94/100. 14%, $40. Greywacke website. Would I buy it? Yes.
Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2021
Greywacke Pinot Noir 2019
A smidgen off the pace this year. Dark colours, brooding too. Sap and meat. Cherry and cloves. I find this just a bit forward and caramel, with smoky red fruit, some firm edges and serous tannins. It’s muscular, brooding Pinot – maybe too much. Undoubted length though. Best drinking: nowish. 17.5/20, 91/100. 13.5%, $55ish. Greywacke website. Would I buy it? A glass or so.
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