(2021) Made with wild yeasts again, with 18 months in French oak barrels, 35% new and another nicely pale Pinot. So much sweet truffle, coffee and forest floor here, but a depth of ripe fruit too as another layer. That richness, that suggestion of mocha, is there on the palate, but the keen raspberry edge of the fruit and acidity sharpens everything up. This has great fruit but an unwavering clarity too, and lots of savoury orange and grapefruit in the mix for a formidable example of Marlborough Pinot at, or near, it's best.
(2020) Fragrant, even high-toned at first, sandalwood and exotic spices, cherry and a dusty, tomato leaf note too. Quite unusual aromatically. On the palate it is savoury and meaty, an umami and sour finish that is meaty and mouth-watering. Tannin and acid adds a tangy element to the finish.No UK retail stockist listed at time of review.
(2020) This wine spends up to 20 months in 228 litre French oak, and comes from a mixture of Syrah clones including the Chave clone. Fully ripe with a lovely lift, violet and kirsch, and graphite. Sweet, solid black fruit. Chocolate and spices, then a bit of slatey character adds a graphite firmness and edge to the chocolate and ripeness of mouthfilling blackcurrant. No UK stockists listed at time of review.
(2020) Barrel sample. Lots of florals here, lots of lift and fresh red fruits, cherry and a lovely truffle note developing .In the mouth a fine truffle and smoke character, but the flesh and finesse of the fruit are both in lovely balance, a touch of toast and chocolate. A cautious score for now, but a beautiful Pinot with potential to score even higher. Price and stockist for a previous vintage at time of review.
(2020) Pale but bold garnet colour. Delicate perfume, lots of smoky notes intertwined with old roses and briar and cherry. Delicious, plenty of ripeness and a finish that’s balanced with smooth tannins and a bit of chocolate and smoky/spicy character.
(2020) From a single vineyard in Brancott that is farmed biodynamically. A huge depth of colour. A tiny bit reduced, but the cherry depth of fruit comes through, a little black fruit character, lot of bold cherry, a kirsch and plum skin intensity, super sweet fruit, a touch of beetroot, and lovely fresh acid. Fine line of Supple tannin. No UK retail stockists listed at time of review.
(2020) Lovely pale, pure colour, clove, cinnamon and firmer cherry fragrance, a touch of red liquorice, tiny florals nuances. Quite delicate, racy, a lovely tension and gravelly core to it, with a bolstering taut tannin and acid core running through it.
(2018) What a fabulous showing for all of the wines in the Blank Canvas range I must say. From a single vineyard in the Waihopai Valley of Marlborough, a large proportion of this was fermented as whole bunches of grapes, with wild yeasts, before ageing in French oak barriques. What an aromatic Pinot Noir, floral and herbal, bright cherry melts into a subtle earthy and nutty note, then the wine powers onto the palate: it as its seductive side for sure, with juicy, dense fruit, but there is light and air in this picture too, an edge to the firm tannins and the acidity, spice and subtle truffle character, and then a pristine finish almost like a white wine with its cool focus and length. Seriously good Pinot Noir this, multi-faceted and delicious. On offer at £23.95 at time of review.
(2018) From a single block in the southern valleys of Marlborough, matured 10 months in French oak, around 30% of which was new. This is a deep and black-fruited style of concentrated Pinot, 14% alcohol testifying to its ripeness and richness. On the nose a touch of charred meat, savoury dark fruit and, yes, just a glimpse of something more perfumed and floral in the background. On the palate it has a liquorice stripe of bittersweet fruit, tannin and crunchy acidity. The fruit develops nicely mid-palate to something more sweet and elegant. An impressive wine, that for me would be even better just reined-back slightly on oak, alcohol and extraction.
(2017) A selection of the best barrels of Pinot, made with fruit from the best blocks, is given a little extra time in barrel and a higher proportion of new oak. Although also a different vintage to the regular Pinot, the family resemblance is clear, with a similar profile of cherry and exotic spice, just a little extra touch of tobacco and briar from 15 months in barrel. The colour has that lovely transparency of Pinot that has not been over-done, the palate the same winning combination of agile fruit and briskness to the structure, just a touch more concentration and creaminess. At time of review Blackdog Wine Agency only has magnums at £55 on sale.