(2021) From older vineyards and another season where yileds were reduced by cool spring weather. The juice was racked directly to French oak barrels (8% new) and large wooden casks for fermentation initiated by indigenous yeasts. The wine matured in barrel, on fine lees, for 11 months, before transferring to less oxidative vessels to finish ageing: stainless steel, concrete tanks and large format casks. Creamy, lightly nutty, but definitely Marlborough still, with some tropical fruit character, lots of citrus and stone fruits, and really lovely, creamy- to almost minty acid quality that fills the mouth along with the sweet, buttery fruit into the finish. Intense and well-balanced.
(2021) From one of the driest vintages on record in Marlborough, again the recipe is similar to the 2019 with spontaneous fermentation in French oak barrels (8% new), though larger oak vats where not used. It spent 15 months in barrel on fine lees. Gorgeous nose, very white Bordeaux-like, with creamy almond and cashew over pristine white fruits. Again I get a touch of mint or mint humbug on this, but it is now all about that and the fruit, with no real sign of any pyrozene green characters. In the mouth a little toasty though also slightly more vegetal quality is very pleasant among the fresh citrus acidity and little suggestion of exotic fruit.
(2020) A Sauvignon Blanc that marches to a different beat, fruit is hand-picked, whole bunch pressed and fermented and aged in older French oak barrels for 18 months. Grapefruit and nutty, almondy oak combine, along with a ripe orchard fruit character. In the mouth lovely juiciness and thrust, the pithy, mineral freshness of the acidity, a touch of flint, and squeeze of citrus to finish.
(2020) The 2010 Section 94 is 100% Sauvignon Blanc from a special block of the vineyard. Hand-picked, whole-bunch pressed and fermented and aged in older French oak barrels for 18 months there's a hint of buttercup yellow to the colour. Big, flinty, mineral nose, the fruit submerged, searing citrus fruit and acidity, nutty and savoury, so dry, so grapefruity and mouth-watering. Stockist quoted at time of review has cases of 12 available. Bottle equivalent price quoted.
(2020) Fermented in oak foudre, part natural yeast from a 'pied de cuve', from this special vineayrd on clay soils that has been run organically for a long time. Buttery and nutty nose, with opulent fruit, a touch of flint, and a great seam of creamy but preicise acidity leading to a great tangy, zesty, linear finish. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for a previous vintage.
(2020) Four days of skin contact give this a pink-tinged, salmon/copper hint of colour, a yeastiness and taut, dry red berries and apple. The skin contact gives a lovely texture, and bone dry in the finish. Grapefruit pith and zesty fruit, long, intense, fascinating and fabulous.
(2020) Made in 500 litre French oak puncheons (50% new) with natural yeast fermentation. Bold lemony colour, again has that touch of yeast, light earthness, chalky mineral character too. Melon skin and lemon rind, that touch of phenolic, delicious, textural character again, A hint of bitter orange and a terrific length and acidity. No UK retail stockist listed at time of review.
(2020) Classic Viognier, apricot and apricot kernel, a smooth almond touch, creamy in the background. Has a touch of flintiness and stony character, lots of cool fruit and fabulous acidity that keeps everything taut. Another superb and individualistic wine.
(2020) Vineyards for this Southern Rhone blend are grown on the hottest block of pure gravel and sand at an extremely low yield. Blend is 60% Viognier, 20% each of Roussanne and Marsanne. Beautiful glowing gold. There's more tropical fruit and a lemon confit character, again that little touch of flint and great zestiness, a lovely sweet roundness to this, but the striking phenolics and acid of the apple core dryness is so fine. No UK retail stockists at time of review.
(2018) Matt Thomson is one of New Zealand’s most respected consultant winemakers, behind numerous top labels, and now he and his wife Sophie Parker-Thomson have established Blank Canvas, a premium label sourcing fruit from top vineyards, like this single-vineyard Chardonnay, fermented with wild yeast and aged in large French oak barrels, around 40% of which were new. It’s so appealing, with a flinty mineral edge to cool orchard and lime fruit, given creamy intensity from the barrels. In the mouth there’s an unabashed ripeness of fruit, edging from succulent ripe pear and apple into more tropical nectarine notes, buttery Brazil nut creaminess beneath, and zipping-fresh lemon and salts acidity. A serious, top-end example of Kiwi Chardonnay. On offer at time of review for £22.90.