(2018) Matt Thomson is one of New Zealandâ€™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. Itâ€™s so appealing, with a flinty mineral edge to cool orchard and lime fruit, given creamy intensity from the barrels. In the mouth thereâ€™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 Â£22.90.
(2017) A lovely organic (and biodynamic) Chardonnay from film-maker Michael Seresin's Marlborough estate, the high quality French oak perhaps a trifle obvious on the nose for some, but I enjoyed its nutty, buttery sense of opulence because the tangy lime and crunchy, vivid red apple fruit more than matches on the palate, with that salty mineral edge adding another layer of complexity, the broad texture sliced through by the tensioning acidity. A long, poised Chardonnay in a classic, quite Burgundian mould.
(2016) The pea-shoot pungency of the Sauvignon comes through here in a wine from a cool year where those herbaceous aromas thrive, though the palate has both gently tropical, nectarine like fruit and a terrifically decisive sweep of citrus acidity. The oak very much in the background, but a more orthodox expression of Marlborough Sauvignon in many ways.
(2011) Full barrel fermented, wild yeast and lees-stirred recipe. More subtle oak than the Greywacke, with a lovely mealy richness and sense of precision to the wine - the oak definitely in the background. The palate has Graves-like poise and white fruit crispness, lovely length and a certain sense of minerality.
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