from its inception for 25 years and instrumental in the international recognition which Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc enjoys now. The name 'Greywacke' was adopted by Kevin for his first Marlborough vineyard located in Rapaura in recognition of the high prevalence of rounded greywacke river stones in the soils of the vineyard, a sedimentary rock which is widely found in Marlborough. Kevin Judd is also New Zealand's finest wine photographer and has recently published a book 'The Landscape of New Zealand Wine'.
Fruit was sourced from various vineyard sites in the Southern Valleys and the central Wairau Plains, specifically in Woodbourne, Renwick and Rapaura. Soil types vary from the young alluvial deposits of Rapaura and Renwick, which contain high proportions of greywacke river stones, to the older and denser clay-loams of the Southern Valleys. A high percentage of the vineyards were trained using the divided Scott Henry canopy management system, with the balance on two- or three-cane VSP (vertical shoot positioning).
A warm, dry spring and near perfect conditions during flowering resulted in one of the earliest and potentially largest harvests on record. Further warm conditions throughout the growing season and strict crop-thinning regimes pre-veraison ensured that the eventual moderate crops ripened evenly, well ahead of an average season. In mid-March, Fijian cyclone Lusi made a brief appearance bringing an inch of rain and a stiff breeze but harvest resumed a couple of days later. The following two weeks reverted to classic Marlborough summer with high sunshine hours, relatively warm temperatures and zero rainfall. Magnificent, ripe Sauvignon Blanc rolled in the door under clear skies and cool nighttime conditions at the start of April.
Some vineyards were harvested by machine and others by hand, all into halftonne bins, which were tipped directly into tank presses. The grapes were pressed relatively lightly and the resulting juice was cold-settled prior to racking into mostly old French oak barriques. The juice was allowed to undergo spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation, the tail end of which continued for well over six months. The wine had occasional lees stirring and approximately two-thirds of the barrels underwent malo-lactic fermentation. It was transferred out of oak prior to the following harvest and left on yeast lees for a further five months.
Imagine an almond cake full of white nectarine, blood orange and melon – laced with linseed, tarragon and lightly smoked tea. This is an alternative style that is both intricate and textural, a concoction created by fermenting entirely with naturally occurring yeast.
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