Greywacke | Tasting Review | June 2019

Any mention of the emergence and continued popularity of Marlborough wine will certainly include the name Kevin Judd. Growing up in Australia, Keven studied winemaking at Roseworthy and came to New Zealand as a winemaker for Selaks in 1983. He was then appointed as Cloudy Bay’s foundation winemaker in 1985, a role he held for 25 vintages. In 2009 he and wife Kimberley established Greywacke.

The focus has been on Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir along with Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Gris. The wines are made at the Dog Point winery of long time friends and associates Ivan Sutherland and James Healy. The style of Greywacke are wines that are ripe and layered. They are all made as naturally as possible. This tasting focused on a look at Chardonnays from the past 10 years as well as other current release wines.

Greywacke Chardonnay 2016

As with all the wines there’s a ‘hands-off’ approach to winemaking. Kevin likes the Chardonnays to taste of ‘golden fruits’ and to be ripe. From mainly Mendoza and the balance clone 95, hand-picked, gently whole bunch pressed and spontaneously wild-fermented in around 20% new French oak. All the Chardonnays have malo-lactic fermentation but Kevin tries to avoid any marshmallow/yoghurt characters.

This new release 2016 has a fantastic balance between savoury/flintiness and grapefruit flesh, fresh hay, nuts. Lovely weight and complexity with the oak subtly adding spice and toastiness.

Greywacke Wild Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Their alternative style of Sauvignon Blanc (wild yeast, older oak fermentation..) that really should be much, much more popular as it is stunningly good. Lots of subtly – tropical fruits, fresh mown hay, sweet spices, just a hint of smokiness. Quite rich and textural. As we saw a couple of years ago when we hosted a Greywacke Wild Sauvignon Blanc vertical, this wine will age and develop for many years.

Greywacke Riesling 2017

A bright, tantalizing off-dry Riesling (11.8% Alc, 16 gms rs). Light, tenderness and purity of flavours is the main thing that comes to mind. Citrus, florals, honeysuckle. The wine was fermented and aged in old oak barrels. Only a tiny amount of this wine was made.

Greywacke Pinot Gris 2017

A luscious, rich, drier style (10 gms). Made like a Chardonnay but with no-malo as the very ripe grapes were already quite low in acidity. Golden fruits – pears, apricot, a bit of ginger spice. This is a bit of a ‘hidden treasure’ in the Greywacke range.

Greywacke Pinot Noir 2016

There are some excellent Pinot Noirs being produced from Marlborough’s Southern Valleys and this is one of them. Dark fruits – berries and cherry – combine with a spicy, slightly earthy, succulent palate. There is richness, suppleness and concentration.

Greywacke Botrytis Pinot Gris 2011

Two picks of Pinot Gris – one very ripe and clean, the other later pick fully botrytised. Some barrel ferment. Lush, almost Sauternes like. This will live for years. No wonder Bob Campbell gave it 97/100.