Greywacke was created in 2009 by Kevin Judd, chief winemaker at Cloudy Bay 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'.
The fruit for this wine was grown at the organically-farmed Ashmore Vineyard in Fairhall, adjacent to the mouth of the Brancott Valley on gravelly clay-loam soils, conditions more typical of the Southern Valleys than the Wairau plains. The 19 year old vines were trained on a two cane VSP (vertical shoot positioning) trellis and careful shoot and bunch thinning was carried out. All Greywacke wines are produced from vineyards that are accredited to the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) program and most of the vineyards are in conversion to become certified organic.
The season started in timely fashion and settled conditions during December allowed a generous crop to set. Extremely low rainfall during the early summer put pressure on water supplies, but rain in early January broke the drought and vineyards flourished as temperatures started to climb above average in the New Year. Considerable thinning was carried out across all varieties to establish ideal cropping levels. Harvest started in mid-March, and in late March northerly airstreams brought with it some rain, which put pressure on the harvest and led to remedial canopy and crop management being needed in many vineyards. Temperatures remained well above average and Marlborough’s classic Indian summer made a welcome appearance allowing vineyards to achieve full ripeness.
The grapes were hand-picked at moderate ripeness levels and whole bunch pressed using a very low maceration press cycle. The resulting juice was cold-settled, then racked to fermentation vessels. Half of the juice was inoculated in a stainless steel tank using cultured yeast and the balance was filled into old French oak barriques where it was allowed to undergo spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation. Towards the end of the fermentation all the wine was transferred to a stainless steel tank where the fermentation was stopped, retaining 19 g/l residual sugar. The blended wine was then put in old barrels where it remained on yeast lees for a further seven months before bottling.
The fragrance of red apples, preserved lemons and lime zest combine with herbal notes reminiscent of anise, lavender and dandelion. The creamy palate is off-dry in style with zingy natural acidity and a subliminal touch of sweetness that finishes with a delicious citrus tang.