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'.
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 vertical shoot positioning.
A mild, frost-free spring and warm conditions through to early summer provided ideal growing conditions for the vines. Early December saw good conditions for Sauvignon Blanc flowering. December to January was very dry, cooler than normal and often very windy. On April 4th the first of two cyclonic fronts passed through Marlborough bringing unseasonal rain and leading to an all-hands-on-deck flurry of rapid harvesting, with all the Sauvignon Blanc picked by the middle of the month. The combination of prime sites, low-cropping and efficient night harvesting saved the day and despite the challenging conditions the wines of 2017 are displaying good ripeness and structure.
Some vineyards were harvested by machine and others by hand, all into half-tonne bins, which were tipped directly into tank presses. The grapes were pressed lightly and the juice was cold-settled prior to racking into mostly old French oak barriques. The juice underwent spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation which continued for well over six months. The wine had occasional lees stirring and approximately two-thirds underwent malolactic fermentation. It was transferred out of oak prior to the following harvest and left on lees for a further eight months before bottling in January 2019.
This Sauvignon Blanc has aromas of summer fruit and pasty - peaches, nectarines, lime meringue pie and apple custard, all with a hint of dill and wood smoke. The palate is full with flavours of citrus and stone fruit, crisp acidity and notes of flint on the long, dry finish.