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Greywacke Reviewed in Vinous

May 2016

92 pts              Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2014
(Fermented in mostly old French oak barriques with wild yeasts; roughly two-thirds of this wine went through malolactic fermentation):
Fresh scents of lemon verbena tea, menthol and smoke. Boasts terrific clarity, energy and cut to its flavors of tangy citrus fruits, white stone fruits and minerals, along with a complicating tropical fruit element. Sappy, dense Sauvignon Blanc with terrific underlying structure. This wine was bottled in November of 2015 following nearly a year in barrel and several months in tank. The Wild Sauvignon is routinely slightly higher in alcohol and lower in acidity than Judd’s stainless steel version.

92 pts              Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2013
(Bottled in November of 2014):
Bright, light yellow. Fresh tropical fruit and citrus flavors are lifted by a floral note. Boasts excellent sweetness to its citrus, white peach, honey, dried herbs and spice flavors, with a firm spine of minerally acidity providing support and grip and extending the finish. Like the 2014, this is a brilliant example of this richer, leesier wild-yeast style.

91 pts              Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2015
(100% done in stainless steel):
Pale, bright yellow. Very ripe stone fruit and pineapple aromas are lifted by flowers, dusty brown spices and anise. Plush, round and slightly sweet, but with nicely integrated acidity giving shape to the peach, grapefruit, white pepper and nutmeg flavors. Wonderfully generous, fine-grained wine with a light touch and superb rising length. The wine’s tactile finishing notes of dusty stone and ginger leave the salivary glands humming. In a distinctly ripe style but a beauty.

90+ pts            Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Bright, pale lemon-yellow. Musky aromas of lemon drop, peach, fresh herbs and pepper. Sweet and supple, conveying excellent intensity and lift to its peach and orange zest flavors, with some bound-up CO2 keeping it fresh. A bit less generous and more youthfully compressed than the 2015 version, with a peppery element that still needs to harmonize with the wine’s fruit, but boasts terrific sappy intensity and length.

90 pts              Greywacke Chardonnay 2013
(A 50/50 blend of the high-acid Mendoza clone and clone 95, from hard-harvested vines on clay soils in central Wairau up to 20 years old; 50% of the juice goes straight to barrel; fermented in barrels with wild yeasts):
Bright medium yellow. Very ripe yellow fruits complicated by a sulfidey, leesy complexity and a hazelnutty nuance. Tactile, concentrated and strong, with a note of oak char adding another dimension without overwhelming the grapefruit and stone fruit flavors. At once structured and delicate. The Mendoza clone is high in acidity, notes Kevin Judd, and this wine always goes through malolactic fermentation.

89 pts              Greywacke Pinot Noir 2013
Medium red. Sexy musky reduction to the aromas of black cherry, raspberry, plum, earth, gunflint and spices. Fat, plump, round and generous; still a touch reduced and hiding its fruit but quite mouthfilling. Aeration brought out flavors of strawberry, red plum and spicy, cedary oak and a savory complexity. Finishes juicy and dry, with a serious dusting of fine tannins and very good length.

88 pts              Greywacke Pinot Gris 2014
(From the Mission clone planted in a younger vineyard near Cloudy Bay winery; all done in old barrels):
Bright, light yellow. Aromas of peach, honey, lichee and gingery spices. Supple, round and rich but with adequate supporting acidity. A wine of modest complexity but surprisingly dry and firm on the finish. Kevin Judd is looking to make a textured, even oily style of Pinot Gris and picks this fruit by hand with potential alcohol around 15%. After vinification with wild yeasts, the wine finishes with between 14% and 14.5% alcohol and about ten grams per liter of residual sugar.

88 pts              Greywacke Riesling 2015
(Done entirely in used barrels; from an 18-year-old organically farmed vineyard down the road from Greywacke’s headquarters just west of Blenheim; 20 g/l residual sugar, with a pH of 2.95): Bright, light yellow. Aromas of citrus pith and crushed rock, plus a lanolin note. Enticing juicy, concentrated, off-dry Riesling with good tactile, saline depth and a touch of dry botrytis. Ultimately more salty than sweet, and persistent on the aftertaste.

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