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  • Date publishedThursday, December 2, 2021

Greywacke Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017 (New Zealand) - Wine Review



wine review is this excellent, off-dry Pinot Gris from New Zealand that arrived at the LCBO in limited quantities over the weekend as part of the recent LCBO VINTAGES Release.

Greywacke (pronounced Greywacky) is the Marlborough label of iconic winemaker Kevin Judd. After spending many years working at another winery, he wanted to create his own label of wines and established Greywacke in 2009. The name comes from New Zealand's most abundant bedrock and these understated grey river stones are found throughout Marlborough's rivers alluvial vineyard soils.

Today, Greywacke is very much a Judd family affair with a keep it simple and hands-on approach, with minimal intervention techniques adopted for winemaking. Greywacke is located in the heart of Marlborough's Omaka Valley, one of the Southern Valleys, and the fruit is sourced from mature vineyards in prime viticultural sites. All of the vineyards are sustainably managed, with substantial and increasing portions coming from organically farmed sites. Kevin is also a renowned photographer, using his own photos that adorn the labels of his wines.

Much of fruit for this 100% Pinot Gris is from the Selection Ovaille and Mission clones grown at the Wrekin Terrace Vineyard in the Brancott Valley, a valley floor site on gravelly clay-loam soils that is typical of the Southern Valleys. A smaller parcel of fruit is from the Entav 52 clone that is known for its small bunch and berry size and was grown at the Riverbrook Vineyard in Rapaura where the young alluvial soils contain high proportions of greywacke river stones. All of the grapes were hand-picked at high ripeness levels, then whole bunch pressed. Most of the resulting juice was naturally fermented with indigenous yeast in old French oak barriques, while the rest was fermented with cultured yeast in stainless steel tanks. Towards the end of the fermentation, all of the wine was combined into stainless steels tanks, then aged on yeast lees for a year, with 6 months spent in old barrels followed by 6 months in stainless steel tanks.

While I had the pleasure and honour of tasting this same Pinot Gris at the winery with Kevin back in March 2020, I am curious to see how it has evolved and tasting tonight...

Greywacke Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017 (93 pts)

Tasting Note:

GREYWACKE MARLBOROUGH PINOT GRIS 2017 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#994939) (D) - $29.95
Screw cap. The medium-high intensity nose offers an initial flinty, sulphide, yeasty mineral, and lightly nose tingling experience, but laying underneath are rich, ripe and complex aromas of stone fruit, pear, apple, peach, citrus, floral, and grapefruit with touches of honey. On the rich, ripe, concentrated, and creamy palate are off-dry flavours of poached pear, ginger, honey, and spice. Slightly warming on the mid-palate, but still well-balanced with juicy acidity. Honeyed ginger, citrus, spice, and yeasty minerals linger on the long finish, with excellent length. Highly recommended buy! Score: 93 pts

Small quantities of other excellent wines from Greywacke are available at the LCBO, while other wines from their portfolio can be ordered through their Agent - Connexion Oenophilia.


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