Greywacke Wild Sauvignon

Drinks blogger James Robertson enjoys a vertical tasting of Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc.

THE other day I had the privilege of attending a vertical tasting of wines from Greywacke, a winery found in Marlborough, New Zealand. Marlborough is the home for some of the best New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs around. The climate and soil structure has meant that Sauvignon Blanc has found a real home in this part of New Zealand; so much so that it can often rival the best from the Loire Valley.

Greywacke – pronounced “Greywacky” – is named after the grey river stones found throughout the Marlborough region. The company was started by Kevin Judd, who was the founding winemaker for Cloudy Bay. The tasting itself was hosted by Kevin and his wife Beverly.

The vertical tasting started with a 2009 Wild Sauvignon Blanc and carried on all the way through to the current vintage of 2020; the only exception being the 2015, which was unavailable. The word “wild” is used to highlight the fact that the juice of each vintage underwent spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation. In other words, rather than inoculating the juice with a cultured yeast, this wine was made using wild natural yeasts. All the vintages underwent lees stirring and two thirds of the wine in barrels underwent malolactic conversion.

Each vintage had a character of its own, of course, but as Kevin explained they are like brothers and sisters that are different but also have a family resemblance. What came through was the incredible fruit that was prevalent in the wines, even the older ones; a touch of creaminess, flint, tropical notes, and a lovely balance. Sadly not all of these wines are available, however the following wines from Greywacke are:

Greywacke Wild Sauvignon Blanc 2020 – Incredible poise and balance, with a rich complex note of dried apricots, orange peel, and floral notes, with a flinty edge and an amazing finish. £29.99

Greywacke Riesling 2020 – A classical style of Riesling, dry with lovely lime and peach fruit, with a viscous mouthfeel and balanced acidity. Half of the wine was fermented in old oak barrels with wild yeast. £22.99

Greywacke Pinot Noir 2020 – This wine spent 12 months in heavily-toasted oak barriques and also went through wild yeast fermentation. The resulting wine has abundant red berry and bramble fruit notes, with a hint of spice and a long finish. £35.99

Read more of James’ reviews on his drinks blog, The Grape & The Grain.