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'.
Much of the fruit is from the Selection Ovaille and Mission clones grown at Wrekin Terrace Vineyard in the Brancott Valley, a valley floor site on gravelly clay-loam soils typical of the Southern Valleys. A smaller parcel of the newly released Entav 52 clone (known for its small bunch and berry size) was grown at Riverbrook Vineyard in Rapaura, in young alluvial soils containing high proportions of greywacke river stones. The vines were trained on a two-cane VSP (vertical shoot positioning) trellis and crop thinning is carried out to target a modest yield of 7.5 T/Ha.
Warm spring weather created early flowering and early ripening. The vines were very low yielding, with smaller berries than usual, which led to increased concentration and quality in the 2015 wines.
The three clones were hand-picked separately at high ripeness levels and whole bunch pressed using very low maceration press cycles. The resulting juice was cold settled then racked to fermentation vessels. Most of the juice was allowed to undergo spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation in old French oak barriques and the balance was fermented in stainless steel tanks using cultured yeast. The fermentations were stopped to achieve an average of 8g/l residual sugar. The barrel fermented components remained in oak for seven months during which time a portion underwent malolactic fermentation. All the batches were kept on lees in stainless steel tanks for a further six months and the wine was then blended and bottled mid-2016.
An autumnal bake-up of soft sweet figs, poached pears and quince, scented with a hint of mulling spices and almond crumble. An opulently ripe expression of the Pinot Gris grape with great texture and a luscious off-dry richness that finishes crisply with considerable power and length.