Country: New Zealand Region: Marlborough Vintage: 2013
Varietal: Gruner Veltliner Category: White Wine Color: White
Producer: Blank Canvas
"Matt Thomson is a busy winemaker. He has worked over forty vintages in numerous wine regions around the world, and has worked with David Gleave since 1994. He is involved with many of the wines in our portfolio, primarily as a consultant. ""Now is the time to launch my own wines,"" he says. ""Blank Canvas represents my story as a winemaker. It is an endeavour that is entirely my own expression of winemaking, is from my own funding, and is exclusively my risk."" The 'Blank Canvas' is the vineyard and the variety, the winery the brush and palette (no pun intended) at the winemaker's disposal, all the while defined by the scientific grounding Matt laid at university and has built upon over the past 23 years. His aim is to break some rules with the Blank Canvas wines, but in order to break the rules, he feels, you need to know them. This is what sets the Blank Canvas wines apart.
The fruit for the Gruner Veltliner comes from a single vineyard in the Rapaura sub-region. Free run juice was fermented primarily in stainless steel, with 25% of the blend going to half new and half one year old French oak puncheons (600 litre, to ensure less oak uptake), where the wine remained for eight months. The oak gives depth and texture to the wine, while the single vineyard and the careful handling gives the wine a lovely aromatic intensity. Matt is a firm believer in Marlborough's ability to produce some of New Zealand's best Pinot Noir. This wine is also from a single vineyard, planted by Matt in 2001 on the low vigour clay soils of the Waihopai valley. The wine was fermented with wild yeasts and 50% whole bunch was used. It has lovely restraint and a stunning varietal purity, all held together on the palate by firm yet fine tannins. The fruit for the Syrah comes from a single vineyard on the Gimlet Gravels. The Syrah was co-fermented with 7.5% of Gruner Veltliner skins (""I preferred the white pepper character of the Gruner to the riper Viognier fruit,"" explains Matt) to give a wine with stunning yet restrained aromatics. As with the best Côte-Rotie, Matt used a higher percentage of whole bunch (60%) to enhance the spiced fruit character of the Syrah."
Product Features: Sustainable
Winemaker: Matt Thomson
The fruit came from a single vineyard in the Rapaura subregion belonging to grower and long-term friend Malcolm Adams. Berekah Estate has two hectares of Gruner Veltliner planted with a mixture of the two clones available in New Zealand. It was at Matt’s suggestion that Malcolm took the plunge to plant the new-fangled variety and with now four vintages under its belt it is performing very well on the free-draining, young alluvial soils. The vines are VSP trained and cane-pruned.
The grapes were harvested by hand during the cool early morning near the end of the Marlborough harvest. Quick transport to the winery saw the grapes being de-stemmed, crushed and pressed in a gentle pneumatic press to avoid skin-contact and the extraction of harsh phenolics. A press cut was also made. Free run juice went primarily to stainless steel tank to ferment cool, and a 25% portion was split equally into new and used French oak puncheons (600L) where it matured for eight months. The batches were kept separate until January when the blend was assembled, and the finished wine was bottled in March.
A wine of wonderful, pure aromatics this Gruner shows classic notes of mandarin and ripe peach with an underlying trace of white pepper. The oak featuring in the wine is only obvious if you are told about it – it is there to provide richness and weight to the mid-palate, which is why we chose large French oak puncheons to do the job. The result is a well-structured, luscious rendition of an Austrian classic.
Food Suggestion: With its citrus and hints of white pepper, this wine is a beautiful dish with Ceviche (Marinated Fish Salad), any grilled white fish or chicken infused with orange or paired with an orange and almond salad.
Closure: Stelvin ABV:13% Acidity [g/l]: 5.9 Classification: VQA