Greywacke is the wine label of long-time Cloudy Bay winemaker Kevin Judd and is named after the rounded river-stones that are scattered through the soils of his vineyards. Sourcing his fruit from premium vineyards in the central Wairau plains and Southern valleys, Kevin produces a brilliant range of wines, primarily focusing on Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, with a small amount of Pinot Gris, Riesling and Chardonnay. As you would expect from the founding winemaker of New Zealand's most famous wine, the quality throughout the Greywacke range is exceptional.
All fruit was grown in Marlborough’s Southern Valleys and principally sourced from the Yarrum Vineyard situated on the Brancott / Ben Morven ridge. Typical of this subregion, the wind-blown loess soils are comprised of clay-loams with differing degrees of gravel content. The various source blocks are cultivated to a mixture of pinot noir clones, predominantly the Dijon clones 115, 777 and 667, with smaller parcels of UCD5 and AM 10/5. The vineyards are primarily hillside plantings trained to two-cane vertical shoot positioning with a high vine density of 3800 plants per hectare.
The grapes were hand-harvested and chilled overnight prior to hand sorting. Most of the fruit was then de-stemmed into open-top fermenters, the majority of which also had a percentage of whole-bunch inclusion. The fruit was left to soak on skins prior to the onset of indigenous yeast fermentation, then plunged daily. After fermentation the wine was pressed, racked and filled to French oak barriques (40% new).
Deeply coloured and oozing rich dark fruit - a virtual bowl of ripe black cherries, blackberries topped with a dollop of grandma's homemade plum jam. An opulent interpretation of Marlborough pinot layered with evocative fragrances of cloves, star anise, tea smoke and a hint of gaminess. The palate is generous with ripe fruit, fine tannins and a delicious spicy finish.
Kevin Judd is one of Marlborough’s pioneer winemakers whose career is intrinsically linked with the global profile of New Zealand wine. Kevin was born in England and grew up in Australia, where he studied winemaking at Roseworthy College and first made wine at Reynella in South Australia. He moved to New Zealand in 1983 and joined Selaks Wines. Subsequently, he became the founding winemaker at Cloudy Bay, a pivotal role during which he directed the company’s first 25 vintages. In 2009 he established his own label, Greywacke, named after New Zealand’s prolific bedrock. The Name: New Zealand does not have a designated national rock, but if one was ever chosen it would have to be greywacke (pron: grey-wacky). This drab grey stone is found everywhere in New Zealand – on the mountains, in the rivers, on the beaches. It consists of layers of hard, muddy grey sandstone alternating with thinner layers of darker mudstone (argillite). Technically the term greywacke refers to the sandstone (wacke is a German name for a type of sandstone), but it is also used as a general term for the entire rock.
This has impressive richness and concentration, whereby darker cherries and sweetly spiced earthy nuances run through the nose to an effortless, pillowy palate texture. The tannins here are smartly wrapped around ripe plums and dark cherries. So seamless and long. Drink now to 2025.
BOB CAMPBELL MW - THE REAL REVIEW
Intense, juicy pinot noir with ripe plum, cherry, blackberry, liquorice and subtle spicy oak. A silken-textured wine, with layers of appealing flavours that linger tantalisingly. Delicious now but should develop well with bottle age.