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Fruit was sourced from various vineyard sites in and around the Brancott Valley and the central Wairau Plains, specifically in Woodbourne, Renwick and Rapaura. Soil types vary from the young alluvial soils of Rapaura and Renwick, which contain high proportions of greywacke river stones, to the older and denser clay-loam gravels of the Southern Valleys. The majority of the vineyards were trained using the divided Scott Henry canopy management system, with the balance being on two or three cane vertical shoot positioning.
Summer 2013 was delightful, with heat summation marginally above the long term average and beautiful sunny days. Mean daily temperatures during mid-summer were below the long term average, providing an idyllic sunny and dry growing environment, without excessive heat. Marlborough was fortunate to receive intermittent rainfall throughout the growing season, which warded off the severe drought experienced by much of the country.
Some vineyards were harvested by machine and others by hand, all into half-tonne bins, which were tipped directly into tank presses. The grapes were pressed relatively lightly and the resulting juice was cold-settled prior to racking into mostly old French oak barriques. The juice was allowed to undergo spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation, the tail end of which continued for well over six months. The wine had occasional lees stirring and approximately two thirds of the barrels underwent malolactic fermentation. It was transferred out of oak prior to the following harvest and left on yeast lees for a further five months. The wine was bottled in November 2014.
Fermented entirely with naturally occurring yeast, this is an alternative style of Sauvignon Blanc that is both intricate and textural. An inviting combination of fragrant patisserie-like aromas and fresh herbs – the sweet scent of lemon meringue and apricot friand seems to meld with a tarragon-like herbal quality and a hint of smokiness. The palate is succulent and packed with stone fruit and vanilla, finishing crisp and long with a flinty dryness.
Kevin Judd is intrinsically linked with the global profile of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Born in England and raised in Australia he moved to NZ in 1983 becoming the founding winemaker at little known winery Cloudy Bay. Kevin played a pivotal role, directing the first 25 vintages until he resigned in 2008. By any definition he is the father of the inimitable NZSB style. Not only this Kevin has a parallel career as one of the World's great wine photographers.
Fruit for Greywacke SB is sourced from the small Judd Family vineyard in Rapaura and from mature Sutherland family plots in the Wairau Plains and Southern Marlborough Valleys – specifically Woodbourne and Renwick. The name derives from the indigenous Greywacke rock that is prevalent throughout the Marlborough region and was registered as a wine name by Kevin back in 1993 with the vague notion that he might one day want to produce a wine of his own. Today he is also producing a stunning Chardonnay, a full-throttle lees aged and lightly oaked 'Wild' Sauvignon, a Pinot Noir that has given critics serious cause to revise their view of Marlborough Pinot and a late harvest Gewurztraminer sweet wine.
The wines are made by Kevin at the famous Dog Point winery, a facility extended to him by long-standing friends and industry colleagues Ivan Sutherland and James Healy. Kevin’s famed ‘non-interventionist’ technique is leading to more and more great wines.