Matt Thomson 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. "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. With partner Sophie Parker-Thomson, the aim is to break some rules with the Blank Canvas wines, but they feel in order to break the rules, you need to know them. This is what sets the Blank Canvas wines apart.
The fruit came from a single vineyard in the Blind River subregion, located in the south of the Awatere Valley. The schistous, gravelly soils impart a complex mineral edge to the fruit, and the cool microclimate makes this vineyard particularly well suited to this style of wine. This vineyard belongs to the Barker family who reside close by. It is VSP trained and cane-pruned.
The 2013 vintage heralded unusually warm days but characteristic cold nights. The autumn was dry and the vintage was compact with varieties attaining ideal ripeness levels all near the same time. The Riesling fruit was some of the first to come into the winery as the team wanted to capture the lemonade and fresh citrus characteristics, as well as keep alcohol levels low.
The fruit was harvested by machine at night early on in 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. Only free-run juice went to stainless steel tank to settle and then ferment at cool temperatures. The fermentation was arrested when the wine had an ideal balance of acid and residual sugar.
Drawing inspiration from the great Rieslings of Germany, particularly the Mosel valley, this wine features bright, balanced acidity that whets the appetite. It brims with flavours of oldfashioned lemonade, lime and honeysuckle and is completed by a zesty, satisfyingly long finish. There is a flush of sweetness on the front palate, but its acidity ensures it finishes dry.
SILVER - Sommelier Wine Awards 2016
SILVER - Decanter World Wine Awards 2016