|2021 Pétillant Naturel||$43.00||★★★★|
|2020 Organic Sauvignon Blanc||$29.00||★★★☆|
|2019 Erin's Chardonnay||$120.00||★★★★☆|
|2019 Vineyard Ferment Pinot Noir||$79.00||★★★★★|
|2019 Thomas Brothers" Pinot Noir||$120.00||★★★★★|
North Canterbury’s Greystone, always one of NZ’s most interesting producers, has really hit its stride with the last couple of vintages. A great deal of care in the vineyard results in pristine fruit that allows winemaker Dom Maxwell to continue to evolve the style of the wines, creating an ever more assured and thoughtful range.
Having prepared ourselves for the inevitable outburst of foam (tea towel and glasses at the ready) it was something of a relief to find the 2021 Pétillant Naturel was very well-behaved wine that only gently bubbled when the crown cap was removed. Softly cloudy, with aromas of conference pear and granny smith apple, a touch of white blossom. Pure precise fruit flavours, bright and crisp. An absolutely teeny hint of sweetness but you have to look hard to find it. A lovely vital wine. The 2020 Organic Sauvignon Blanc is a barrel fermented sauvignon that focuses on texture rather than pungent fruit aroma. Restrained crisp green bean and snow pea with a little red grapefruit, and just a hint of struck match. Creamy and textural.
The 2019 Erin’s Chardonnay seems to represent a slight change of style? Less of the ripe orchard fruit found in past vintages and now a greater emphasis on citrus and a little more of the struck-match flinty reduction. A tight focussed wine with good palate richness, strong saline acidity propelling the palate forward towards a sustained finish.
The two pinots presented a fascinating contrast in approach. The Greystone team hand-harvested the fruit for the 2019 Greystone Vineyard Ferment Pinot Noir and ferment it spontaneously out in the vineyard, amongst the rows, with the aim of capturing the very essence of site. A little reticent at first, this is a striking wine that manages to capture the fresh black cherry, red plum and strawberry fruit and support it with crunchy acid and open-knit, textural tannins. Has elegance and finesse and finishes with an appealing sappiness that gives the finish more of a dry savoury element. It’s a contained, poised wine, one that makes you work a bit, rather than revealing all upon first acquaintance. The 2019 Greystone Thomas Brothers’ Pinot Noir is grown on limestone soils on Greystone’s highest and most exposed slopes. This is a subtle, intricate wine with spicy, dark fruits and a satisfying earthiness. Like the Vineyard Ferment, it’s very textural and layered, with fine tannins and a savoury dryness to counterbalance the rich fruit. Perhaps the oak is just sitting up a tad at this youthful stage but that’s being pretty picky. This is a harmonious and lovely wine…the more studious sibling to the edgier Vineyard Ferment? We would quite understand being tempted to plump for two of the VF…