#1 New Zealand Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in Antonio Galloni's Vinous
Influential international wine publication Antonio Galloni's Vinous has recently published the first of two comprehensive reports on New Zealand wine. Editor Rebecca Gibb MW rated over 380 white wines from throughout the country in this first report, which were tasted during her two-week tour earlier in the year.
We are beyond thrilled that our Blank Canvas Reed Vineyard Chardonnay and Blank Canvas Abstract | Three Rows Sauvignon Blanc were awarded the highest scores in the report, taking out #1 spots for New Zealand Chardonnay and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc respectively.
The Reed Vineyard Chardonnay 2021 scored 97 points, the highest awarded score in the report entitled 'New Zealand Whites: The Great Divide', while the 'Abstract' Three Rows Sauvignon Blanc 2019 scored 96 points, which is the highest score ever awarded to a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc by the publication.
According to the Antonio Galloni Vinous rating scale, a score of 96 and above is described as being exceptional: 'A profound and emotionally moving wine that exemplifies the very best attributes of its kind. These are the world’s great, iconic wines.”
Gibb’s trademark style of perceptive and insightful wine journalism is evident throughout the report and reviews. She observes the schism appearing within the New Zealand wine industry; precarious, unprecedented scale and commoditisation versus a groundswell of quality-driven fine wine producers. The battleground is Marlborough, and an important vehicle in combating the former is Appellation Marlborough Wine, which we are founding members of. Certified AMW wines must be 100% Marlborough fruit, approved by an experienced tasting panel (judged blind) and be bottled in New Zealand ensuring provenance, integrity, authenticity and quality. Our Marlborough wines are all proudly Appellation Marlborough Wine certified.
What we are so happy about, possibly more than anything else, is that this report indicates Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is recognised as the truly fine wine it is capable of being. The exciting evolution of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is evident in the quality of wines emanating from the AMW organisation, and together with the initiatives and cohesion of this body of producers, exploring the fine wine scene in Marlborough has never been more rewarding.
Rebecca Gibb's full review of the Reed Vineyard Chardonnay 2021:
“The 2021 Reed Vineyard Chardonnay is pure, harmonious and suave, caressing the mouth with its gentle texture and purity. It’s not showy but a wine worth getting to know: it provides cognitive and sensory pleasure. You can expect almond, oatmeal, smoky nuts and party popper aromas. Yes, party poppers. I really love the smell of party poppers, so I want to keep smelling this and having a little party shimmer. Pure and textural with a gourmand character that will make you want to lick your cheeks to keep tasting it. Already good; this is going to be great.” 97 points
'Abstract' | Three Rows Sauvignon Blanc 2019:
"The 2019 Sauvignon Blanc Abstract Three Rows is a pure and sophisticated wine from, true to its name, three rows of a dry farmed parcel. It is bright and tangy yet savory. The fruit is pure and delicate, like a cloud. It is transparent and yet expansive in the mouth, having no heaviness. Light honey, nectarine, musky boxwood and oatmeal flavours abound with a light creamy character. Sensitive Sauvignon." 96 points
Additional Blank Canvas wines that achieved excellent scores were:
Blank Canvas Escaroth Vineyard Chardonnay 2021 awarded 95 points
Blank Canvas Anandale Farm Riesling 2022 awarded 93 points
Blank Canvas McKee Vineyard Gruner Veltliner 2017 awarded 92 points
Blank Canvas Holdaway Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2022 awarded 91 points
A wine awarded between 90-95 points at Vinous is regarded as outstanding: “A wine of remarkable personality and breed that is well worth seeking out.”
There being plenty of truly fine New Zealand wines that were tasted in this extensive tasting report, we are sincerely flattered. Though perhaps what is most meaningful for us is this statement from Gibb: “I have yet to find a wine from Blank Canvas that I wouldn’t recommend wholeheartedly.” Obtaining this sort of endorsement is inspiriting and reinforces that Marlborough is on the right track, at the pointy end at least.