JancisRobinson.com - 18 Point Scores for Blank Canvas Chardonnay & Pinot Noir

Julia Harding MW writing for JancisRobinson.com awarded an astonishing double 18 point score for the Blank Canvas ‘Reed’ Chardonnay 2018 and the Blank Canvas ‘Upton Downs’ Pinot Noir 2016.

These wines were reviewed as part of the Southern Hemisphere Spring Collection 2019, and were in the Top Five Wines of the total 151 wines tasted. The Chardonnay was the highest scoring white wine tasted, while the Pinot Noir score places it as the highest scoring New Zealand wine from 2016. 

The full reviews are as follows: 

18 Points - Blank Canvas Chardonnay 2018 Marlborough
Hand picking, whole-bunch pressed, free-run juice only, no added yeasts, fermented in puncheons with full solids. Spontaneous malolactic conversion. No lees stirring. Winemaker Matt Thomson would have preferred 33% new oak at most but with only two barrels produced, it had to be 50%, the other barrel two years old. No SO2 for the first nine months, just topped up. Racked twice. Bottled unfiltered at the end of March 2019.

Smoky, flinty in a reductive style but not struck match. Rich, deep citrus fruit within that style. Lime-like freshness, the spice showing on the back palate. There's a creamy texture but not the creamy flavour that you get from lees stirring. The fruit fills the mid palate and the freshness and flinty character pull it in tight on the long finish. Very long. (JH)

18 Points - Blank Canvas, Upton Downs Pinot Noir 2016 Marlborough
From a vineyard on an elevated (400 m) river terrace in the Upper Awatere Valley – clay and silt with some gravel. Clone 777. 40% whole bunch. 25% new oak – most of the wine in new barrels was lost to the earthquake. Bottled unfiltered June 2017.

Lightish mid ruby, not star bright because unfiltered. Pretty, aromatic red fruits with the freshness of stem influence but without being overtly stemmy – the freshness and structure of stems but no greenness. Already quite complex on the nose, with hints of floral and citrus as well as the red fruits. There's intensity without unwanted concentration, the fruit is sweet but not overly so and the tannins already silky. Freshness to the long finish. (JH)


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