“Blank Canvas – the art of making great wine” – Bob Campbell MW
Master of Wine Bob Campbell recently reviewed a selection of our new release wines. Here’s what he had to say:
‘Blank Canvas – the art of making great wine'
Matt Thomson and Sophie Parker-Thomson make a great team. As a flying winemaker, Matt has crammed more than 40 vintages in a little over 20 years of winemaking around the globe. As well as accumulating masses of air points he’s gained experience and insight, helping him to get the best out of his own label. Sophie completed her WSET diploma in 2014 and sat her Master of Wine exam this year. By helping Matt in the winemaking and managing export and marketing sales, she is able to view the wine trade from a practical as well as an academic perspective.
‘The 2018 Blank Canvas Riesling is a remarkable wine from the Awatere Valley.’
I tasted five new release Blank Canvas wines and was impressed by every label.
The 2018 Blank Canvas Riesling is a remarkable wine from the Awatere Valley. A moderate amount of residual sugar (23g/l) builds delicious tension with knife-edged acidity to give a wine that to my taste appeared medium-dry. (NZD $28)
Blank Canvas’ 2018 Sauvignon Blanc is one of the first examples of the variety I’ve tasted from this challenging vintage. It’s a delicious wine with pronounced oyster shell and mineral characters. (NZD $26)
My favourite wine was 2015 Blank Canvas Grüner Veltliner, a richly-textured example of the variety after 10 months in oak puncheons with the yeast lees. Local GV doesn’t get much better than this. (NZD $28)
The 2015 Blank Canvas Pinot Noir was a hard act to follow, but a shift in grape source necessitated a shift in style. The 2016 Blank Canvas Pinot Noir is from an elevated vineyard in the Awatere Valley, with a high percentage of whole bunches in fermentation adding a sappy complexity to the wine. (NZD $49)
Finally, the 2017 Blank Canvas Meta Riesling (375ml) is a botrytis-affected dessert wine that’s concentrated and complex without being excessively sweet and luscious thanks to knife-edged acidity. (NZD $49)
REVIEWS IN FULL:
“Bone-dry sauvignon blanc, with impressive purity and pronounced oyster shell, mineral flavours together with gooseberry, grapefruit and citrus. Quite a textural wine with good weight and mouth-feel. 16/7/2018” 94 Points – 4.5 stars
“From the Blind River vineyard in the Awatere Valley. A powerful riesling with lime, lemon zest and subtle mineral flavours. Low pH and assertive acidity balances around 23g/l of residual sugar and builds a lovely tension to give a medium-dry finish. An impressive wine that will develop well.” 16/7/2018 93 Points – 4.5 stars
2015 Blank Canvas Gruner Veltliner
“Weighty, richly-textured grüner that was fermented in oak puncheons and aged on the lees for 10 months. Mandarin, orange zest, root ginger and nutty lees. One of the best local examples I’ve tasted.” 16/7/2018 95 Points – 5 stars
“Made from grapes grown in an elevated site in the Awatere Valley. An aromatic pinot noir, with typical savoury and herb Awatere characters, with cherry and plum flavours. Fermentation included 40% whole bunches, which adds a sappy character.” 16/7/2018 93 Points – 4.5 stars
2017 Blank Canvas ‘Meta’ Riesling
“Meta stands for ‘metamorphosis’, a description, perhaps, of the dramatic influence that botrytis has had on the wine. A concentrated but not overly luscious wine, thanks to the restraining affect of tangy acidity. An intense, wine with beeswax, honey, hokey pokey, citrus, lime and floral flavours.” 16/7/2018 95 Points – 5 stars