Thrilling reviews from Master of Wine Rebecca Gibb for Vinous
Master of Wine Rebecca Gibb last week published her first report in the seat of editor at Vinous, with enviable sole charge of New Zealand and the Loire in this highly-respected global publication.
Focusing on New Zealand white wines, the report entitled "New Zealand Whites: the State of Play", delivered a comprehensive dissection of 150+ wines from throughout New Zealand.
Blank Canvas performed extremely well, with Rebecca noting it was "... one of the most exciting labels to come out of Marlborough in the past decade." Particular praise went to the Blank Canvas 'Reed' Chardonnay 2019 with 95 points - the second highest score in the report (just behind flagship wines Kumeu River Mate's Chardonnay 2019 (96 points) and Villa Maria Kelten Chardonnay 2019 (96 points), both $80+ NZD).
Close behind the Reed was the Blank Canvas 'Escaroth' Chardonnay 2019 (94 points) while the top-equal scoring Sauvignon Blanc in the report went to our Blank Canvas 'Abstract' Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (94 points), Rebecca concluding it was "...Marlborough Sauvignon that doffs its cap to good white Bordeaux - and succeeds."
Rebecca also acknowledged our "without recipes" approach, stating "this is natural winemaking without the faults: cloudy juice, wild fermentation, no filtration, etc."
Blank Canvas 'Reed' Chardonnay 2019 - 95 POINTS
"A finely poised yet powerful Chardonnay that has just the right amount of reductive flint character, adding a layer of complexity to this savory, stylish wine. Wild fermentation in oak puncheons followed by an extended period on lees has resulted in rounded edges while adding smoky and nutty flavors. It has lovely sinew on the long finish."
Blank Canvas 'Escaroth' Chardonnay 2019 - 94 POINTS
"A suave and seamless Chardonnay that's very relaxed in its own skin. This low-yield season has provided excellent fruit concentration. The combination of barrels and puncheons infuses a nutty, savory element and there's also an appetizing waft of smoky bacon. A fine line of lemon-peel-like acidity emerges on the mouthwatering finish. Excellent harmony and will improve with additional bottle age allowing the oak aromas to soften. This is the cuvée's inaugural vintage, and I cannot wait to see the next."
Blank Canvas 'Abstract' Sauvignon Blanc 2017 - 94 POINTS
"A dry-farmed Sauvignon that's made like a Chardonnay: hand-picked and whole-bunch-pressed, the cloudy juice sent to puncheon for fermentation. The wine rests on lees for 14 months with no bâtonnage, followed by a year in bottle before release. As a result, you can expect a richly textured expression and savory, almond and lanolin-like characters alongside black currant, lemon and cornichon flavors. Intriguing and drinking beautifully now. This is a Marlborough Sauvignon that doffs its cap to good white Bordeaux – and succeeds."
Blank Canvas 'Meta' Riesling 2018 - 93 POINTS
"This is a sweet Riesling (167g/L residual sugar) but it has plenty of mouthwatering acidity providing refreshment. Marmalade, orange and peach flavors meet sweet spice flavors, which linger on the lengthy finish. 9.5% alcohol."
Blank Canvas Sauvignon Blanc 2019 - 92 POINTS
"This is Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with the volume turned down – and that's a refreshing change. While it has a plump core of dense fruit, it is tied together with a fine string of acidity, providing a precise and drawn-out finish. Floral and subtle passion fruit characters combine with a salty note on the medium-length finish."