New reviews from Michael Cooper – Buyer’s Guide 2019

Michael Cooper, one of New Zealand’s most respected and experienced wine writers has recently published his 2019 edition of Michael Cooper’s Buying Guide. We are thrilled to have a range of our wines awarded 5 stars – Blank Canvas Abstract Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Blank Canvas Gruner Veltliner 2015, Blank Canvas Pinot Noir 2015, 4.5 stars – Blank Canvas Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Blank Canvas Upton Downs Pinot Noir 2016, Blank Canvas Syrah 2015, and 4 stars – Blank Canvas Riesling 2018.

His full reviews are reproduced below, and the book can be purchased here.

Michael Cooper’s Buyers Guide 2019

Blank Canvas Abstract Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – 5 STARS 

DRY $38.00 AV

The 2016 vintage is a subtle, single-vineyard wine, ‘all about texture and layers of aromatic complexity’. It was grown at Dillons Point, in the lower Wairau Valley. Hand-picked, it was fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured for nine months in seasoned French oak puncheons, then bottled unfined and unfiltered. Bright, light lemon/green, it is weighty and fleshy, in a ripely herbaceous style with excellent delicacy and complexity, building to a finely textured, powerful, dry finish. Drink now to 2019.

Blank Canvas Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – 4.5 STARS 

DRY $26.00 AV

The highly aromatic 2018 vintage (4.5*) is a single-vineyard wine, grown at Dillons Point. Bottled in June, it is a very youthful wine, weighty, with ripe tropical-fruit flavours, showing excellent delicacy and depth, a slightly minerally streak, and a dry (2 grams/litre of residual sugar), lingering finish.

Blank Canvas Marlborough Riesling – 4 STARS

MED $28.00 -V

The pale lemon/green 2018 vintage (4*) is described on the label as a ‘kabinett’ style of Riesling. A single-vineyard, Awatere Valley wine, hand-harvested and bottled by June, it’s still a baby. Light-bodied (8.6 per cent alcohol) and gently sweet (23 grams/litre of residual sugar), with mouth-watering acidity, it has strong, lemony, appley flavours, showing very good delicacy and harmony, and obvious cellaring potential; open 2021+.

Blank Canvas Marlborough Grüner Veltliner – 5 STARS 

DRY $28.00 V+

Drinking well right now, the 2013 vintage (5*) was mostly handled in tanks, but 25 per cent of the blend was fermented in oak puncheons (half new). Bright, light lemon/green, it has a fragrant, spicy, vaguely toasty bouquet. Mouthfilling and crisp, it’s a lively, dry style (3.3 grams/litre of residual sugar), with impressive flavour intensity and a lasting finish.

Blank Canvas Marlborough Pinot Noir – 5 STARS

DRY $45.00 AV

The youthful, very age-worthy 2015 vintage (5*) is a single-vineyard wine, grown in the Waihopai Valley, hand-picked, fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured for 10 months in French oak barriques (35 per cent new). Full-coloured, it is mouthfilling, with impressive density of fresh, plummy, spicy, slightly nutty flavours, fine-grained tannins, excellent complexity, and a long, finely structured finish. Best drinking 2021+.

Blank Canvas Upton Downs Marlborough Pinot Noir – 4.5 STARS

DRY $49.00 -V

The 2016 vintage (4.5*) is a single-vineyard, Awatere Valley red, hand-picked and matured in French oak barriques (30 per cent new). Ruby-hued, it is highly fragrant, savoury and sweet-fruited, with mouthfilling body, cherryish, plummy, spicy flavours and good texture. A complex style, it’s a drink-now or cellaring proposition.

Blank Canvas Hawke’s Bay Syrah – 4.5 STARS 

DRY $45.00 -V

Well worth cellaring, the 2015 vintage (4.5*) was made by co-fermenting Syrah from the Gimblett Gravels with Grüner Veltliner skins from Marlborough (‘this results in deeper colour, smoother texture’), and then matured for 10 months in French oak casks (partly new). Dark and purple-flushed, with a fresh, peppery fragrance, it is mouthfilling and vibrantly fruity, with strong, youthful plum and spice flavours, lively acidity, and excellent concentration and structure. Best drinking 2020+.

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