Blank Canvas Sauvignon Blanc 2018

TASTING NOTE This single vineyard rendition of Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from the Holdaway Family vineyard at Dillons Point – our favourite sub region for the variety. It is a classic expression of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, being 100% tank fermented, but it offers complexity of texture and a mineral drive that summons river stones and sea spray. Blackcurrant, guava and passionfruit are captured alongside the subtlest hint of oyster-shell. This wine is focused and explosive on both nose and palate yet remains elegantly balanced and distinctly salty.

VINTAGE A dry and hot summer looked promising with maturity tracking 2-3 weeks ahead of normal. Although significant rainfall occurred in late summer into early autumn, it provided relief for the vines and slowed down ripening. It threatened vineyards with higher yields and with heavier soils. Luckily the weather stabilised from mid-Autumn. If crops were judiciously managed and appropriate canopy management adopted, the Sauvignon Blanc came in healthy, with brilliant flavours.

VITICULTURE   The fruit came from a single vineyard in the Dillons Point sub-region located on the coastal fringe of the Wairau Valley. This vineyard belongs to the Holdaway family who have been farming in Marlborough for generations, and is currently run by Alan and Janette and their sons Richard and Robbie. They practice sustainable viticulture; creating and applying their own compost and mulching preparations to the vines to maintain all-important organic matter in the soil. The alluvial silty soils are fertile and deep but are well-drained, with plenty of mineral nutrients, which is perfect for nutrient-hungry Sauvignon Blanc. The vineyard is VSP-trained and cane-pruned.

WINEMAKING   The grapes were harvested by machine in the cool of the night to ensure no harsh phenolics were extracted and acidity preserved. Fruit was pressed off quickly to avoid skin contact and drained straight to one small tank. The juice was settled naturally and fermented in stainless steel at cool temperatures. With minimal intervention throughout, the wine was bottled on 26th June 2018, one of the very first on the market in the world due to the small production and single vineyard nature of the wine – no blending was involved!

FOOD MATCH  The distinctive mineral saltiness of this wine makes it a match made in heaven for seafood, particularly oysters or lightly seared scallops.


Alcohol content 13% pH 3.3
Residual Sugar 2 g/L Acidity 6.9 g/L


5 Stars “Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on the edge.  The nose is elegant in proportion with finely concentrated, deeply penetrating aromas of pungent passionfruit harmoniously melded with tropical fruit and fresh herbs, with green stonefruit elements.  This is refined in its intensity.  Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has fulsome and rich flavours of pungent passionfruit with tropical fruits and herbs.  The mouthfeel shows some light, grainy phenolic textures allied to refreshing acidity, and the wine carries with good energy and drive to a long, lingering finish.  This is a rich, fulsome and textural dry Sauvignon Blanc with intense passionfruit, tropical fruit and herb flavours with grip and fresh acidity.  Match with seafood, salads and vegetables and Pacific Rim fare over the next 2+ years.  Fruit from the ‘Holdaway’ vineyard, Dillons Point, fermented in stainless-steel to 13.0% alc. and 2 g/L RS. 18.5/20″ Raymond Chan Wine Reviews – 15/11/2018

94 Points “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.” Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review16/7/2018

4.5 stars “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.” Michael Cooper, Buyer’s Guide 2019 – November 2018


2016 | 2017 | 2018