Blank Canvas Pinot Noir 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand

Writing a snap-shot tasting note on Blank Canvas Pinot Noir 2015  is not entirely possible. As if on a blank canvas, it evolves a little and a little until it becomes a masterpiece. The heartbreaking nose on 30 minutes full decanting, which is dense with and power within a silky Pinot Noir framework. The classic Pinot aromas of red and black cherry, forest berries and floral highlights mingle with savoury, spicy notes. Firm, chalky and even tannins; coolish and linear acidity. 

It is not a Burgundy; it may not sound as shy and elusive. It just changes and carries you the nose and palate honestly and effortlessly.

2015 vintage in Marlborough was one of the earliest and driest in recent years and awarded almost full score by most magazines.  With rainfall being just 40% of the long-term average while growing degree days were 10% more. For Pinot Noir, this resulted in lower yields, smaller bunch weights and more concentrated, impressive fruit.

This Pinot Noir(115 Dijon Clone exclusively)sourced from a single vineyard and planted in 2001. On old Clays of Waihopai Valley in Marlborough,the soil is of low yields. Thining during the ripening of the fruit and so the flavours are intense and dense. Whole bunch fermentation gives certain wildness and structure and tastes. The harvest is on the 4th April 2015.

Grapes handpicked bunches were cold-soaked for 4.5 days before spontaneous fermentation by natural yeasts. Hand-plunged; also the whole bunch ferment which included 50% whole clusters. The wine stored in French barrels, all of low-toast (35% new), where it matured for ten months and bottled on 10th March 2016.

Mr Grumpy(Bob Campell, MW) and Mr Huon Hooke gave very very high scores. For example, BC97.  Tasting as follows.

Evocatively perfumed wine with savoury, fresh herb, violet, red rose, cherry and berry flavours supported by classy, spicy oak. Dense and seamless with an impressively lengthy finish. Delicious wine. 97pts, 5 Stars, Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review