Matt Thomson is a name you may have heard associated with many a wine… From New Zealand and further afield. Matt has amassed a wealth of knowledge as a conultant winemaker, boasting 42 vintages across 21 years. Mostly in New Zealand and Italy, but making excellent wine in some vastly different regions. Giving Matt the chance to build a reportoire of techniques, that are arguably unparalleled …and his wife Sophie, training to be an MW keeps him honest…
As a consultant winemaker, Matt has made some amazing wines in mnay different styles, for many different people. This new label is finally a chance to make the wine that he wants to make. Effectively meaning that he can start with, a Blank Canvas!
Blank Canvas is about creating alternative styles of wine from single vineyards using exceptional varieties and unprecedented techniques …and they’re looking pretty sexy too!
Blank Canvas Riesling
91 Points Bob Campbell
17.5/20 Julia Harding MW, jancisrobinson.com
Drawing inspiration from the great Rieslings of Germany, particularly the Mosel valley, this wine features bright, balanced acidity that whets the appetite. It brims with flavours of old-fashioned lemonade, lime and honeysuckle and is completed by a zesty, satisfyingly long finish. There is a flush of sweetness on the front palate, but its acidity ensures it finishes dry. Its low alcohol level (9% abv) means it is an excellent low-calorie wine option, and a perfect choice to accompany lunch or as a pre-dinner enrichment.
Blank Canvas Gruner Veltliner
94 Points Bob Campbell
91 Points Christine Guilbert, Decanter Magazine
17/20 Julia Harding MW, jancisrobinson.com
A wine of wonderful, pure aromatics this Gruner exemplifies classic notes of mandarin and ripe peach with an underlying trace of white pepper. The oak featuring in the wine is only obvious if you are told about it – it is there to provide richness and weight to the mid-palate, which is why we chose large French oak puncheons to do the job. A model vintage in Marlborough provided warm sunny days and cool nights which enabled all-important retention of acidity and ripeness of fruit. The result is a well-structured, luscious rendition of an Austrian classic.
Blank Canvas Syrah
95 Points Bob Campbell
18/20 Julia Harding MW, jancisrobinson.com
Rich, powerful and brooding, the Blank Canvas Syrah is a world first for its inclusion of a unique co-fermentation partner, Gruner Veltliner. This marriage of varieties gives this wine a panoply of ripe fruit characters – black and red plum, boysenberry, alongside savoury notes, particularly bacon. It also gives this wine an incredible spectrum of spice: the black pepper and juniper of Syrah, and the white pepper notes of Gruner Veltliner. It has a velvet-like texture, fine tannins and acidity that only a cool-climate can deliver. It is incredibly dense and dark, yet hauntingly perfumed and elegant.
Blank Canvas Pinot Noir
96 Points Bob Campbell
18.5/20 Julia Harding MW, jancisrobinson.com
This wine evokes emotive language. Aromas of bright raspberry, red cherry, and delicate violet intertwine with seductive savoury characters. It possesses the silky Pinot Noir texture that is so often strived for, and has a structure that is likened to the Old World with big but elegant tannins set amongst a balanced backbone of acidity. This wine is one that will get more intriguing and complex with cellaring, assisted by the whole bunch fermentation that took place. It has years of evolution ahead of it.
…and if that doesn’t pull you in, Julia Harding’s last word was “This has to be the best Marlborough Pinot I have tasted”