Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc


Blank Canvas

Matt Thomson is a busy winemaker. He has worked over forty vintages in...

numerous wine regions around the world, and has worked with David Gleave MW since 1994. He is involved with many of the wines in our portfolio, primarily as a consultant. “Now is the time to launch my own wines,” he says. “Blank Canvas represents my story as a winemaker. It is an endeavour that is entirely my own expression of winemaking, is from my own funding, and is exclusively my risk.” The ‘Blank Canvas’ is the vineyard and the variety, the winery the brush and palette (no pun intended) at the winemaker’s disposal, all the while defined by the scientific grounding Matt laid at university and has built upon over the past 23 years. His aim is to break some rules with the Blank Canvas wines, but in order to break the rules, he feels, you need to know them. This is what sets the Blank Canvas wines apart.

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The fruit comes from a single vineyard in the Dillons Point subregion located on the coastal fringe of the Wairau Valley. This vineyard belongs to the Holdaway family who have been farming in Marlborough for generations. They practice sustainable viticulture with such things as their own compost and mulching preparations to maintain organic matter in the soil. The soils are fertile and deep but well-drained, with plenty of mineral nutrients which is perfect for nutrient hungry Sauvignon. The vineyard is VSP-trained and cane-pruned.

Vintage Information

2017 was unprecedented in Marlborough, being hit by not one but two tropical cyclones during the peak of harvest. Cyclone Debbie lashed her fury on the region on the 2nd April and Blank Canvas opportunely picked on the evening of 1st! So the fruit was safely tucked into the winery before daylight. Storms aside the weather leading up to harvest was very favourable and the flavours exceptional. Because of the rains and cloudy skies, ripening slowed and a carefully judged yield was crucial to obtain the desired level of ripeness.


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 7th June 2017.

Tasting Notes

A classic expression of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, offering 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 lemongrass. This wine is focused and explosive on both nose and palate yet remains elegantly balanced and distinctly salty.

Vintage Information

Vintage 2017
Grape varieties 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Region Marlborough
Winemaker Matt Thomson
Alcohol (ABV) 13%
Acidity 7.1g/l
Residual Sugar 1.3g/l
Wine pH 3.2