2018 Blank Canvas Element Vineyard Syrah

Highly Rated
Blank Canvas |Hawkes Bay |Shiraz
An incredible expression of Hawkes Bay Syrah from the Gimblett Gravels sub-region.

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This wine has received rave critical acclaim in New Zealand, featuring in the Top Five New Zealand Syrah's Over $35 from Business Desk, named as the Top Syrah New Zealand & Australia in WANDS Blind Panel Tasting and rated in the Top Three NZ Syrah by Decanter Tasting Panel.

It's a beautifully seductive wine, filled with dark forest fruits and impeccable spice. Blank Canvas winemaker Matt Thomson coaxes every little nuance out of this great Gimblett Gravels site.

Supple and smooth enough to enjoy now but certainly something that will develop with bottle age, this is incredibly impressive.

"Stylish and dense, with more complexity surely in store."
- Richard Hemming MW (Jancis Robinson)

"A generously proportioned wine with an appealingly supple texture. Should age well"
- 96 pts, Bob Campbell MW (The Real Review)

Single Vineyard: Element Vineyard
Subregion: Gimblett Gravels
Region: Hawke's Bay
Vintage: 2018
Soil Type: Free-draining gravel bed soils which have lenses of sand, silt and clay at various depths.
Clone: Chave, Mass Selection and Stonecroft
Viticulture: NZ Sustainable certified and herbicide free
Growers: Dominic and Rachelle Smith

Winemaker's Notes:
In the true expression of cool-climate Syrah, this wine exudes freshly cracked black pepper, crushed violets, red and black forest fruits and savoury smoky nuances. It has crunchy lifted acidity which carries the defined, fine-grain tannins and background of spicy, savoury oak.

This wine is about fragrance and texture, which is assisted by our pioneering co-fermentation technique with a small proportion of Gruner Veltliner skins as well as whole-cluster fermentation. The co-fermentation gives a white pepper spice quality to the flavour spectrum and intensifies and stabilises the brilliant purple hue of Syrah. The result is layers of complexity in flavour and tannins which will allow an intriguing long-term ageing potential.

18 Points - "Deepest crimson. Wildly peppery aroma with the fabulous perfume that I associate with the northern Rhône, all stony dark fruit and peonies. Just very slightly and attractively reductive, as top-notch Syrah tends to be. This is stunning: the best Blank Canvas Syrah I have tasted and likely to age well into serious complexity. It is deep but not at all sweet-fruited, dark-fruited, savoury, tarry, complex and has immense length. Just shows how well Syrah is suited to this region of NZ." Julia Harding MW | JancisRobinson.com 27/01/22

96 Points - Outstanding "This is a single vineyard expression of Syrah, 60% whole cluster and co-fermented with a small portion of Gruner Veltliner skins. Matured for 14 months in new and seasoned French oak.The resulting wine showcases aromas of spices and black fruits, crushed black currant berries and raspberry, violets, clove and toasty barrel scents. A complex and intriguing bouquet, quite powerful and very youthful. On the palate - delicious! Flavours of black fruits and currants, wild berries and spices from barrel and fruit, licorice and clove, some meat moments, pepper and iron-like stony soil qualities. Complex, lengthy and still rather youthful. Decant for service if you must, but best left till late 2022 then enjoy through 2030+." Cameron Douglas MS,

96 Points - (Top 3 New Zealand Syrah 2018) 'From the smallest vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels subregion. Co-fermented with 7% grüner veltliner skins for colour stability, complexity of tannin and a spicy, aromatic lift. The wine certainly has a great depth of colour with rich, ripe flavours including Black Doris plum, liquorice, cocoa powder, mocha and a suggestion of violet. A generously proportioned wine with an appealingly supple texture. Should age well' Drink 2021 - 2030 Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review 4/3/2021

17+ Points - "Tasted blind. Potent nose that combines rich red fruit with a reductive flinty note plus loads of peppery fragrance. Powerful on the palate, both in structure and fruit, although there is no excess in evidence, and the finish is refreshing. Stylish and dense, with more complexity surely in store." Drink 2021 - 2028 - Richard Hemming MW for JancisRobinson.com Date tasted 2019-12-19

Top Five New Zealand Syrah's Over $35 - BusinessDesk | Bob Campbell MW (Nov 2021)

Top Syrah New Zealand & Australia - Blind Panel Tasting | WANDS magazine, Jul-Aug 2023

95 Points - Top Three NZ Syrah - Decanter Panel Tasting 'NZ reds other than Pinot Noir' Aug 2023

Blank Canvas

Blank Canvas is the brainchild of Matt Thomson and partner Sophie Parker-Thomson MW, a fascinating, innovative wine industry couple based in Marlborough, New Zealand.

Matt has spent more than 20 years completing two vintages a year (one in each hemisphere) and is an energetic and detail-oriented winemaker. Sophie is more the academic who came to wine via a stop-off in the law profession but has since become one of New Zealand's most respected Masters of Wine.

Together they have amassed a stunning tapestry of single vineyard sites across New Zealand from where they source fruit, including vineyards in Marlborough, Hawke's Bay and Central Otago. They seek out ways to challenge winemaking orthodoxy and are not tied to any one region or style. For Matt and Sophie every region, and every vintage and every single vineyard is a blank canvas on which they can paint.

Matt Thomson and Sophie Parker-Thomson MW Discover Blank Canvas

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