Shades of Greystone

The next winery on our wandering was Greystone (also home to the Muddy Waters label). A boutique style winery where the tasting team is very generous with their serving sizes made everyone very happy in the afternoon sun.

2017 Rose: Based on Pinot Noir, this wine is on the light-side in colour for a Rose, however this is more than made up for with the incredible depth. The nose is a bit weak and is not hugely intense, but the flawless way the wine announces its variety shows just how much of a difficult balancing act this can be. There is some complexity (but not so much that it makes you need to think too much whilst quaffing) and the quietness of the fruit means it is a versatile wine in many regards. The aftertaste is pleasant, but a bit short. $25.90 NZD per bottle.

2017 Sauvignon Blanc: For the second winery in a row, the bouquet of the whites have a distinct level of sweetness and a golden hue which is typical of the late harvest or noble dessert wines, so when this wine poured into the glass with a brilliant golden colour (a lot of Sauvignon Blanc wines are much paler in colour) and amazing depth we were all keen to see what was going to happen. The nose was not as intense as anticipated and didn’t seem to reflect the variety either, despite this the bouquet was medium-full. The palate was quite complex, despite not showing a lot of concentration and the fruit flavours were not dominant, which may explain the less than expected varietal tones in the nose. The finish on this wine was quite excellent, but didn’t quite make up for the issues elsewhere. $29.90 NZD per bottle.

Muddy Water Chardonnay: The grapes for this wine were grown in soil with a higher clay content (hence the name) and then matured in French oak (20% new). Overall though, the acidity of this wine spoiled the show a bit too much, giving a cloudy appearance in the glass. The oak was very evident through the flavours of pears and made for a buttery mouthfeel which some Chardonnay drinkers will appreciate a lot. Not our favourite.

Limestone Chardonnay: The colour of this Chardonnay was more pleasing and the nose was more inviting than the Muddy Water variety. There was quite a bit of creaminess in the mouthfeel, suggesting some use of oak again, but it was difficult to pinpoint relative to the previous wine. This wine has a longer finish than the Muddy Water Chardonnay but the fruit remains hidden to some extent.

2018 Pinot Gris: The colour of this wine was not as good as the Chardonnays (which is possibly to be expected for the variety) but the intensity of the nose was also simply not there. This is a pity as the bouquet of apples and pears so typical of Pinot Gris was beautifully balanced and very inviting; with a bit more force it would have been demanding to be drunk. There is a greater level of complexity in the palate and the fruit is not hidden, but again the finish is short. A good wine with some promise. $29.90 NZD per bottle.

2017 Dry Riesling: This was the best wine we tried at this winery by quite a margin. The colour is a bit light, but the depth is amazing. The nose is very inviting, but still lacking a bit of intensity. A hugely complex palate makes drinking this wine a thoughtful experience that you want to talk about (and we did at some length!). The fruit flavours were seamlessly intertwined throughout the palate which is one of the reasons this wine outscored the others by such a margin. The length was significantly better to finish and the structure was impeccable.

2016 Estate Pinot Noir: For a three year old Pinot, the fact that the colour is such a deep red with no browning evident is a testament to the skills of the winemaker; the depth of colour is almost mesmerising. The nose is almost flawless, only losing out a small amount on intensity. After all this promise, the palate was actually disappointing in the lack of complexity. That said, the flavours did come in layers and some Pinot drinkers will appreciate the distinct fruit flavours which then fade before the strong (even by varietal standards) earthy tones come through in the finish. Drinkers who prefer these flavours to be more integrated may not be so thrilled, so choose accordingly. $45.90 NZD per bottle.

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