The grapes to produce the Chardonnay “Reed” Marlborough Blank Canvas were harvested by hand. Once at the winery, they were gently whole-bunch pressed with the very cloudy free-run juice going to a combination of new and seasoned 500L French oak puncheons. The juice was left to go through wild fermentation, without the addition of sulphur dioxide or lees stirring throughout the maturation period. Natural malolactic formation took place in the spring. The wine was then carefully racked and bottled on 17th March 2021, without fining or filtration.
The Reed vineyard is home to growers Pete and Anne Reed. Situated at the mouth of the Waihopai Valley, they first planted vines on their land in 2001. The vineyard is planted with 100% Clone 95 Chardonnay, a Burgundian clone that Matt Thomson thinks is ideally suited to Marlborough, which has been top-grafted onto ancient Gewurztraminer vines, so while the top grafting is young, the vine roots go deep. Matt particularly likes this clone for its intense flavour, modest sugar levels and aromatic complexity.
Blank Canvas is the vinous studio of award-winning international winemaking consultant Matt Thomson and Master of Wine Sophie Parker-Thomson. With over 40 years of collective experience in the global wine industry, they produce small batch fine wines from exceptional single vineyard sites throughout New Zealand under their art-meets-science project. Matt has worked over fifty vintages in numerous wine regions around the world and has worked with David Gleave since 1994. Sophie has been travelling to Europe and working with Matt since 2011, leaving her career in law behind her. This international experience is the founding inspiration for this husband-and-wife team.