He might have been born in the UK and he might carry an Australian passport, but Kevin Judd of Greywacke (pron: grey-wacky) is a Kiwi through and through. Nobody grasps Marlborough better than he does, be it understanding the nuances of landscape and light as an award-winning photographer or the vagaries of climate and terroir as an award-winning wine-maker.
Judd’s a New Zealand legend — wise, passionate, dry, thoughtful and focused. And my goodness he’s laconic, famously so. Having interviewed him a couple of times, I can confirm he’s not someone to use a dozen words when one or even none will do. But what he does say (or doesn’t) is said (or isn’t) with a teasing, knowing look in his eye. And besides, I reckon his remarkable wines (and his stunning snaps) really say it all for him.
Kevin Judd made his name, of course, at Cloudy Bay, having been talent–spotted by the great Aussie winemaker Dave Hohnen. He helped Hohnen set up Cloudy Bay and stayed there as head winemaker for 25 years, until (I suspect) the corporate hand of its current owner, the luxury goods group LVMH, got too much for him.
In 2009 Judd went back to the beginning and founded his own label, Greywacke, named after the muddy grey sandstone rock that’s prevalent across New Zealand. He borrows the facilities and a spare corner at Dog Point winery, owned by his former Cloudy Bay colleagues Ivan Sutherland and James Healy, and makes the sort of wines I just love.
This excellent, very generously discounted offer from The Wine Company showcases almost the entire Greywacke range. There are two Sauvignon Blancs — one wild-fermented, full of peaches, herbs and spice, the other citrus-crisp and refreshing; there’s a creamy, textured Chardonnay; a plump, silky, aromatic Pinot Gris; a gloriously tropical Riesling and a stunningly complex Pinot Noir, full of plums, cloves, chocolate and spice.
I can’t recommend these wines highly enough. I know them well and love them and reckon they make a perfect snapshot, if you’ll pardon the pun, of what both Kevin Judd and Marlborough can produce.
Delivery as ever is free, there is a sample case containing two each of the non-house bottles.
Prices include VAT and delivery on the British mainland. Payment should be made either by cheque with the order, payable to the wine merchant, or by debit or credit card, details of which may be telephoned or faxed.
View all the wine offers here