Blank Canvas – the art of making great wine

Matt Thomson of Blank Canvas Wines. (Photo: KO Wine Consultants)

Matt Thomson and Sophie Parker-Thomson make a great team. As a flying winemaker, Matt has crammed more than 40 vintages in a little over 20 years of winemaking around the globe. As well as accumulating masses of air points he’s gained experience and insight, helping him to get the best out of his own label. Sophie completed her WSET diploma in 2014 and sat her Master of Wine exam this year. By helping Matt in the winemaking and managing export and marketing sales, she is able to view the wine trade from a practical as well as an academic perspective.

The 2018 Blank Canvas Riesling is a remarkable wine from the Awatere Valley.

I tasted five new release Blank Canvas wines and was impressed by every label.

The 2018 Blank Canvas Riesling is a remarkable wine from the Awatere Valley. A moderate amount of residual sugar (23g/l) builds delicious tension with knife-edged acidity to give a wine that to my taste appeared medium-dry. (NZD $28)

Blank Canvas’ 2018 Sauvignon Blanc is one of the first examples of the variety I’ve tasted from this challenging vintage. It’s a delicious wine with pronounced oyster shell and mineral characters. (NZD $26)

My favourite wine was 2015 Blank Canvas Grüner Veltliner, a richly-textured example of the variety after 10 months in oak puncheons with the yeast lees. Local GV doesn’t get much better than this. (NZD $28)

The 2015 Blank Canvas Pinot Noir was a hard act to follow, but a shift in grape source necessitated a shift in style. The 2016 Blank Canvas Pinot Noir is from an elevated vineyard in the Awatere Valley, with a high percentage of whole bunches in fermentation adding a sappy complexity to the wine. (NZD $45)

Finally, the 2017 Blank Canvas Meta Riesling (375ml) is a botrytis-affected dessert wine that’s concentrated and complex without being excessively sweet and luscious thanks to knife-edged acidity. (NZD $49)

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