Blank Canvas delivers impressive treats

Blank Canvas deliver a trio of impressive reds. Sip NZ

Three impressive, if unconventional, styles from husband and wife team Matt Thomson and Sophie Parker-Thomson. Their motto reads,

Blank Canvas is about pushing boundaries, taking risks and using creative license to create wines that are different, distinctive and sincere.”

That’s exactly what they appear to deliver in the trio of impressive reds reviewed here.

The Blank Canvas Upton Downs Pinot Noir is an appealing and distinctive wine that successfully balances fruit sweetness against a sinewy texture.

Any risks taken are mitigated by their extensive international experience in winemaking over many years. All of the wines have been made using varying degrees of whole-bunch fermentation, they are unfiltered and the syrah is co-fermented with grüner veltliner.

The Blank Canvas Upton Downs Pinot Noir 2017 from Marlborough is 100% clone 777, 40% whole-cluster, unfiltered wine from the Upper Awatere valley. It’s a delicately perfumed pinot noir with floral, rose petal, violet, cherry and subtle savoury and crushed herb characters. An appealing and distinctive wine that successfully balances fruit sweetness against a sinewy texture. Approachable now but should age very well. (NZD $49)

Blank Canvas’ Escaroth Pinot Noir 2017, also from Marlborough, is from a dry-farmed, north-facing slope in the Southern Valleys, 50% whole-clusters. A delicious pinot noir with violet, wildflowers, sweet dark cherry, raspberry and spicy oak flavours. An ethereal, silken texture is even more impressive than the wines appealing and complex aromatics. Dangerously accessible now. (NZD $49)

Finally, the Blank Canvas Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2017 from Hawke’s Bay – wild yeast fermentation with 60% whole-cluster and co-fermented with 7% grüner veltliner. An intriguing syrah with sweet fruit restrained by grainy, drying tannins. Quite an edgy wine with floral, violet, pepper, blackberry and raspberry flavours. A little closed right now but with promising potential. (NZD $49)


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