Gerry Gunnigan writes...
It was a pleasure to welcome Kevin and Kimberley Judd, along with their son Alex, back to Ireland today. They were in Dublin to present Five Wild Years, a vertical tasting of five vintages of Greywacke Wild Sauvignon, from 2009 to the current release, 2013. The tasting took place at Drury Buildings in Drury Street.
Kevin explained the thinking behind the concept of Wild Sauvignon and his history of experimenting with wild fermentation during his time as winemaking supremo at Cloudy Bay. Wild fermentation basically involves allowing the natural yeasts on the grape skins and in the atmosphere to ferment fresh Sauvignon grape juice, rather than inoculating the must with cultured yeast. The fermentation is a longer, slower process, taking up to a year to fully ferment out to dryness. As a result, the wine is much fuller and complex than a regular Marlborough Sauvignon, and has much greater ageing capability.
Of all the wines we tasted today, the pick of the bunch for me was the 2010, which still had lovely freshness, but was ripe and full through the palate. We tasted the 2013 alongside the 2009 later in the day with some of the managers and staff in O‘Briens, and all were astonished at how well the six-year-old wine was not just holding up, but actually expressing itself.
All in all, Wild Sauvignon is a very unique take on an established style of wine, Marlborough Sauvignon.
Irish Times writer John Wilson was also present at the tasting and wrote up his notes on the event here