By Kori ~ January 19th, 2009.
Kim Crawford Wines, located in New Zealand, was founded in 1996 by owner/winemaker Kim Crawford and his wife Erica. In the beginning, Kim Crawford Wines was one of New Zealandâ€™s first â€œvirtual wineries.â€ They sourced their grapes from growers across New Zealand, made the wine at other wineries, and managed their sales and marketing from their home in Auckland. In 1998, they began exporting some of their wine to the United States, Canada, and Australia. The Crawfords opened a cellar door (tasting room) facility in Te Awanga in Hawkeâ€™s Bay in 1999. Then they opened a state of the art winery and purchased vineyard land in Marlborough in early 2000. Kim Crawford Wines is now part of Constellation Brands.
Regular readers know that we are big fans of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, the countryâ€™s flagship wine. And Kim Crawford Wines makes one of our favorite New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. In fact, Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc has been Momâ€™s (LaGayle) favorite wine, period, since we visited New Zealand in 2005. The most amazing thing about Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc is its amazing consistency from vintage to vintage. Itâ€™s crisp acidity and refreshing grapefruit flavors are especially pleasing to our palates. Their 2006 vintage won one of our monthly wine tasting dinners as well as several private tastings. Their 2007 and 2008 vintages are also outstanding; we recently rated the 2008 as 4.5-star quality during the New Zealand Wine New Release Tasting at the Wine Bloggers Conference in October.
Regular readers also know that Pinot Noir has not historically been one of our favorite varietals. We had heard good things about New Zealand Pinot Noir and tried a few of them at the Conference but were disappointed that we didnâ€™t discover any new favorites. However, we decided to give New Zealand Pinot Noir another chance when we received a bottle of 2007 Kim Crawford Pinot Noir as a sample, and Iâ€™m sure glad we did. This wine is excellent, and with a suggested retail price of $17, it is a steal for a Pinot Noir.
â€œWith every wine I make, I aim to let the natural flavour of the grape flow through into the final product. New Zealand grapes benefit from a natural fruitiness. My role as winemaker is to make sure that this succulence and richness is abundantly present in the wine you pour from the bottle.â€ â€“Kim Crawford, owner/winemaker
In the United States, Kim Crawford Wines are marketed by Icon Estates and are available at many wine shops, grocery stores, and restaurants across the country. If you see a Kim Crawford wine on the shelf at your local store, I highly encourage you to give it a try. I expect that youâ€™ll find it pleasing to your palate and easy on your pocketbook.
2007 Kim Crawford Pinot Noir (Marlborough, New Zealand): Clear, ruby red. Very aromatic with lots of bright strawberry and cherry aromas. Raspberry popsicle and a hint of black tea come through on the palate. Smooth and fairly well-balanced with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $17; Available elsewhere, $15 to $22
Filed under: Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, New Zealand Wine, Pinot Noir, Red Wine, Sauvignon Blanc, Spotlight On, White Wine, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25