Kim Crawford: 2012 Sauvignon Blanc and 2011 Pinot Noir

By Kori ~ April 3rd, 2013.

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 Zealand’s first “virtual wineries.” 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 Hawke’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.

Since we visited New Zealand in 2005, we have followed Kim Crawford Wines closely. Recently, we had the opportunity to taste their 2012 Sauvignon Blanc and 2011 Pinot Noir in a blind samples tasting. Both wines are very good and deliver serious bang for your buck.

Regular readers know that we are big fans of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, the country’s flagship wine. And Kim Crawford Wines makes one of our favorite New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. The most amazing thing about Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc is its remarkable consistency from vintage to vintage. It’s crisp acidity and refreshing grapefruit flavors are especially pleasing to our palates.

Pinot Noir is a finicky grape that will not grow just anywhere. New Zealand is one of the few places in the world where it does remarkably well. Pinot Noir is the number two most planted variety in New Zealand, after Sauvignon Blanc. The country’s temperate, maritime climate provides ideal conditions for growing Pinot Noir. In my opinion, New Zealand Pinot Noir has found its niche in style somewhere between the elegance of Burgundy and the sometimes-intense herbal and gamey notes of Oregon Pinot Noir.

2012 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand): Pale, greenish straw yellow. Very aromatic with grapefruit, lime, and grass on the nose. More grapefruit, lime, and grass as well as lemon zest come through on the palate. Dry and light to medium-bodied with very crisp acidity. Well-balanced and refreshing with a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $14.99; Available elsewhere, $11 to $18

2011 Kim Crawford Pinot Noir (Marlborough, New Zealand): Deep ruby red in color. Nice nose with strawberry, raspberry, and cinnamon aromas. Bright red fruit and spice come through on the palate. Medium-bodied with crisp acidity, smooth tannins, and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $17.99; Available elsewhere, $14 to $20

Filed under: Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, New Zealand Wine, Pinot Noir, Red Wine, Sauvignon Blanc, White Wine, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

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