Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kim Crawford Selection: 6 Tasted of 6

Changing Pastures
The following is a selection of wines from the Kim Crawford Winery, a craft winery visited in 2003. The co-founder,  Kim Crawford, sold to Vincor before leaving in 2008. The winery now belongs to Constellation Corporation. 

Cheers, Ww

THE LINEUP - grouped by reds then whites:
  • Kim Crawford SP ‘Rise-and-Shine Creek’ Pinot Noir 2007,  89  --  V, Central Otago, NZ, #035337 $29.95
  • Kim Crawford Pinot Noir 2008, 80  --  V, Marlborough, NZ, #626390  $19.95

  • Kim Crawford Dry Riesling 2007,  89-1  --  V,  Marlborough, NZ, #626408 $19.95 
  • Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2010, 84  --  V, Marlborough, NZ, #035386  $18.95
  • Kim Crawford Pinot Gris 2009, 81  --  V, Marlborough, NZ, #680983  $19.95 
  • Kim Crawford SP ‘Moteo Vineyard’ Viognier 2008, 80 --  V, Hawke’s Bay, NZ, #191759 $25.95
(G - General Listing, V - Vintages, r-v - Rating-Value)

KIM CRAWFORD DRY RIESLING 2007, Marlborough, NZ, 12.5% XD, #626408 $19.95  (Tasted February 28, 2011)  CS

A Vintages release on October 2, 2010 rated 90 by Natalie MacLean and described (August 29, 2009) as “Bone-dry Riesling that's simply delicious! …  Aromas of white peach, lime, lemongrass and sunny days running through a field of white flowers. Medium-bodied and zesty.”  My notes: A straw blond colour and a nose of Granny Smith apple, lemon and I’m imagining petrol in there somewhere. A thin film recedes slowly leaving a lacy rim. The first taste confirms a light approach, a dryness and lemon/lime flavours blended with a suspicion of pear. The finish is moderate ending dry and tangy. There’s a subtle roundness that starts with the first sip and runs through the finish. Texture combined with delicate fruitiness gives interest as a sipper. Have with mild seafoods. Cellaring for a few more years should be interesting - I believe it could develop over two.  89
KIM CRAWFORD SAUVIGNON BLANC 2010, Marlborough, NZ, 13.5% XD, #035386  $18.95  (Tasted February 18, 2011)  CS

A Vintages release on May 15, 2010 described anonymously (undated) as “Vintage after vintage, the world-renowned Kim Crawford displays his winemaking prowess with Sauvignon Blanc. The 2007 and 2008 vintages each received 91 points from Wine Spectator! This lively wine exhibits aromas such as gooseberry, passion fruit, grass, nettle, mineral, and citrus. Tantalizing with steamed mussels or warm chicken salad.”  My notes: What is not said is that Kim Crawford founder and master winemaker left the winery in 2008 and, coincidentally, the string of Gold medals on the label ends in 2008. This is the fifth vintage tasted the first at the winery in early 2003. The 2010 is blond with a suspicion of green, tiny bubbles on the side of the glass and an aroma of delicate ripe gooseberry. Leaves a thin film with fast tears and the first sip has a herbaceous aspect to light flavours of citrus, nettles and gooseberry - without the silkiness of the 2009 tasted February 2010 (94). Quickly loses the initial timbre ending extra dry with citrus and chalk. Light-bodied needing repeated quaffs to retain peak interest as a sipper. Think bearded mussels to stay in context or scallops seared in butter on noodles.  A drink now and not likely to cellar long.  84
KIM CRAWFORD PINOT NOIR 2008, Marlborough, NZ, 13.5% D, #626390  $19.95  (Tasted February 18, 2011) CS


.A Vintages release on May 15, 2010 described anonymously (undated) as “Whatever Kim Crawford touches seems to turn to gold, so it is not surprising that he crafts exceptional Pinot Noir from his Marlborough vineyards. Featuring classic aromas of black cherry, raspberry and a touch of beetroot, this Pinot is forwardly fruity with a nice core of acid and a hint of tannin to bring balance… ”  My notes: Starting in June 2006 this is the fourth vintage tasted with mediocre results: 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008.  Lacking nose, flavour and body the colour however is an attractive, brilliant see-through red cherry colour.  A swirl leaves a thin film with fast tears on the bowl and the nose is a just perceptible smoky black cherry with raspberry overtones. Smooth, lightly flavoured raspberry, moderate tannins and a light acid peak then wane quickly leaving a cherry skin sweetness on the palate. Perhaps from young vines - a party sipper that's difficult to meal match. Easily quaffed this may be a beverage for a social setting.  80

KIM CRAWFORD SP ‘MOTEO VINEYARD’ VIOGNIER 2008, Hawke’s Bay, NZ, 14.0% XD, #191759  $25.95  (Tasted February 18, 2011)  CS
A Vintages release on January 8, 2011 described by the Panel (Jan. 2010) as “... This Viognier sports a fresh floral nose, with notes of ripe apricot, melon and citrus. The palate is velvety-textured and finely balanced, leading to a nice long finish.”  My notes: SP stands for Small Parcel.  A just perceptible hint of wild floral and a golden blond colour starts the sniff & sight test. A thin film with a few tears flow down leaving a lacy rim. Medium-bodied, a citrus tartness, smooth with flavours of mandarin orange zest and unripe melon. The finish, more zest and acid than fruit, picks up an acid seam to carry awkward flavours to a mineral end. An atypical Viognier having less floral and meagre fruit but a nice fullness - an acquired taste for a sipper (that my BH enjoyed). Have with seafood or braised chicken breast dishes. Not for cellaring. 80

KIM CRAWFORD PINOT GRIS 2009, Marlborough, NZ, 14.0% D, #680983  $19.95  (Tasted February 25, 2011)  CS
A Vintages release on July 10, 2010 described by the Panel (May 2010) as “Apricot, floral, melon, grapefruit and tropical fruit aromas dominate this just-off-dry Alsatian-style Pinot Gris. Fresh acidity brings a touch of dryness to this pretty wine… “  My notes: Tasted this along with Joseph Cattin Alsace Pinot Gris 2008 ( #196956 $18.95). The Kim Crawford has a clean mid golden colour with aromas of sweet apricot and a whiff of raisins. Tart acids offer brightness and a sweetness adds roundness to the first sip. A lemon pith flavour combines with a straw dryness that gradually predominates a long finish. For a short while this has interest as a sipper - better to match with seared scallops, roast chicken or battered halibut and chips. Cellaring is not likely to improve this Alsatian taste-alike.  81
KIM CRAWFORD SP ‘RISE-AND-SHINE CREEK’ PINOT NOIR 2007, Central Otago, NZ, 14.0% XD, #035337  $29.95  (Tasted February 20, 2011)  CS

A Vintages release on December 11, 2010 rated 89 and described (April 30, 2010)  by Harvey Steimann as “Light in texture, with crisp juicy acidity to balance the refreshing raspberry and blackberry flavors, a floral note hovering over it all. Lingers well… “ My notes:  A dense black cherry skin colour with a combined aroma of crushed raspberry and blackberry, spicy, warm and inviting, delicate. A thin film with many long, fast, stained legs - pronounced tannins and an enticing bite - smooth, full of dark berry flavours that continue into a long, warm, dry finish. Medium-bodied with a brooding character wanting to express depth but it’s not quite there. An interesting sipper not for the party crowd. Went well with grilled swordfish and mushroom caps. Cellaring for a short period, two to three years, is possible.  89

No comments: