Kim Crawford Wines was established in late 1996, when Kim launched a range made from fruit grown in the South Island. Kim sold the company to Constellation in 2005 and has since handed the winemaking reins over to the Constellation winemaking team. Despite Kim no longer being involved with these wines, the current winemakers continue the classic Kim Crawford philosophy and style. Control over grape supply has always been essential for Kim Crawford Wines and they now have the largest vineyard resource in Marlborough of any wine company, across the greatest breadth of sub-regions, ensuring consistent quality and style. For that consistency, and success over the past 20 years, Wine Enthusiast magazine USA recognised Kim Crawford as their “New World Winery of the Year 2016”.
Kim Crawford have access to probably the widest selection of Marlborough vineyards, for blending their distinctive, award-winning Sauvignon Blanc. 120 wines are included in the blend, from all over Marlborough. In 2017 the makeup was approximately 70% Wairau/Waihopai, 30% Awatere/Blind River. Their new Merrifields vineyards in Blind River were a significant contributor to the blend, confirming Blind River’s growing reputation as “Rapaura in the south”.
2017 was a challenging vintage for wine growers as conditions were wetter and cooler than usual. This reduced yields by approximately 9% compared to 2016. It also pushed harvest dates back for all varieties. The final wines were more restrained on the nose and the palate but still display distinctive varietal characteristics, as well as a strong sense of place.
The grapes were gently pressed upon arrival at the winery. Each block was fermented individually at controlled temperatures to capture the characteristics of each vineyard parcel. Fruit from the Wairau Valley, provided the classic passion fruit and grapefruit aromas. The remaining grapes from the Awatere Valley, contributed to the lemon, lime and fresh herbal notes. The wine is bottled under screwcap to ensure the freshness of the Sauvignon Blanc is retained.
Tropical fruit, lifted citrus notes and crushed herbs dominate the nose of the 2017 vintage. The wine has juicy acidity, with plenty of palate weight and length. Ripe, tropical fruit flavours of passion fruit, melon and grapefruit linger on the persistent finish.