Pale, pale gold color; floral nose includes honeysuckle, peach, pear; pear, citrus, melon, white peach on the palate.
Elegant, sleek, zesty acidity (3.44 pH), honey and spice emerge on the lingering finish; nice weight, slightly oily texture in the mouth (a plus in pinot gris), excellent intensity of fruit.
Made in Alsatian style. About one-third of the juice is aged in large-format acacia wood barrels and left on the yeast lees for six months, producing floral, honeysuckle, and pear notes on the nose, along with depth and complexity on the palate. Hint of sweetness, delicious, rich. This is continued proof pinot gris/pinot grigio does extremely well in Australia’s dryness and heat. The carefully selected parcels in the Awatere Valley for this premium offering also benefit from cooling Antarctic winds that help bring out acidity. This is Kim Crawford’s top-shelf pinot gris taken from their best parcels managed to generate lower yields and concentrate fruit flavors. Their Small Parcels wines are only made in top vintage years.
Followers of my wine writing know of my admiration of Kim Crawford, now a Constellation Brands product, but started in 1996 by a real person named Kim Crawford. First known for superb sauvignon blanc—six years after the founding Kim’s sauv blanc made Wine Spectator’s Top 100 wines in the world list and has repeated several times since. Their Marlborough sauv blanc has earned 90-plus rating from Wine Spectator seven times in a row and counting. It is the best-selling premium New Zealand brand in America.
Kim Crawford was among the first wine makers to move to screw caps because they believe it keeps their wine fresher and preserves vivid purity of the fruit. To their enduring credit, they also avoided the oak monster, butter-bomb fad. Consistent value-for-price winners.
This is delightful, serious, delicious, complex pinot gris. High-end price for the varietal and worth it. $25-28
Second photo: Kim Crawford vineyard