Kim Crawford South Island, New Zealand Pinot Noir 2014

Mid-red color; cherry, red and black fruits, whiff of oak on the nose; blackberry, dark cherry, raspberry, strawberry, nice fruitiness on the palate;

smooth, easy tannins, balancing acidity (3.51 pH), subtle oak and spice. Pinot Noir is the only Kim Crawford wine that sees oak, and even here the use is restrained to allow the fruit to take center stage.

Easy drinker at nice price for this quality of pinot—no surprise, this is a Kim Crawford wine. Kim Crawford is part of Constellation Brands, the New York Finger Lakes winemakers who expanded to become the world’s largest makers of wine. To their enduring credit, Constellation typically does not screw things up after an acquisition. The brand began in 1996 when Kim and Erica Crawford turned a passionate dream into a world-recognized reality from a spare room in their home in Central Auckland. In two years, they were exporting to the United States. In four years, they had built a state-of-the-art winery in Marlborough. In six years, their sauv blanc made Wine Spectator’s Top 100 List; they appeared again in 2005, 2006, 2008. KC’s various pinot noirs are now tracing the same path—well made, beautifully priced.

This is labeled “South Island,” which indicates some of the grapes came from outside Marlborough Province, New Zealand’s pinot sweet spot. Kim Crawford aspires to consistency, so this was made from parcels throughout the South Island. Kim Crawford is the #1 New Zealand wine in the United States. They clearly are doing things right, as taste of this will attest. $17

Kim Crawford website
Second photo: Soil from Kim Crawford vineyard.
Kim Crawford South Island, New Zealand Pinot Noir 2014
Kim Crawford soil