Kim Crawford Wild Grace Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay Small Parcels 2014

Light gold-straw color; peach, citrus nose; citrus, melon, pear, some oak, light butter and tincture of toast on the palate.

Fresh, creamy, refined, medium-light body, nice complexity and acidity (3.37 pH), toast and spice on the finish.

Kim Crawford wines focus on flavor and value. Now a Constellation Brands product, the actual Kim Crawford was pioneer in New Zealand winemaking. First known for superb sauvignon blanc—six years after the founding of the winery in 1996 Crawford’s sauv blanc made Wine Spectator’s 100 best wines in the world list—KC also was innovative in bottling, turning to screw caps early because he believed it helped preserve and emphasize the fruit flavors.

This effort spends 10 months in French oak barriques, 26% new, and half of the juice experienced malolactic fermentation. Wild Grace, however, is nowhere near an insufferable oak monster butter bomb. It is refined and complex and sells at the high end of Kim Crawford efforts. The grapes come from small vineyards near Hawke’s Bay on the east coast of the north island of New Zealand. According to Kim Crawford: “Small Parcels are micro-cuvées representing the very best of what New Zealand’s pristine, cool-climate vineyards can produce. They often reflect a specific site, expressing a unique terroir in a special way.” Most of the grapes in this effort come from the Corner 50 vineyard that surrounds the Hawke’s Bay winery. $28-30

Kim Crawford website

Second photo: Kim Crawford vineyard at Hawke’s Bay
Kim Crawford Wild Grace Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2014
Kim Crawford Hawke's Bay vineyard