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The wines of Kim Crawford, New Zealand

UK agent: Liberty Wines (tel 020 7720 5350, e-mail david@libertywines.co.uk)

Celebrated New Zealand winemaker Kim Crawford launched his own range in 1996. Grapes are brought in from various regions. Quality is solid: these are very good commercial wines that just fall a little short of being truly exciting. I liked the deliciously vivid red wines best.

Pinot Gris Boyszone Vineyard 2001 Marlborough
35% is barrel-fermented in American oak. Rich, spicy, fruity nose is fresh and youthful. Rich textured, spicy palate finishes dry. Good concentration and may develop nicely, but at the moment this is just a little too youthful. Very good

Dry Riesling 2001 Marlborough
Pure, limey/floral nose. Fresh dry concentrated palate with intense citrussy fruit. This is a very fresh style, currently youthful and may develop. Very good

Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Marlborough
Served too cold. Very pure grassy gooseberry character. A fresh style with good intensity and concentration. Very good+

Unoaked Chardonnay 2001, Marlborough
Crisp nose displays bright fruit with intense, citrussy fruit and a boiled sweets edge. Fresh, slightly spicy palate with some richness to the fruit. Richly textured, there is some interest here. Very good

Wicken Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2000 Hawkes Bay
Aged in new American oak barrels. Vivid purple colour. There’s a chocolatey richness to the very ripe, almost jammy berry fruit. The accessible palate shows a great concentration of juicy, ripe sweet fruit. Striking stuff. Very good/excellent

Te Awanga Merlot 2000, Hawkes Bay
Machine harvested at night, this is aged in new American oak barrels. Deep purple black colour. Wonderful nose of bright, ripe menthol-edged berry and blackcurrant fruit. The palate is concentrated with juicy ripe fruit on the palate. Extremely rich, this is very vivid with the oak balancing the fruit well. Very good/excellent

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