WHAT: This is a delightful expression of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc from an area that hasn’t gotten much attention. About 80 percent of New Zealand’s great wines are grown in Marlborough, but Craggy Range is in Martinborough.
Located at the southern tip of the country’s North Island, the area is just 90 minutes from the capital city, Wellington. Only about 1 percent of New Zealand’s wines come from Martinborough.
The wine is a gorgeous deep yellow in the glass, with an intense aroma filled with peach and citrus. It has classic New Zealand flavors of lime and grapefruit, with a smooth finish and some minerality. Nice acidity gives the wine structure and makes it a good food wine.
Teri and I had this wine with her sister and brother-in-law, Mary Jo and Russ. They live in Virginia and appreciate fine wines. Both loved this wine.
“It has a nice finish,” said Mary Jo, “well-balanced and not too sharp.”
“There’s a pleasant grassy taste with a nice, lingering aftertaste,” said Russ, who belongs to a group called the Men’s Wine Corps.
The grapes come from several parcels in an area of limestone-influenced soil along the Huangarua River. Intervention in the cellar is kept to a minimum, with fermentation in French oak barriques and stainless steel tanks.
WINERY: Craggy Range is a family-owned winery specializing in the production of expressive single vineyard wines. They produce wine in two separate locations in the Martinborough region. Their Martinborough vineyard is at Te Muna, which means “secret place.”
Their wines include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, a Bordeaux blend and a Riesling dessert wine.
GOES WITH: We tasted this wine with cheese and nuts as an aperitif before dinner, and we all loved it. The wine was refreshing, with the acidity cleaning our palates nicely before the main course.
I also think it would be great with seafood, especially something like shrimp or scallops in a rich cream sauce. Serve this wine slightly chilled.