- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, 2004, $17

Year after year, Kim Crawford makes one of New Zealand’s and the world’s finest sauvignon blancs. Displaying classic varietal character, his wine tastes vibrant and vivacious. An ideal partner with fresh seafood, it demonstrates why wines from Marlborough on New Zealand’s South Island have become international benchmarks with this grape.

When not masked by wood or muted by over-cropping, good sauvignon blanc seems bracing, with primary flavors resembling green berries and secondary ones echoing fresh chives and other herbs. Freshness constitutes its great virtue, so it almost always should be drunk young.

Wines from Marlborough exemplify this style. Though they lack the whiff of minerality characteristic of the finest Sancerres and Pouilly-Fumes, they more than make up for it with their purity of expression.

Mr. Crawford selects grapes from various low-yielding vineyards throughout Marlborough, and his 2004, harvested just last spring, tastes truly harmonious. It will be especially delicious if paired with oysters, shrimp or other shellfish.

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