Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2021 Review [Tasted & Rated]
I'll confess with you straight away...
I have something of a penchant for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
The big fresh tropical fruit notes really resonate with me. Wine from this area is uncomplicated and really enjoyable when the acidity is under control.
So did I fall for the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc? Let's find out!
I paid $16 (USD) for this bottle, which is fairly standard. You don't tend to see it for much cheaper than this.
In the realm of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, this price point is middle ground. Maybe slightly on the cheaper side of things.
The standard bearer for this type of wine is Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc which tends to cost about $40 and then you've got good cheaper bottles for around the $10 point like Wairau River.
Kim Crawford is now an iconic international brand. It is New Zealand's biggest exporter of wine to the USA, with the Sauvignon Blanc in particular accounting for a huge chunk of this.
But how is it really? These big brands often flatter to deceive.
It's a pale straw color with a light greenish tint. Fairly typical for a young Sauvignon Blanc wine.
It's upfront with the fresh tropical fruit but not quite as punchy with it as some from these region can be. I wonder if that extra year in the bottle (this is the 2021) has taken some of that freshness away (I'll try the 2022 release and update here accordingly).
Guava, passion fruit, and lychee are all there, encouraging you to drink right away. The green notes that are typical to the grape like cut grass and peas are there too. It's bright, fresh and summery, a very enticing nose.
Pleasingly, there's consistency through the palate. You get what you expect from the nose. Tropical fruit is the theme, with guava and lychee notes. There's also passion fruit, grapefruit and lime giving the citric notes that the grape is famed for.
There's a stone mineral element too that offers a very slight chalky texture.
It's crisp, bright, and fresh, with a mouth watering finish of good length.
Care has been taken to manage that vibrant acidity that can make or break Sauvignon Blanc and the acidity is really well judged here. It tastes ever so slightly sweeter than your average Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and this helps to balance that acidity really well. I should be clear that this is in no way a sweet wine, it is very much dry.
I can't be sure about the 2021 release that I tasted without seeing the relevant technical sheet (it doesn't appear to be available online) but I noticed the 2017 release had 5 g/L of residual sugar.
That's a couple of grams above average for this type of wine so that would fit in with my theory.
So, tying all of this together how would I score the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc?
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is uncomplicated and relatively inexpensive but when those tropical fruit notes and acidity align it's a wonderfully enjoyable wine.
Kim Crawford manages those big punchy components really well and I really enjoyed this wine.
The acidity is kept in line by a tiny bit of extra residual sugar which gives this wine a great balance.
It's slightly more refined than any cheaper Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc I've had and well worth its $16 price tag. It's really good value for money and a definite buy at this price point.
In my eyes, it's well worth an 8 out of 10.
If you're in the mood for more Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc don't miss my review of the similarly priced 2022 Wairau River next!
What was your score? Be sure to let me know down below. I welcome the debate!