New Zealand In A Long Black Dress

Review: Craggy Range Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc

Craggy Range is a label US shoppers have reasonably easy access to.  Specializing in single vineyard bottlings, their reputation as a higher-end winery has been building since before the turn of the millennium.  Most of what you'll find on retailers' shelves is Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, though the lucky consumer will occasionally find one of their Pinot Noirs, too.

(Disclosure: these wines were received as press samples.)

2010 Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough Te Muna Road Vineyard $22
Is it possible to retain the zingy zip Kiwi Sauvignon Blancs are known for while shrugging off its astringent bite?  This smooth and refined example is proof that it is.  Bright citrus remains faithful to the NZ style and the clean, focused fruit possesses enough elegance to justify the premium price tag.

2010 Chardonnay Hawkes Bay Kidnappers Vineyard $22
Super-light color of a Bland de Blanc.  Sharp aromatics predict the lean-bodied attack.  Way more Burgundian in style than any stereotypical Chardonnay.  Classy, self-assured.  The lime components of the finish might not appeal to fans of creamy aftertastes, but will win over open-minded consumers in search of a fresh style executed well.