One of the funny, ironic tidbits about Kim Crawford wines is that they aren’t produced by or owned by a female like many believe. The winery was founded by a super cool guy named Kim but he sold his eponymous wine brand over ten years ago (read about the history here). Quality suffered for a few years, especially after Winemaker Jules Taylor left in 2008, but current winemaker Anthony Walkenhorst appears firmly back on track with this 2013 Pinot Gris from the cool, green grassy lands of New Zealand.
Sauvignon Blanc is most definitely the darling of these parts, but Pinot Gris (aka Grigio) rises in the east. This oft-watery grape most known as Italy’s Pinot Grigio (identical grape) has grown some backbone when it stakes a claim in the cooler climes. It also helps that the 2013 vintage in New Zealand has been called “the vintage of a lifetime” by many in the business. Whatever the reason, it shows in this bottle.
The Kim Crawford 2013 Pinot Gris offers balanced sweetness and crisp acidity, limestone minerality, Golden Delicious apples, ripe pear, herby chamomile and a lemon-honey finish. Very well made wine — and affordable — that can be enjoyed with food as well as by itself with friends and family.
Sweetness: 2 out of 10
Occasion: Sample sent from winery and enjoyed in a blind tasting by 8 wine professionals
Availability: Grocery stores nationwide
Food pairing: Although Pinot Noir is a favorite with blackened salmon, this Gris would pair nicely; as would Crispy Sea Bass or antipasti appetizers.