Saturday, April 7, 2018

Wine Reviews: New Releases from New Zealand & Italy

This week’s tasting report includes some value-driven wines from big-time New Zealand producer Kim Crawford, as well as some bright and zesty Verdicchios from Italy’s Marche region. Lastly, there’s a tasty Montefalco Rosso and a teeth-stainingly delicious Sagrantino as well.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.

2017 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc - New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
SRP: $18
Pale lemon color. Aromas burst with grapefruit, kiwi, limes along with zesty pepper, jalapeno, nettle and white flowers. Tickling acidity on the palate with medium body and juicy grapefruit, lemons and green apples. Flavors of cucumber slices, honeysuckle and clove. Always a reliable, widely-available, tasty, example of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, and lovely for the price. (87 points)

2017 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Signature Reserve - New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
SRP: $25
Pale yellow color. Bursting aromatics of bell pepper, jalapeno and asparagus, on top of juicy peaches, limes, some honeysuckle thrown in too. Crisp and bright, light/medium-bodied (12% alcohol) but some impressive depth and richness. Peaches, cantaloupe and lime doused in complex vegetable/spice elements: jalapeno, nettle, sliced bell pepper, lemongrass. Finishes with flor and honey notes. Classic Kim Crawford style but dialed up a bit. (89 points)

2016 Kim Crawford Pinot Noir South Island - New Zealand, South Island
SRP: $19
Bright ruby color. Smells of crisp cherries, strawberry jam, wild raspberry, along with cinnamon candies and rose petals. Medium+ acidity with light tannins, a fresh and lively style. Tangy cherries and strawberry jam mix with rose petal, cola, rhubarb pie, some white pepper. Accessible, fresh, light, a crowd-pleasing Pinot that’s really good for the money. (87 points)

SRP: $12
Pale straw color. Peachy nose with honeysuckle and sweet floral perfume. Crisp but plump with pineapple and limeade flavors, along with some honeycomb and sweet white flowers. Fun, fresh, friendly Pinot Grigio. (85 points)

2017 Garofoli Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Macrina - Italy, Marche, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico
SRP: $14
Medium yellow color. Nose shows peachy, lemon, apricot, with bright white flowers, tonic and dandelion notes. Zesty acidity, moderate creamy texture, this is a fresh and vibrant wine with green apples, with sliced cucumbers, dandelion, sea salt, floral potpourri. Lively and fresh, very nice for the price. (87 points)

2017 Garofoli Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Podium - Italy, Marche, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore
SRP: $25
Medium yellow color. Floral and bright on the nose with lilies, dandelions, honeysuckle, with richer peach, apricot, nectarine, orange marmalade. Crisp acidity frames the wine, nice textural depth, dry and steely with orange and apricot fruit. A saline and quinine note mixes with cut floral stems. More depth than the Macrina, but still a brisk and lively wine. (88 points)

2014 Perticaia Montefalco Rosso - Italy, Umbria, Montefalco Rosso
SRP: $21
Medium ruby color. Aromas of crisp, chilled red cherries, red currants, tangy plums, along with charcoal, roses, spiced tea, fennel. Medium-bodied with fresh acidity and smooth tannins. Tart red and black plum fruit mixes nicely with spiced tea, pepper, violets, scorched earth, gravel. Dry but fresh. Sangiovese with 15% Sagrantino and 15% Coloino. (88 points)

2012 Tenuta Alzatura Sagrantino di Montefalco - Italy, Umbria, Montefalco, Sagrantino di Montefalco
SRP: $31
Light purple color. Aromas of tart black currants and cherries, with charcoal, anise, tobacco, leather and cured meat notes. Grippy tannins (wow this is young), but moderating acidity, and lots of tart black currant and plum fruit. Lots going on already in terms of smoky, meaty, savory, earthy tones, but the fruit is still dense and concentrated, and this has a lot of complexity to unpack. I’d love to bury for 5-8 years. 100% Sagrantino aged 16 months in barrel. (91 points) 

This post first appeared on the daily wine blog Terroirist. 

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