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Kim Crawford Small Parcels Spitfire Sauvignon Blanc 2021 £20.57
KIM CRAWFORD SMALL PARCELS SPITFIRE SAUVIGNON BLANC
Kim Crawford Wines was established in late 1996 when Kim launched a range made from fruit grown in the South Island. Kim sold the company to Constellation in 2005 and has since handed the winemaking reins over to the Constellation winemaking team. Despite Kim no longer being involved with these wines, the current winemakers continue the classic Kim Crawford philosophy and style. Control over grape supply has always been essential for Kim Crawford Wines and they now have the largest vineyard resource in Marlborough of any wine company, across the greatest breadth of sub-regions, ensuring consistent quality and style. For that consistency, and success over the past 20 years, Wine Enthusiast magazine USA recognised Kim Crawford as their “New World Winery of the Year 2016”.
The Small Parcels ‘Spitfire’ Sauvignon Blanc takes its name from a famous site in Marlborough that was used as an air force base during WWII. In 2018, in a first for Spitfire, 50% of the wine came from a grower vineyard in the Upper Wairau – almost the westernmost Marlborough vineyard before the mountains. In a year that defied ‘normal’, this micro area had the most balanced conditions. The rest of the blend was from two favourite Rapaura vineyards which delivered Spitfire’s trademark power and citrus.
Spring was wet and mild with no frost in any of the vineyards. Summer temperatures stepped up; December was the second warmest on record, while January saw the highest temperatures since records began. By February it was looking like an early harvest, with superb flowering conditions and a sizeable crop necessitating thinning in almost all vineyards. However, two ex-tropical cyclones brought considerable rainfall in February. Harvest started mid-March with grapes at a good level of physiological ripeness but needed careful hand-sorting to eliminate botrytis.
Upon arrival at the winery, the fruit was crushed and the juice was drained for about three hours before the skins were pressed. Fermentation was long, slow and cool, with yeast selected to express the grapes' grapefruit and passion fruit characteristics. Only the best blocks from the vineyard were eventually selected for the Small Parcels bottling, following a rigorous tasting selection. The wine was bottled early to retain the freshness and purity of the fruit.
A hugely aromatic wine with aromas of passionfruit, nettles, citrus. The complex palate launches a concentrated burst of juicy tropical fruits and grapefruit backed with minerality and a long lingering finish.