You may not have heard of them, but Craggy Range is an excellent of some very well made and reliable New Zealand wines. Chief winemaker Matt Stafford with Craggy was recently in the valley and we tasted thru their entire portfolio.
First, a short geography lesson. As you know, New Zealand is made up of two islands— succinctly named North Island and South Island. Sitting pretty on the top of the South Island is New Zealand’s most famous wine area—
Marlborough – where all those delicious, citrusy omnipresent Sauvignon Blancs come from.
Craggy Range is in Martinborough, which is on the southern end of the North Island– confused? I was for years.
Martinborough’s wines are more layered and textured, where as Marlborough’s are more “in your face” acidic and racy.
Here are some facts I found out about New Zealand that you could impress people at a cocktail party.
- It was the last major landmass inhabited by humans @1200AD
- The are no snakes in New Zealand (I hate snakes)
- 7 times more sheep than people
- TV ads are banned on some holidays
- Organized bungee jumping started here
- Has more Olympic Gold Medals per capita than any other country
- Most golf courses in the world per capita
Here are the wines we tasted:
Te Muna Road Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016-
Immediately fresh pear like aromas jump out of the glass. Followed by a fennel, nectarine, and an alluring clean leafy quality. Very elegant. @$20
Pinot Noir Martinborough 2016-
Supple wild raspberry, plum, and blood orange nuances. Easy to drink, with appealing chai tea and tobacco flavors. @$20
Te Kahu Gimblett Gravels Vineyard Red Blend 2011-
Big brooding style of red that is just over two thirds merlot. Cedar and mint notes are shadowed by blackberry and currant. @$18