Craggy Range is a family-owned winery established in 1998 and is situated in the prestigious Hawke’s Bay winemaking region of New Zealand.
The winery focuses on single-vineyard expressions of wine for each of its offerings, which lends each wine a certain sense of place rarely seen by other producers.
Terry Peabody, the founder of Craggy Range, didn’t want to buy into an existing vineyard. Instead, he sought out plots of untouched land to work with, ensuring pure and pristine growing conditions for each and every vine.
As the vineyards have matured over the years, so have the wines. The winery was recognized in 2014 by Wine Enthusiast as “New World Winery of the Year.”
On top of that, many of the individual wines produced have received numerous accolades and awards since then.
Craggy Range Te Muna Sauvignon Blanc Review
The fruit for this Sauvignon Blanc is grown on the lower terrace at Te Muna Road and shows a unique level of texture and complexity.
In fact, the phrase “TeMuna” roughly translates to “secret place” or “special place” in the native Maori language.
The TeMuna Road location is in the Southern part of New Zealand’s North Island and is a subregion of the greater Wairarapa winegrowing region.
The wine is a pale, citrusy yellow in the glass, with the faintest greenish tinge as an accent color.
The smell of this wine is almost intoxicating, with rich, robust notes of grapefruit, ripe melons, gooseberries, and papaya.
A bit of grassiness and underripe lemons help to punctuate the richness of the tropical fruit present here.
Hints of flowers, white pepper, and wild herbs are the supporting act here, lending depth to the bouquet and keeping it interesting with each and every sniff you take from the glass.
The wine is rich and juicy, with mouth-watering acidity and a bit of a racy minerality present.
I would wager the wine is aged sur lee, though I could not confirm this. There is a certain yeasty flavor and leesy texture here, which lend the wine a bit of depth and body.
Lots of passionfruit, freshly squeezed lime, and ripe gooseberries come in waves, supported nicely by notes of honeydew, fleshy apricots, and candied ginger, which kept me coming back sip after sip.
The wine is robust and flavourful without being excessively assertive or in-your-face.
What does Craggy Range Te Muna Sauvignon Blanc pair with?
Smoked salmon, swordfish, and octopus Santorini are some of my absolute favorite dishes to pair with a wine like this.
The intense citrus flavors, fresh minerality, and crisp, clean acidity almost beg to be paired with seafood.
Salads with goats’ cheese and feta, asparagus, avocado, or grilled red peppers also work nicely with this bottle, as the inherent “green flavors” in the wine really pop with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Any shellfish options with zingy flavors or citrus or garlic marinade or dressing also really bring out the bright, fresh fruit characteristics of the wine while staying fresh and light.
What wines are similar to Craggy Range Te Muna Sauvignon Blanc?
I would recommend leaning into other New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc options here. Try Cloudy Bay or Kim Crawford for some popular, easy-to-find options.
Alternatively, I really enjoy Love Block, which is a newer production started by Kim and Erica Crawford after they sold the Kim Crawford brand off to Constellation.
Finally, if you are feeling more adventurous, I would go for the French stuff.
Sancerre from the Loire Valley is a personal favorite of mine. It features less of a grassy characteristic but really doubles down on the minerality and crisp citrus fruit found in bottles such as this one.
A great wine from a great producer sourced from a great region. This is definitely more of a warm-weather wine, in my personal opinion, but the drinkability and crispness it offers can be enjoyed year-round.
It is an excellent option after a long day of work when you just want something to sip on as you unwind.