Kim Crawford wines began back in 1996 and were geared towards producing exceptional quality bottles and selling them at reasonable price points.
The brand first hit the market in the United States two years later, where it became both the top-selling New Zealand wine, as well as the top-selling Sauvignon Blanc nationwide.
The brand was sold by Kim Crawford and his wife Erica in 2006 to Constellation Brands, one of the world’s largest distributors of beer, wine, and spirits.
Kim Crawford Pinot Noir Review
While New Zealand and the name Kim Crawford are typically associated with Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand actually produces world-class Pinot Noir, which often flies under the radar for a lot of consumers.
The country tends to produce Pinot Noir, which falls somewhere between modern Californian Pinot and more traditional French red Burgundy.
The wine is a somewhat dark garnet color in the glass.
The legs on this one are pretty middle of the road, forming and falling at a pretty moderate pace.
Aromas of tart red cherries, raspberries, and boysenberries all come through immediately on the nose.
These aromas are framed by floral notes in the way of violets and lavender. This is all uplifted nicely by lots of earthy and spicy tones.
I get anise, licorice, and sarsaparilla, along with sweet oak, loose-leaf tobacco, dark chocolate, and coffee.
The flavors here don’t come across as being quite as complex as the aromatics, but there is still a lot on offer here.
There is just a hint of a mushroomy, sort of forest-floor characteristic, which I tend to look for in better-quality bottles of Pinot Noir.
Raspberries and morello cherries sit squarely in the center of the stage here.
A supporting cast of dried flowers, dark chocolate, and rich baking spice work nicely to help round out the profile.
The wine is not overly heavy, nor do I get much tannin or acid. It is a pretty easy drinker, and I think it would make a great crowd-pleasing option for weddings, parties, etc.
What Does Kim Crawford Pinot Noir Pair With?
Gamey birds such as turkey, duck, and quail are all excellent options to reach for here.
This is also a pretty friendly wine with seafood, thanks to the relaxed structure it has.
The somewhat rustic feeling of the wine should work quite nicely when paired with simpler fare. I would recommend trying this bottle with grilled salmon fillets and a side of squash and asparagus.
The slight oaky and earthy notes also make this wine ideal for rich, hearty stews, mushroom-based dishes, and dishes with a bit of an umami flavor profile to them.
What Are Wines That Are Similar to Kim Crawford Pinot Noir?
I would recommend trying out Kim and Erica Crawford’s newer brand Loveblock.
After selling Kim Crawford to Constellation, he planted his own vines, and the vineyard is all organic and sustainably grown.
The body is a bit more intense, as is the flavor profile, which I really enjoy in a good Pinot Noir.
Unsurprisingly, they also make an exceptional New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc under the Loveblock label.
If you want to go for something a little bit different, I would recommend trying some Pinot Noirs from Oregon, as they have a lot in common with this bottle.
The better examples will typically have more earthy characteristics and spice but keep a lot of the same fruit that makes up the core of this bottle.
Try Rose Rock from Joseph Drouhin, Resonance, or Coelho for some absolutely stunning examples of what the state can offer.
Overall this is a solid bottle. It still isn’t number one on my list, simply because I was hoping there would be more to it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.