When it comes to Sauvignon Blanc there is only one country I think of, New Zealand. As I was wondering the great wall of wine at the local supermarket I was surprised to see a bottle of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. I was not surprised to see the brand there, I do consider Kim Crawford one of the best massed produced wines from New Zealand, but I was thrilled to see it marked down in price. So I took the opportunity to get a few bottles to bring home with the idea of a little New Zealand throwdown. The contestant being a 2009 Kim Crawford from the store versus a 2008 Stafford Lodge from PRP Wine (yes I know they are different vintages, but its the best I can do).
First came the Kim Crawford, strong aromas of ripe pear, banana peels, pineapple and tangerine. The aroma leads the mind in the direction of fresh fruits and away from the grassy fields and hay bails that most french Sauvignon Blancs take me to. The color is a very light pale gold, luring the mind to hope for a rich flavor and texture. Upon the first sip I was not disappointed, you are greeted by under ripe pear in both flavor and feeling. The freshness on the wine reminds me of biting into a crunchy pear, the sound and refreshing crunch echo in my mind with each sip. As the wine rolls across and down the tongue flavors of pineapple, grapefruit and light lemon zest become apparent. There is almost a hint of honey on the finish as you swallow the wine lending a nice flavor to a very clean and refreshing finish.
Next, the Stafford Lodge, a new vintage of an old favorite of mine, the 2007 is reviewed here. There is not much change from the 2007 to the 2008, the aromas still attack the nose even from a distance. Bell peppers, gooseberries and granny smith apple almost over power the senses with its strong aroma. The color is almost water like giving the impression that the wine, in contrast to the aroma may be weak, “it’s probably dull like water” has been said a few times at tastings. The first sip will make you believe that looks are not everything, the strong flavors bombard the mouth with a crisp lively feeling. Green pepper, celery heart and gooseberry muscle out some of the subtle flavors of pear and lemon grass that can be found on the finish. This wine demands respect and dares you to find a pairing partner for it.
In this aspect the Stafford Lodge in my opinion is a better food pairing wine, going great with grilled chicken, spring vegetables (gilled peppers, yellow and green zucchini are a personal favorite) and vegetable roll sushi. The Kim Crawford on the other hand can be drank alone or paired with a dish that contains a touch of spice, such as Shrimp and Grits. Toe to toe they are both outstanding wines that fill a great role if you are looking for a new flavor in your Sauvignon Blanc.
So after the battle who is the victor, who gains the title?
Of course it is the one from New Zealand………