The Crater Rim 2011 Sauvignon Blanc

Waipara, New Zealand; 13.5% ABV
$5 at the Oakland, CA, store on 26 May

TheCraterRim_2011_SauvBlancThe Wiki entry above does not list the Waipara area as well-known for Sauvignon Blanc, but says that this site has the “highest summer temperatures and the lowest rainfall of any of the New Zealand wine regions.”  Maybe that’s why this wine seems riper than most NZ SBs I’ve tried, showing more ripe, almost honeyed, yellow fruit.  It shows nice flavors of ripe gooseberry, ripe lemon / yellow grapefruit / green lime, with a hint of something that could even be orange peach or cantaloupe, and a slight minerality.  It’s not as structured as the Kaikoura, and of course more expensive, but I found it more overtly yummy, so I still give this a Thumbs Up.

The next day, the rest of the wine was more acid but still delicious.  Weinish said of the Petit Le Mont, “My wife and I think this wine goes down almost too easily.”  While this more exuberantly flavored and less solidly made wine may not be up his alley, I would say the same thing here.  For me, this went down dangerously easily.


3 thoughts on “The Crater Rim 2011 Sauvignon Blanc

  1. inthewinecountry

    BW, I probably should post this comment under the Sebastopol Oaks review if I was going to refer to “honeyed” I tried that SB that my wife had picked up at the Santa Rosa store last week and I have to say I thought at first it came from being too old then I thought it had maybe a small amount of Viognier in it that gave it that honeyed taste and I think you mentioned the same thing. I also got a small whiff of sulfur when I first opened the bottle but that blew off

  2. inthewinecountry

    BW, spot on. I had both this and the Petit Le Mont this weekend and I was going to write a note about the Crater Rim and even compare it to the Petit, but you beat me to it. I agree this isn’t your typical NZ SB but I have had SB from other areas of New Zealand that have the typical acid and gooseberry grassiness and I think this was made in a different style. So if you like the French SB then you will like this one. Not that I would say it had the honeyed tone you describe, but definitely a more muted fruit and less acid and a normal NZ SB.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi ITWC. Thanks for your comments. It’s possible the “honeyed” tone is more in contrast to my expectations of NZ SB than what’s there in an absolute sense.


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