The Marlborough region at the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island is a beautiful place to grow grapes, and remains perhaps the country’s best-known wine-producing region. The Nobilo and Kim Crawford brands are both stars of Constellation’s family of wines and represent that company’s interests in Marlboro and elsewhere in New Zealand.
Here are five of their new releases:
The 2010 Nobilo Icon Marlborough pinot noir ($22) is a big wine with lots of very ripe, juicy cherries with a touch of toasty oak. This is not a weak-kneed pinot, so I would pair it with roast duck with a cherry sauce.
The 2010 Kim Crawford Marlborough pinot noir ($20), on the other hand, is much leaner, almost spritzy, though it does have the same dark cherry flavors as the Nobilo. Crisp and fresh. Use this one to counter the richness of a duck confit.
Turning to the three sauvignon blancs, the 2011 Kim Crawford Marlborough sauvignon blanc ($19) has the mellow green aromas of cut grass and kiwi. It has a very nice richness, good textures, and some mild grassiness with balancing flavors of neutral cheese or whey. Finally, it has some dried spices, fitting into the middle of fruity and savory classification. Perhaps with cheese ravioli or turkey cutlets?
The 2011 Nobilo Marlborough sauvignon blanc ($14) is juicy, fresh, almost-peachy with some melon notes on the foretaste and green fruits on the finish. It could pair with quiches with mild cheeses and ham.
Finally, the 2011 Nobilio "Icon" Marlborough sauvignon blanc ($22) is a very intense wine and quite fruity in the finish — spicy and grassy. It’s a big wine, and if you could give fruit flavors a color, I would call this one blue/green. It would go well with a seafood salad with a lighter dressing.