Two Highly Commended Whites from Liberty: Marlborough and Chablis


Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2017, 12%, €21.99, Egans Off Licence, World Wide Wines, Jus de Vine, Wine Well Off-Licence, 64 Wine, Baggot Street Wines


Once on a guided tour of Switzerland, I met a New Zealand couple, sheep farmers from Queenstown. They were outgoing and friendly, no humming or hawing.
“Will we jump off at the next stop,” I’d asked on a descending ski-lift. “and walk down.”
“Yeah, right, no problem.” They’d answered. This wine reminds me of them.

Not particularly because it is a beautiful light gold with green tints, the sheep farmers were well tanned. Nor because of the exuberant tropical aromas, that typical cut grass too. The palate is awash with tangy citrus, pineapple and ripe white fruit flavours, fresh and refreshing. All positive and Highly Recommended, just like my Kiwis and "no problem". Crisp and satisfying, try it with fresh seafood, goats cheese salads or just on its own.

Kim Crawford, by the way, gather the fruit from all over the Marlborough region, but emphasise that seasoned winemaker, Anthony Walkenhorst, had individual blocks targeted for their strengths and overall contribution to the blend. It is a pattern established early on by Kim and his wife Erica when they started at the turn of the century without owning grapevines or tanks. 

The vines for this Sauvignon Blanc ranged in age, up to 14 years, bringing a mix of youthful vigour and depth of flavour. Anthony has won local awards for his Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.

Les Hauts de Milly Chablis 2017,  12.5% , RRP €29.99 Cinnamon Cottage The Wine Centre wineonline.ie

This fresh and youthful Chablis has a light straw colour, green tints (or was that from the Christmas tree?). You'll note white fruit and floral notes in the aromas. There is a prominent citrus element on the palate flavours. The best part of a year on its fine lees has contributed to the excellent structure and complexity of flavour. Fresh and mineral with an excellent finish. An excellent good quality early-drinking Chablis and Highly Recommended.

In the vineyards a totally natural approach is adopted, herbicides and pesticides are banned. The little fertiliser used is organic compost. The wines are pure, fresh and textural. This Chablis is vinified on its fine lees for 10 months before bottling and you are advised to serve it at 11 degrees. I would err on the upper end rather than risk it too cold.

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