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Crown Range releases impress

Grant Taylor (Photo: Valli Wines)

Crown Range Cellars is a new company that, in their words, aim “… to create exceptional, premium wines (and foods) unfettered by the limitations of land ownership.” Their early success appears to have resulted from partnerships with talented winemakers and vineyard owners such as Grant Taylor, owner/founder of Valli in Central Otago. Clever branding and packaging has also given them a leg up.

Three recent releases impressed.

The 2014 Crown Range Cellar Stolen Heart Merlot Malbec (Hawke’s Bay) is a dense and powerful red that’s remarkably accessible for such a youthful and well-proportioned wine. (NZD $49.99)

2016 Crown Range Cellar China Girl Pinot Noir (Central Otago) is a step up in price, if not in quality. A good example of the dense, ripe Bendigo style. (NZD $64.99)

The 2016 Crown Range Cellar Grant Taylor Pinot Noir is a flagship label that artfully uses one of Central Otago’s most accomplished winemakers as part of its brand. Taylor is probably more experience making Gibbston pinot noir than any other. That experience shows in this truly impressive wine that manages to deliver power with great subtlety. It is an iron fist in a velvet glove. (NZD $150)

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