November 16, 2016

Introducing Loveblock

Loveblock 2016 Sauvignon Blanc ‘Estate’, Marlborough
Retail $21.95/btl  (12 btl/cs)

Loveblock 2012 Pinot Noir,
Someone’s Darling Vineyard, Central Otago

Retail $34.95/btl  (12 btl/cs)


About Loveblock

In 2006, Erica & Kim purchased an untamed block of land on the top of the hills overlooking Marlborough’s Awatere Valley. It’s one of the highest vineyards in Marlborough, coaxed into production through organic, biodynamic, and sheer bloodied-minded techniques. And it became known as Erica’s ‘Love Block’ – in part for the spectacular view, in part for the nurturing required to farm it.

The Estate vineyard is actually made up of two distinct parcels. The 180 acre Hillside vineyard was planted by the couple in 2007, and has been farmed organically from the beginning; while the 31 acre Woolshed vineyard, planted in 2003 at the bottom of the hill, completed the conversion to organics in 2012. Both vineyards are planted to Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, with experimental parcels of Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Tempranillo, Gewurztraminer & Pinot Blanc.

These wines are elegant, restrained expressions of terroir. Loveblock's Sauvignon Blanc is much less pungent than other expressions from Marlborough, and much more interesting as a result. Their organic farming practices result in lower yields and a later harvest (ie riper more complex fruit), while the organic yeast selections Kim prefers also contribute to the refined aromatics.

In 2008 Erica & Kim purchased a 20 acre paddock in Central Otago. One of the world’s most extreme regions for grape growing, temperatures vary from extremely hot to extremely cold, and always extremely dry. The location of ‘Someone’s Darling’ in the sub-region of Bendigo is the warmest in all of Otago, ensuring consistent ripening in a harsh environment. Someone’s Darling is planted to multiple clones of Pinot Noir, and is certified sustainable. The Loveblock signature is clear in the Pinot Noir as well – elegant, fruit-forward, complex wines.

You’ll notice that Kim & Erica prefer not to use their surname when promoting Loveblock. This is to avoid confusion with Kim’s eponymous winery, which was sold to Vincor in 2003 (now Constellation Brands), and in which they have no interest.


2016 Sauvignon Blanc ‘Estate’, Marlborough

The three organically farmed estate vineyards yield a remarkably low 3 tonnes/acre, contributing to a complex, elegant wine. Only a small portion of the wine undergoes Malolactic fermentation, thus preserving the natural acidity and vibrancy.  For additional complexity, Kim blends in small quantities of other varietals, such as Arneis, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Gewurztraminer.

On the nose, you’ll find lifted aromatics with white peach, passionfruit and citrus notes.  On the palate, Kim comments that “white peach and tropical fruits abound. The lingering finish is underscored with mineral acidity.”


2012 Pinot Noir, Someone’s Darling Vineyard, Central Otago

Four Pinot Noir clones, yielding 2 tonnes/acre.  The fruit was de-stemmed but not crushed before fermenting.  8 months of maturation in older oak ensures the fruit shines without the weight of the wood showing. The texture is silky, luscious and full.

Kim describes it beautifully – “Intense dark fruit, Black Doris plum and blueberry, forest floor and cloves and spices.  On the palate, up front tannins with Shitake mushroom and dark fruit. Finishes with dark fruit sweetness.”

90 points – Wine Enthusiast
"Winemaker Kim Crawford has turned out a solid effort, ably combining the brash fruit of Central Otago with some measure of finesse. Smoky, campfire-like notes, roasted beets and greens accent black cherry and plum flavors. It's still a bit crisp and edgy on the finish, but look for the texture to smooth out by the end of 2016."

88 points – Wine Spectator
"An intriguing, smoky, incense-filled aroma and details of chive blossom and orange zest add some charm to the crisp cranberry and tart cherry flavors. Refreshing and compact, showing good intensity on the finish. Drink now through 2026." –MW