Astrolabe Province Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
An astrolabe is an ancient astronomical calculator with a name that translates as ‘star taker’. In 1996, when respected career winemaker Simon Waghorn started his own label, reaching for the stars seemed appropriate, and he chose the name Astrolabe. Working in a profession at the conflux of art and science, there is a certain affinity with the artisans who painstakingly crafted these often ornate instruments. Simon has since established a benchmark style of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and has been described by New Zealand’s leading Master of Wine, Bob Campbell, as a ‘Sauvignon
After the international success of his Sauvignon Blanc established Astrolabe’s reputation, Simon gave up his other winemaking commitments to focus on Astrolabe, which has now become a family winery. Simon often refers to Marlborough as a winemaker’s paradise for of its ability to produce world class aromatic white wine and Pinot Noir. Simon has long been an advocate for the recognition of sub-regional diversity within Marlborough. His convictions are reflected in the wines he makes: a diverse range of varieties from small plantings around Marlborough with different expressions of
terroir. Simon sources fruit from across the whole Marlborough growing region, pushing as far as the southern coast, where limestone soils can be found.
Astrolabe is a winemaker brand, and Simon Waghorn makes the wines to suit his personal palate. Simons crafts his Astrolabe wines with precision and harmony, capturing Marlborough’s intense fruit and leaving the connoisseur to discover the measured layering of flavors and different dimensions as they savor each glass.
An icon and leading region of New Zealand's distinctive style of Sauvignon blanc, Marlborough has a unique terroir, making it ideal for high quality grape production (of many varieties). Despite some common generalizations, which could be fairly justified given that Marlborough is responsible for 90% of New Zealand's Sauvignon blanc production, the wines from this region are actually anything but homogenous. At the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, the vineyards of Marlborough benefit from well-draining, stony soils, a dry, sunny climate and wide temperature fluctuations between day and night, a phenomenon that supports a perfect balance between berry ripeness and acidity.
The region’s king variety, Sauvignon blanc, is beloved for its pungent, aromatic character with notes of exotic tropical fruit, freshly cut grass and green bell pepper along with a refreshing streak of stony minerality. These wines are made in a wide range of styles, and winemakers take advantage of various clones, vineyard sites, fermentation styles, lees-stirring and aging regimens to differentiate their bottlings, one from one another.
Capable of a vast array of styles, Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character. Though it can vary depending on where it is grown, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. This variety is of French provenance. Somm Secret—Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (herbaceous aromatic compounds) inherent to each member of the family.