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Astrolabe Wrekin Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2014

Chenin Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand
  • WW90
13% ABV
  • WS90
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13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Aromas of apples and honeysuckle, with some light lemon-honey and a little vanilla from the oak. Medium-bodied with a focused minerally length, and flavors of red apple, lemon, and peach. Made to age gracefully over many years, further weight and honeyed flavors will result from cellaring. The wine is fresh and crisp, and will hit peak drinking in 2018. Pairs well with summer salads, poultry, and all seafood.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 90
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
A surprising treat for me, the 2014 Astrolabe Vineyards Chenin Blanc from the Wrekin Vineyard is endearingly dry and beautifully balanced. The wine's tart melon, bright minerality, and crisp finish pair it perfectly with pan-fried Petrale sole. I would have never guessed that a Chenin Blanc from Marlborough would have been so delicious. (Tasted: September 11, 2017, San Francisco, CA)
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Astrolabe

Astrolabe

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Astrolabe, Marlborough, New Zealand
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When winemaker Simon Waghorn created his own brand, he chose the name Astrolabe because of historic ties with Marlborough and connotations of exploration and discovery. An astrolabe is an ancient instrument of navigation that measures the altitude of the stars, and also the name of an early sailing ship exploring the Marlborough coast.

All Simon’s skill and experience combine to capture the essence of Marlborough in wines of purity, focus and elegance. Simon is fascinated by the unique qualities of the Awatere Valley and Kekerengu Coast sub-regions, whether bottled alone, or blended as part of the Marlborough classic.

Marlborough

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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.

Also produced successfully here are fruit-forward Pinot noirs (especially where soils are clay-rich), elegant Riesling, Pinot gris and Gewürztraminer.

Chenin Blanc

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Unquestionably one of the most diverse grape varieties, Chenin blanc can do it all. It shines in every style from bone dry to unctuously sweet, oaked or unoaked, still or sparkling and even as the base for fortified wines and spirits. Perhaps Chenin blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. While most would agree it reigns supreme when from its birthplace of the Loire Valley, Chenin is the most planted variety in South Africa. California’s Clarksburg appellation is also winning more notoriety for its Chenin.

In the Glass

Chenin's drier versions commonly have characteristics of passion fruit, lemon, quince, green apple, saffron and chamomile while sweeter version express aromas and flavors such as yellow pear, white peach, persimmon, melon, ginger and honeysuckle. When aged in oak, qualities like meringue and brioche can be found. Sparkling versions often have yellow apple, ginger and floral notes.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Chenin blanc has the chalky acidity to work with light seafood such as oysters and shellfish. Off-dry styles work well with the sweet-and-sour nature of Thai and Vietnamese food. The sparkling versions such as Saumur Mousseux, Vouvray Petillant and Crémant de Loire make amazing aperitif options that won’t bruise the pocketbook.

Sommelier Secret

South Africa actually has double the amount of Chenin blanc planted compared to France. It is believed that either the Dutch navigator, Jan van Riebeeck, brought the grape to Cape Town in 1655 or the Huguenots fleeing France brought it in 1685. Either way, the South Africans have favored it for many centuries and make it in almost every style. Today a new wave of dedicated producers has committed to restoring old Chenin vines and finding the most ideal new spots for this prized variety.

OPI76619_2014 Item# 178085