Astrolabe Southern Valleys
Sec Chenin Blanc
Chenin Blanc is a classic of the Loire valley in France, and in the New World, it is normally associated with South Africa. We love Chenin Blanc at Astrolabe. We love the apple and honeysuckle flavours, the freshness and the way the wine keeps on getting better in the bottle year after year. Chenin blanc is a grape variety that suits a wide range of styles and levels of residual sugar: from bone dry all the way to dessert wines. Chenin blanc wines can be aged in oak or left unoaked, and the grape is also capable of producing excellent sparkling wines.
The Astrolabe Wrekin Vineyard Demi-Sec Chenin Blanc is grown on the sunny clay slopes of the Southern Valleys of Marlborough, at the organic Wrekin Vineyard. The chenin block has interrow plantings of flowering buckwheat, which encourages biodiversity, attracting beneficial insects that work to keep the vines free from harmful pests.
I’ve made this wine dry but with a hint of residual sugar to balance the zippiness from the natural acidity of the fruit. I have preserved the charming fruit flavour by fermenting in neutral stainless vessels. The wine has more retained spritziness from the fermentation, which adds to the vivacity in the glass. It is a great drinking style, ready to go for spring and summer!
Simon Waghorn — Winemaker
Apple, green strawberries, blossom, pineapple, pear and elderflower.
Medium-bodied, with good acidity and a light spritziness, giving flavours of red apple, nectarine and honeysuckle.
Delicious when youthful but has strong maturation potential.
Oysters, roasted parsnips, fish grilled in banana leaves, Northern Thai-style herbal salad or chicken dishes with lemongrass and ginger.
“The 2019 vintage was grown in the Wrekin Vineyard, in the Southern Valleys, and handled without oak. Full of drink-young charm, it is attractively scented, fresh and very vibrant, in a medium to full-bodied style, with ripe peach and pear flavours, gentle sweetness and balanced acidity. Still very youthful, it’s well worth cellaring."
New Zealand Wines: Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide 2020
"Taut and tangy chenin blanc with green apple, citrus, lemon and a suggestion of slightly green nectarine. A little initial sweetness is perfectly balanced by fine, assertive acidity to give the wine some pleasing tension. Very pure and with obvious potential, although good with seafood dishes that have a strong citrus component (oysters and lime juice is an obvious example).” OCT 18
Bob Campbell, Master of Wine
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