Like its fellow Loire grape sauvignon blanc, chenin blanc flourishes in our climate. In my youth as a winemaker, most chenin blanc was used as a high acid blending variety for cask wine. Some makers understood its strengths and treated it properly. For the few passionate chenin blanc winemakers in New Zealand, it can be a rewarding varietal and produce very serious, elegant and ageworthy wine.
The Astrolabe Wrekin Chenin Blanc is made from grapes grown on a loess clay slope. We hand pick the grapes to give a delicacy to the phenolics. The chenin blanc is partially barrel fermented with wild yeast for complexity, with the remainder in stainless steel to preserve the fruit flavours. All fruit is free-run to retain purity. I love the chenin grape because of its distinct flavour profile, the crisp acidity and the ability of the wine to age with interest and grace.
Simon Waghorn — Winemaker
Green apple and honeysuckle, with lemon honey and a little vanilla from the oak.
Medium-bodied, with a focused, mineral length and flavours of crisp apple, lemon and peach.
Made to age gracefully; weight and honeyed flavours will result from cellaring.
Spring vegetables, grilled fish, goat’s cheese soufflé, pork terrine, and apple or pear salads.
"Apples and mineral, white flowers and leesy complexity, fresh white fleshed fruits and a fresh exotic perfume of place. Flavours of fresh apple and pear, some citrus pith and leesy textures. Acidity adds crunch and freshness accentuating a core of minerality. Long finish, a delicious wine ready to drink or for the cellar. Ideal drinking window from 2023 through 2030." MAY 21
Cameron Douglas, Master Sommelier
“The 2019 vintage (5*) has a powerful presence. A single-vineyard wine, hand-harvested in the Southern Valleys, it was partly (40 per cent) fermented with indigenous yeasts in seasoned French oak puncheons. Richly scented, it is full-bodied, with deep, vibrant, peachy, slightly spicy flavours, and a long, dry (2.3 grams/litre of residual sugar) finish. Still very youthful, it should be at its best 2023+.”
New Zealand Wines: Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide 2021
"Fermented by indigenous yeasts in oak puncheons. Dry, crisply refreshing chenin blanc with green apple, lime-citrus and saline oyster-shell flavours supported by attractive, lively acidity. Good now but should age well. Drink 2020 to 2028.” SEP 20
Rebecca Gibb, Master of Wine
"From a loess site in the Brancott Valley, the 2019 Wrekin Vineyard Chenin Blanc was fermented in a mix of stainless steel and used barrels. It reveals some of the elusive beeswax and lanolin notes more often found in Old-World examples, plus bright pear and citrus elements. Medium-bodied, it's smooth and silky-textured on the palate, finishing dry and refreshing." APR 21
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