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.
“The 2018 vintage was hand-harvested in the Southern Valleys and partly fermented with indigenous yeasts in seasoned French oak puncheons. A dry style, it is very ageworthy. Bright, light lemon/green, it is mouthfilling, with strong, youthful, citrusy, slightly appley flavours, showing good intensity, and slightly biscuity notes adding complexity. Best drinking 2021+.”
New Zealand Wines: Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide 2020
"Bone-dry chenin blanc with appealing Granny Smith apple, oyster shell, mineral and lime juice flavours. A very appealing and age-worthy wine. In youth, at least, it is a taut, high acid wine with absolutely classic varietal flavours. My cellaring estimate is conservative.” OCT 18
Bob Campbell, Master of Wine
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