Astrolabe’s “Valley” series of wines focuses on the unique traits of the valleys that distinguish Marlborough’s emerging sub-regions. Regional, sometimes vineyard-specific, these wines highlight the attributes of individual sites. The cool, dry Awatere Valley, for instance, has a more extreme climate than most of Marlborough, with strong winds, variable soils, greater temperature fluctuations, and a later ripening season. Vines are planted from sea level to fairly high altitude, where scarce water can limit vine growth. As a result, berries are small and flavours are intense. Awarere Valley wines are particularly expressive, characterized by a minerality-dominated structure and great acid retention.
This Sauvignon Blanc is pale straw in the glass shot through with green. You’ll find blackcurrant leaf, lime zest, lemongrass, and elderflower on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied with notes of white currant, preserved lemon, fresh herbs, and a dry, savoury, weighty finish.
The 2017 vintage is a new release that has yet to be rated. The 2016 vintage received the following press:
“Typically grassy Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc, with classic tomato leaf, nettle, chalky mineral and capsicum flavours. Nicely weighted wine with a dry, but not austere, texture. Impressive concentration and length.”
95 points, Bob Campbell, MW, Jan 2017
“The 2016 Valleys Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc has the classic Awatere herbal-led nose with delicate underlying notes of lemongrass, lime leaves and yuzu. The light-bodied palate is dry and refreshing with great intensity and an earthy/mineral finish.”
90 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Dec 2016
“I’m a huge fan of the classy, poised Astrolabe Sauvignon Blancs. [The Awatere Valley] is vivid, not vicious – lime, lemon and bergamot zest against a background of green leaves, lemongrass and basil.”
Victoria Moore, The Telegraph’s “Wine Columnist of the Year”, April 2016