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.
“Toasted herb, saline and lemongrass flavors complement the core of pear and papaya, with a smooth texture and a long, expressive finish. Drink now.”
90 points, Wine Spectator, June 2018
“The 2017 Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc has a clean, pure, less pyrazine-tinged bouquet than the Kekerengu Coast Sauvignon Blanc. The palate is taut and fresh, offering a twist of bitter lemon, fine weight and orange rind and light citric notes on the finish. Enjoy over the next four or five years.”
89 points, Neal Martin, vinous.com, Nov 2018