Astrolabe Wines

Astrolabe Wines

Marlborough Pinot Noir 2018

Spicy and a touch vine-y, energetic and understatedly full in taste, light in body, ideally like my text saying more things with less words. Black cherries red cherries a whiff of clove, smoke and vines. Lithe. Punching above the price point. Clearly a New World wine and there’s nothing wrong with that. — 4 months ago

Daniel, Laura and 7 others liked this

Villa Maria

Cellar Selection Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2016

In the middle of dog days of summer, when the late afternoon sun is blazing and the breeze is heavy with humidity, opening a chilled bottle of crisp, fruity and zesty Sauvignon Blanc is too great a temptation to resist.

I have to admit, though, I'm a newbie to this grape variety. As a regular reds drinker and a big fan of Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc never ranked high on my list. Things changed last late summer, when I encountered the beautiful bottle of Cloudy Bay from Marlborough on the South Island of New Zealand. It opened my eyes, not to mention my palate.

Since then, I usually choose NZ Sauvignon Blanc over those from Pouilly-Fume and Sancerre in the Loire Valley, France, especially in the summer months.

The classic French examples tend to be more elegant and creamy thanks to oak barrel fermentation and aging. Its flinty aroma, a gift of the terroir, is world-renown. On the other hand, the NZ Sauvignon Blanc is more expressive, showing off its lively aromas loaded with fresh fruit flavors, successfully retained by fermentation in stainless steel or concrete vat. This style of Sauvignon Blanc has set itself apart from its French cousins and put New Zealand on the map.

I've opened four different NZ Sauvignon Blanc, all from Marlborough, around the C$19 range over the last few weeks, including Villa Maria Cellar Selection 2016, Momo 2015, Kim Crawford 2016 and Astrolabe Province 2016. Among them, I like Villa Maria the most.

The pungent aroma with white peach, nectarine, passion fruit, gooseberry, lime and grape fruit is just intoxicating.

The first sip is almost like biting into a juicy, underripe white peach and Granny Smith apple, followed by zesty grapefruit and gooseberry, and then a slice of passion fruit kicks in. The hint of grass and crushed rock definitely adds another layer of complexity. Then the vibrant flavor lingers with a subtle green pepper note.

I paired with a wide range of dishes. The wine's refreshing sweetness and zest beautifully enhanced the spicy kick of Thai green curry and the cheesiness of margarita pizza. It nicely complemented grilled salmon and a big bowl of salad thanks to its crispness and subtle herbal note and minerality.

Still, this is a perfect summer wine to drink solo. As the glaring sun slowly goes down, a glass of Sauvignon Blanc guarantees to quench the thirst on a warm midsummer's evening. Cheers!
— 7 years ago

Astrolabe Wines

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Impressive. Really herbaceous. Lychee and grass on the nose. Balance of fruit and grass and slate on the palate, with a caramel twist on the end of the palate. Clean and fresh. — 4 months ago

Astrolabe Wines

Wairau VAlley Dry Riesling 2012

Vintage 2012 / Good effort! A smell with some flowers, jasmin, flint and minerals. Expressive and beautiful smell. Juicy taste with high bitters and nice acidity, a good food wine. I paired it with a small waldorf salad, cantonese beef with eggs and tomato and cheese (cantal + blue). It worked out well for all. Good New Zealand riesling. — 5 years ago

Peter, Severn and 10 others liked this

Domaine Duseigneur

L’'Astrolabe Lirac Syrah 2010

Perfect balance of graphite/lead pencil and black fruit. — 7 years ago

Mike, leon and 1 other liked this

Astrolabe Wines

Province Pinot Noir 2012

Notes of spice, tobacco, even raisin. Thinner than some reds with some tannins right at the finish. A nice New Zealand red. — 2 years ago

Astrolabe Wines

Durvillea Sauvignon Blanc

Very aromatic, fruity (peach, pineapple), delicious on its own! — 3 years ago

Astrolabe Wines

Province Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Love this Marlborough Sav Blanc. Beautifully balanced sweet stone fruit and tangy acidity. — 7 years ago