ASTROLABE FARM SPATLESE MEDIUM RIESLING MARLBOROUGH 17
Marlborough’s temperate long growing season is perfect for Riesling. The Riesling for winemaker Simon Waghorn's spätlase Riesling is grown closest to his family's home at their organically run Farm Vineyard beside a grove of fruit trees.
They have one block of Riesling and make two very different wines by taking the fruit down two different paths in the winemaking. For this late harvest Riesling, Simon stops the fermentation while the alcohol is low and the natural grape's sweetness and acidity are in harmony and balance.
His aim is to reference the classic European style of Riesling from Germany and try to showcase how different combinations of sugar, acid and alcohol can work in balance, provided they are complimentary. He uses only the free-run juice in the winemaking to keep the structure, clarity and brightness where he thinks it adds most to the aromatic, fruity flavours of this lush wine, which is complex and multilayered in flavour now and will be further enhanced by toasty, honeyed bottle development with cellaring.
The story of Astrolabe
Diversity, history and family ownership are among the reasons to try the outstanding range of wines from Astrolabe, which was founded in 1996 in Marlborough by winemaker Simon Waghorn and his partner in life and wine, Jane.
Simon has forged a reputation for being one of New Zealand's most respected producers of aromatic white wines after winning an almost embarrassingly long string of awards for his Sauvignon Blancs. He has also forged a name for adventurously diverse winemaking - he produces dry flinty whites from the most southern vineyard in Marlborough at Kekerengu on the coast about an hour's drive south of Blenheim. He is the only winemaker to produce wines from here.
He is also one of the few in this country to make Albarino, Chenin Blanc and a consistently outstanding range of wines from the organically certified hillside sloping site that is the Wrekin Vineyard in Marlborough.
The winery remains family owned and is now run by two generations, including Simon and Jane as well as their adult daughters.