On Monday 15th January, a selection of Armit representatives attended The Flavours of New Zealand Wine Trade Tasting at Westminster Country Hall, a beautiful venue with panoranic views across the River Thames and The Houses of Parliament. We were proud to represent two of our acclaimed producers from New Zealand, Astrolabe and Borthwick Vinyards.
Winemaker Simon Waghorn and his wife Jane from Astrolabe are based in the Marlborough on New Zealand's South Island, where the cool and dry climate, unique terrain and topography is perfect for producing aromatic white wines and Pinot Noir. Astrolabe's vinyards span across a highly diverse range of climate conditions; from the dry Awatere Valley where strong winds, variable soils, greater temperature fluctuations and a later ripening season cause reductions in grape berry size and more intense flavours, to the mild Kekerengo Coast where cool winds from the sea prolong the growing season and the limestone soil provides a unique savoury structure to the wines.
Attendees were wowed by the exquisite fruit complexity and mineral-edged purity of the Wrekin Chenin Blanc. This delicate, yet thrilling wine is grown in Astrolabe's Wrekin Vineyard, that sits in the Southern Valleys. Here the Chenin is grown alongside Chardonnay and rich red and black cherry flavoured Pinot Noir, on a mixture of hillside and gentle slopes. The soils, based on glacial outwash, are some of the oldest in the province and range from deep loams to tight clays.
Family owned, Borthwick Vineyard is an established vineyard situated in Gladstone, the heart of the Wairarapa. The 27 hectare site benfits from stony, free draining, alluvial soils, with a micro climate giving warm daily temperatures, cool nights and low rainfall; perfect conditions for producing distinctive, quality wines. Winemaker and owner Paddy Borthwick is famed for his "Burgundy like" Pinot Noir, and his 2014 Left Hand Pinot Noir generated a great deal of of interest and attention throughout the event for it's complex structure of french oak and fruit tannins, balanced by a rich, soft palate of dark cherry, cloves and wild herbs.
By Megan Parkinson