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ASTROLABE

Named after a 19th century explorer’s ship (in turn named after an instrument of navigation), Astrolabe is Simon and Jane Waghorn’s voyage of winemaking exploration in New Zealand’s Marlborough region. Using a European appellation system of Province, Valley and Vineyard wines, Astrolabe wines create expressions that describe the Wairau and Ataware Valleys, plus the Kekerengu Coast, as well as individual parcels within them. Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir make up the majority of its wines, along with Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc, among other grapes. In 2016, Armit Wines became the UK's exclusive Astrolabe wine distributor. 

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RECOMMENDATIONS FOR YOU

Image of wine Province Sauvignon Blanc
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Pale straw with green highlights. Lemon grass, lime peel and elderflower, with background notes of white currant and red pepper. Medium-bodied with white peach, gooseberry and citrus flavours, and a dry mineral finish. Very enjoyable when young and fresh, will age gracefully with careful cellaring. Perfect with fresh, leafy green salads, seafood of all types and dishes with lifted, aromatic herbs.

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Image of wine Province Pinot Gris
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Image of wine The Wrekin Vineyard Chenin Blanc
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Image of wine Durvillea Pinot Gris
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Image of wine Province Chardonnay
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Image of wine Durvillea Sauvignon Blanc
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Image of wine Taihoa Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
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Image of wine Kekerengu Coast Sauvignon Blanc
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Delicate pink grapefruit and lime aromas followed by a ripe palette of green tropical fruit, peach and lemon balm. Incredibly structured and lively.Armit Wines

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Bottle 37.5cl £16.00

Case of 6 £96.00

Image of wine The Wrekin Vineyard Late Harvest Chenin Blanc
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Bottle 75cl £17.30

Image of wine Kekerengu Coast Sauvignon Blanc
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This classic, elegant Marlborough Sauvignon comes from the cool Kekerengu coastal region. The limestone soils found here and the cool winds from the sea help to develop a unique savoury structure to the Sauvignon Blanc. This fabulous, nuanced wine offers refreshing pink grapefruit and elderflower, leading onto a beautifully defined palate. Very dry with a minerally backbone lemongrass and rocksalt...

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Bottle 75cl £17.30

Case of 6 £103.80

Image of wine Kekerengu Coast Sauvignon Blanc
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Delicate pink grapefruit and lime aromas followed by a ripe palette of green tropical fruit, peach and lemon balm. Incredibly structured and lively.Armit Wines

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Bottle 75cl £18.40

Case of 6 £110.40

Image of wine The Wrekin Vineyard Chenin Blanc
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2015 Durvillea Sauvignon Blanc

Astrolabe

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Bottle 75cl £12.70

Case of 12 £152.38

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2016 Durvillea Pinot Gris

Astrolabe

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Bottle 75cl £12.70

Case of 12 £152.38

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Bottle 75cl £25.46

Case of 6 £152.70

Image of wine Taihoa Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
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Powerful passionfruit, guava and limoncello flavours, and a chalky, mineral texture. This wine will continue to develop rewarding flavour and bottle complexity with ageing. To be drunk with seafood of all types (especially oysters), leafy-summer salads, or as an aperitif.

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Bottle 75cl £25.46

Case of 6 £152.70

Image of wine Taihoa Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
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2015 Durvillea Pinot Noir

Astrolabe

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Bottle 75cl £14.56

Image of wine Durvillea Pinot Noir
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2017 Province Sauvignon Blanc

Astrolabe

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Bottle 75cl £16.76

Case of 12 £200.98

Image of wine Province Sauvignon Blanc
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Pale straw with green highlights. Lemon grass, lime peel and elderflower, with background notes of white currant and red pepper. Medium-bodied with white peach, gooseberry and citrus flavours, and a dry mineral finish. Very enjoyable when young and fresh, will age gracefully with careful cellaring. Perfect with fresh, leafy green salads, seafood of all types and dishes with lifted, aromatic herbs.

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2016 Province Pinot Gris

Astrolabe

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Bottle 75cl £16.76

Case of 12 £200.98

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2014 Province Chardonnay

Astrolabe

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Bottle 75cl £17.86

Case of 12 £214.18

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ASTROLABE WINES

Simon Waghorn’s winemaking career began in South Australia in 1982. He worked in New Zealand’s North Island, in Te Kauwhata and Gisborne, before settling in Marlborough, on the northern coast of South Island. It is this spirit of exploration that led to the foundation of Astrolabe in 1996 with his wife Jane Forrest-Waghorn and friends Paul Davenport and Sally Lewis.

The navigationally and astronomically inclined name of the winemaker comes from that of the ship L’Astrolabe, sailed by French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville, who charted the sounds, coves and islands of the region in 1827. He was not the first European voyager to discover this beautiful part of the islands, but his thorough geographical, geological and biological research was more in-depth than that of predecessors such as Cook, and led to a greater understanding of the region.

It is that same spirit of discovery in detail that drives the Astrolabe winery team. Marlborough is well known for its dry, cool climate and topography that makes it ideal for producing aromatic white wines (particularly from Sauvignon Blanc) and Pinot Noir. However, Simon is particularly interested in exploring the distinctive qualities of the sub-regions of Marlborough - Awatere Valley, Wairau Valley and the Kekerengu Coast. This understanding is applied to balancing single-grape blends - Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir - under Astrolabe’s Province wines, as well as to its Valley series.

Marlborough’s best known terroir, Wairau Valley - warm and dry, protected from harsh weather by the Wither Hills but tempered by cool breezes from Cloudy Bay, with big changes in temperature from day to night - has huge variation in soil. It’s known for its herbal, gooseberryish Sauvignon Blancs but is also good terroir for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. To the south-east, Awatare Valley, is more rugged and challenging ground, with a stronger ocean influence and dry soil that stresses the vines - punchy, grassy notes come through in its Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs. The Kekerengu Coast is Marlborough’s newest sub-region and is the secret weapon in Astrolabe’s campaign to produce subtle wines that age gracefully like a Burgundy or Chablis.

An even more precise expression of terroir is found in Astrolabe’s single vineyard range - completing the European appellation model. Astrolabe wines are sourced from individual Marlborough sites, each chosen for the distinctive flavour it produces either in isolation or adding layers of complexity to Valley or Province wines.

Astrolabe wines demonstrate Waghorn’s innovative treatment of specific parcels, experimenting with the winemaking process to capture undiscovered qualities of individual grape varieties. The Wrekin Chenin Blanc from the Wairu Valley is an excellent example - big and honeyed on the nose, giving away to crisp apple, lemon and a mineral length on the palate. Taihoa Sauvignon Blanc - from grapes hand-picked from a plot on the Kekerengu Coast, whole-bunch pressed and fermented with wild yeast in aged oak - is another example. Compared to many Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs, it has a herbal savoury character similar to a Sancerre, with a citric acid backbone that promises long ageing.

The Waghorns’ approach as winemakers is to build relationships both with people and the natural environment. They work closely with dedicated growers who live on their land and understand its rhythms, know how to grow grapes that express the terroir. Astrolabe wine is a part of the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand programme and all aspects of its production is certified - not only the vinification and bottling, but every single vineyard supplying grapes too. Armit Wines is pleased to have joined the Astrolabe family recently - in 2016 - as exclusive distributor for the UK.

Armit Wines also exclusively imports Simon’s second wine, Durvillea. It is named after the tenacious seaweed (samples of which were first collected by Jules Dumont d'Urville) that clings to rocks along the coast of Marlborough. Grapes for Durvillea wines are grown at carefully selected sites across the region and harvested at precisely the right moment to preserve purity and intensity of flavour for a classic Marlborough style of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.

Browse and buy Astrolabe wine online today.

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7908 0600 web@armitwines.co.uk

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