Astrolabe Chardonnay 2018
Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
93 Points by Bob Campbell MW
92 Points by Cameron Douglas MS
"This wine is medium straw gold in colour. On the nose some ripe melon and dried stone fruits with vanilla and butter notes and a subtle mealiness. And on the palate very elegant texture with stone fruit, vanilla creaminess, toasty oak, pleasing weight and a long, dry and mineral finish."
"This wine is blended from four different clones from grapes grown at their home vineyard in the lower Wairau Valley, Wrekin Vineyard on the clay hillsides of the Southern Valleys and Windmill Block at Dumgree in the Awatere Valley.
The fruit is all hand-picked and whole cluster pressed to reduce phenolic structure and allow attractive grape solids fermentation characters to come through. I use only the free-run juice, also known as cuvée. That cuvée juice is taken down a very traditional Burgundian path: high-solids barrel fermentation with wild yeast, lees aging in French oak and bâtonnage throughout the maturation period.
The wine develops structure and body as it ages in 500 litre oak puncheons, where it undergoes malolactic fermentation, gathers lees complexity from aging on the lees and takes in flavours from the wood and its toast levels. Complementing the natural stonefruit and citrus flavours of their chardonnay grapes by building aromatic complexity and texture during winemaking to craft an elegant, dry and mouth-filling wine."
This wine is best served at cool room temperature 13-15 degrees and would pair well with roast chicken, creamy sauces, miso, sesame, truffles or delicate mushrooms.