This week I am introducing you to another good quality, inexpensive wine. The wine comes from the Marlborough region of New Zealand. The Marlborough Region is by far New Zealand’s most important wine region and is similar to Napa Valley here in the United States.
Marlborough Region, South Island, New Zealand
Marlborough is located at the northwestern tip of the South Island. The region is made up of two parallel valleys: the Wairau and the Awatere. It stretches up the Pacific Coast from Kaikoura to Picton. The region produces three quarters of all New Zealand wines.
Astrolabe was created by winemaker Simon Waghorn in 1996. Simon Waghorn has made wine in South Australia as well as New Zealand in the Marlborough region while working for other wineries. After a period of time in New Zealand he and his wife joined up with old friends Paul Davenport and Sally Lewis to make wine under their own label.
The Pinot Noir Grape
The Pinot Noir grape originated in the Burgundy region in France and still remains the dominant grape of the region. Today the grape is grown all over the world in such regions as Champagne (France), California, Oregon and Marlborough in New Zealand.
Pinot Noir is a smaller berry than a Cabernet grape and has a black skin. Pinot Noir is typically much lighter in color than other red wines. Other characteristics include high acidity, but low tannins and aromas. The flavors are typically of roses, fruits, black cherry, various berries and sometimes current.
2014 Astrolabe Province Marlborough Pinot Noir
The wine scored well by a number of wine critics. The scores were as follows:
- Wine Spectator magazine 92/100
- Wilfred Wong of Wine.com 91/100
- Wine Enthusiast magazine 90/100
- Wine and Spirits 90/100
Bright deep garnet color. Savory ripe dark and red cherry, brambly fruits with a hint of smoky oak aromas. Full-bodied wine with round, mouth filling flavors of plum, brambly fruit and dark cherry. The oak integrates nicely with the fruit and combines well with the silky and linear tannin structure.
At four years old their wine was still tight and took some time in my glass to open and have good aromas and flavor. The wine was medium-bodied but still a little meaty. Aromas were of red fruits and hints of oak. On the palate the wine was well balanced and offered flavors of red fruit and had some spice before the finish. On the finish the tannins were light and silky. The finish was of a good length and left you with warm vibrant acids. Overall this was a pleasant wine. It is certainly different than California and Oregon Pinots so I recommend you try one bottle first. If you like the wine you can always purchase more.
As usual, I purchased the wine at the Chalet Party Shoppe here in Elkhart. The price was at $19.99 per bottle. For further advice on this wine and others at Chalet, please consult with our good friend at Chalet: Stan Minden.
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Until next week,
Calendar of Events
- August 1st – International Albariño Day
- August 18th – International Pinot Noir Day
- September 3rd – International Cabernet Day
- September 15th – International Grenache Day
- November 7th – International Merlot Day
- November 12th – International Tempranillo Day
- November 15th – International Zinfandel Day
- December 16th – National Wine Club Day
- December 20th – National Sangria Day
- December 31st – National Champagne Day