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So far, the 2011s show plenty of promise and some pretty terrific wines and values. At the top of the list, not surprisingly, is Saint Clair. Saint Clair winemaker Matt Thomson is passionate about Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, and he's exploring the region in depth with the Pioneer Block series, which focuses on select parcels and vineyard sites. I like those wines very much but the reserve bottling is truly the standout - aromatic and elegant, and wonderfully delicious.
End of Year Celebrations at Saint Clair Family Estate13 December 2016
Saint Clair Family Estate are celebrating an outstanding achievement at the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show. The Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Grüner Veltliner 2015 has been awarded the Trans-Tasman Award for Best New Zealand Wine.
The Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show is a forum for wines that fall outside the mainstream. In 1999 Stefano de Pieri and Bruce Chalmers, along with Dr. Rod Bonfiglioli, initiated the Sangiovese Awards and continued in 2000 with the Australian Italian Wine Show. Following the success of these shows, the first Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show was held in Mildura in November 2001.
Saint Clair has achieved consistent success in international wine shows with numerous grape varieties. The desire to broaden the portfolio and explore other varieties and wine styles led the family owned winery to plant its first vineyards of Grüner Veltliner in Marlborough in 2008 with the first grapes harvested in 2011.
Some of the best soils Saint Clair have found for growing Grüner in Marlborough, is the foothills of the Omaka Southern Valley, comprising soils of clay and compressed gravels. These soils combined with the cooler and more temperate climate Marlborough offers provide great flavours and acid balance to the Gruner Veltliner wine.
To celebrate the Trophy the top was popped off a bottle of Saint Clair’s first ever méthode traditionnelle wine, Saint Clair Dawn. Saint Clair Family Estate is owned by viticulture pioneers Neal and Judy Ibbotson, who planted grapes in Marlborough in 1978. Neal’s mother Dawn Ibbotson is the driving inspiration behind the creation of Saint Clair Dawn. The wine was made for her 100th birthday in December 2014. Yesterday Dawn celebrated another birthday turning 102. Recently awarded 5 stars by Michael Cooper the wine is elegant and complex with a rich palate and fine mousse.
Congratulations Dawn on reaching such a milestone and congratulations to Saint Clair for once again an outstanding win. Consistency in quality is what is firmly cementing Saint Clair’s reputation as a leading New Zealand wine producer.