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"Saint Clair now makes the country’s and perhaps the world’s best
Sauvignon Blanc. Saint Clair has won more top awards for Sauvignon
Blanc in recent years than any of the three or four hundred other local
producers. Although Sauvignon Blanc is clearly Saint Clair’s
signature wine it has also earned trophies for Chardonnay, Merlot,
Pinot Noir, and Riesling over the same period."
The single vineyard ‘Pioneer Block’ wines of Saint Clair require separate handling, the winery using 250 small tanks to manage this. The amount of detail for winemakers Matt Thomson and Hamish Clark and their team is considerable, but the result is a fascinating range of wines that express their origin and site. In essence Saint Clair is bottling ‘terroir’ for keen wine enthusiasts to ponder and enjoy. The quality per se of the ‘Pioneer Block’ wines has been extremely high as well, reflecting the identification of superior as well as individual vineyards by Saint Clair’s owner Neal Ibbotson.
Harvest Update 200710 May 2007
Neal and Judy Ibbotson, owners of Saint Clair Estate Wines, have reason to celebrate another very good vintage in Marlborough. “We have had an exceptionally warm and dry summer in Marlborough”, says Neal.
"The fruit was clean and disease free and has provided intense flavours and a good level of acidity in the wines. What started off in December looking like a cool start to the 2007 vintage ended up to be an earlier than normal vintage due to the number of very warm days and virtually no rainfall through February, March and April”, says Neal.
Sauvignon Blanc was slightly below average in quantity per hectare. For Saint Clair new plantings in vineyards such as the new Benmorven Block and additional contract growers has overcome any potential shortfall in wine available. The Sauvignon Blanc quality is excellent with intense clean flavours and good acidity.
Yields are down for Merlot, Gewurztraminer and to a lesser extent Pinot Noir. Saint Clair is particularly excited about their 2007 Pinot Noir with a new Saint Clair vineyard purchased from the Delta vineyard and new vineyards on clay soils in the Awatere Valley.
Saint Clair’s new winery is full to capacity with expansion plans underway to ensure that the company can meet the growing local and international demand for their wines.