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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.
MaryAnn Worobiec Wine Spectator

Awards & Accolades

Pioneer Block 1 Foundation Sauvignon Blanc 2005


  • Gold: International Wines & Spirits Competition, London 2006
  • Gold: Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2005
  • Silver: Bragato Wine Awards 2005
  • Silver: Bragato Wine Awards 2006
  • Silver: International Wine Challenge, London 2006
  • Bronze: Decanter World Wine Awards 2006
  • Bronze: The International Aromatic Wine Competition, Canterbury A & P Show 2005
  • 5 Stars: Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine 2006
  • 4 ½ Stars: Cuisine Magazine, January 2006
  • 4 Stars: Winestate 2006
  • Top 10: NZ Home & Entertaining Magazine (Bob Campbell MW) 2006


"From a slightly cooler corner of the Lower Wairau Valley, this offering from winemaker Matt Thomson is a serious affair. Pale straw in appearance and as crisp as white linen, with hints of lime and more obvious passionfruit flavours, and a generous finish. Recommended."
Matt Philp, The Press, 6 April 2006

"Intense and pungent, blackcurrant, tomato leaf and gooseberries, ripe fruit, fresh but gentle acidity, good balance."
Graeme Burrow, Northern Advocate, 24 December 2005