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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.
Awards & Accolades
Pioneer Block 7 Rowberry Sauvignon Blanc 2006
- Gold: New Zealand International Wine Show 2006
- Gold: Royal Easter Show Wine Awards 2007
- Gold: International Aromatic Wine Competition 2006
- Silver: Bragato Wine Awards 2006
- Silver: Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2006
- Silver: Decanter World Wine Awards, London 2007
- Bronze: Royal Hobart International Wine Show 2006
- 5 Stars: Bob Campbell, Gourmet Traveller Wine, Dec/Jan 2007
- 4 ½ Stars: Cuisine Magazine NZ Sauvignon Blanc Tasting 2007
- 4 Stars: Winestate - Marlborough Tasting 2007
- 92 points: Wine Spectator 2007
- 89 points: Wine Enthusiast, March 2007
- 89 points: International Wine Cellar, Stephen Tanzer, USA 2007
"Best of show (NZ Wine Showcase, Seattle). Lime, rock, tropical fruits, plenty of depth and detail."
Paul Gregutt, www.seattletimes.nwsource.com, 18 April 2007
"I like the wine's deceptively low-key introduction, which contrasts with its climatic finish. A ripe style with plenty of passionfruit, lemongrass and red-capsicum flavours."
Bob Campbell MW, Gourmet Traveller Wine, Dec/Jan 2007
"Showing a slightly oily richness, this is one of the driest wines in the Pioneer Block range. It's creamy-smooth with deliciously ripe, tropical-fruit flavours and a minerally thread."
Michael Cooper, John Belsham, Simon Waghorn, Cuisine January 2007