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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.
Raymond Chan

Awards & Accolades

Pioneer Block 4 Sawcut Chardonnay 2006


  • Silver: Bragato Wine Awards 2007
  • Bronze: The New Zealand International Wine Show 2007
  • Bronze: International Chardonnay Challenge 2007
  • 5 Stars: Wine Orbit Review 2007
  • 4 Stars: Winestate Magazine, Michael Cooper, March/April 2008
  • 93 points: Taste NZ Magazine, Bob Campbell MW, May 2008
  • 93 points: Taste NZ Magazine, Bob Campbell MW, May 2008


"Beautifully balanced and deliciously drinkable already, it is made in the mould of the stunning, multiple gold medal winning 2005."
Kingsley & Sam, First Glass Wines and Spirits, 28 May 2007

“As with other Pioneer Block wines, this chardonnay follows the road to distinction. For the ABC-ers (anything but chardonnay) this will change your mind.”
Chris Donaldson, The Press, 28 June 2007

"Fragrant aromas of ripe peach and creamy notes and toasty oak. The palate is beautifully balanced with juicy fruit characters and creamy texture with a long finish that promises much more to come with further ageing in the bottle. Already very impressive." 5 stars - 93 points
Sam King, Wine Orbit, July 2007

"Opulent aromas of malt and caramel and powerful rich flavours of spicy oak and peachy fruit with a salty savoury smoky undercurrent, a touch of leesy citrus and a long, creamy, fine-grained, caramel coated finish which is long, lean and focussed. Matt says this is possibly the best chardonnay he has ever made."
Sue Courtney August 07