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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 4 Sawcut Pinot Noir 2007
- Bronze: International Wine Challenge 2009 - UK
- Bronze: Royal Easter Show Wine Awards 2009 - NZ
- 4 Stars: Winestate Magazine, July/August 2008
- 91 points: "Year's Best" Wine & Spirits 02/09 USA
"From the Ure Valley, well south of the Awatere Valley, this deeply coloured red is very fresh and vibrant, with strong cherry, plum and herb flavours, lively and supple. Elegant, with a distinctly cool-climate feel, it's the best red yet under this label."
Michael Cooper's Best of 2008 Releases, Winestate Annual Edition, 2009
"Halfway between Kaikaura and Blenheim lies the limestone-rich Ure Valley from which Saint Clair have been sourcing pinot noir, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc from one of the Marlborough sub-region's two vineyards. This silky, tangy specimen is its most expressive pinot to date, with cherry fruit and delicate notes of potpourri-like rose petal and spice over a minerally core."
The New Zealand Herald, 8 April 2009