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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 5 Bull Block Pinot Noir 2007
- Trophy: Decanter World Wine Awards 2009
- Gold: Bragato Wine Awards 2008
- Silver: Royal Easter Show Wine Awards 2009 - NZ
- Silver: Japan Wine Challenge 2008
- Silver: International Wine Challenge 2009 - UK
- Bronze: San Francisco International Wine Competition 2009
- 4 ½ Stars: Winestate Magazine, July/August 2008
- 4 Stars: Marlborough Regional Tasting Winestate Magazine - Michael Cooper 2009 March/April
- 3 Stars: 81 POINTS - Bob Campbell M.W 2008 August Tasting
"From clay-rich soils on the south side of the Omaka Valley, this is a dark, full-bodied red, sweet-fruited, with deep cherry, plum and spice flavours, supple and flowing. Already delivious, it shows excellent concentration and harmony."
Michael Cooper's Best of 2008 Releases, Winestate Annual Edition, 2009
"Sweet and spicy with plenty of fruit power. Tingly acid and chewy, drying tannins combine with stunning plum fruit flavour; the fruit carries the wine from start to drying aftertaste. Some herb and cedar notes are also worth mentioning while the finish lightens up a little - the fruitiness becoming more raspberry or early cherry. The overall impression is of a pleasing wine. Another beauty from Saint Clair Family Estate."
Deborah Walton and Peter Morice, The Marlborough Express, 23 April 2009