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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

Rapaura Reserve Merlot 2007


  • Silver: Royal Easter Wine Show Awards 2009 - NZ
  • Bronze: The New Zealand International Wine Show 2008 - NZ
  • Commended: International Wine Challenge 2009 - UK


"Cocoa, berryfruit and some enticing spicy notes make this Marlborough merlot deceptively like something you'd get from warmer northern climes. It's warming and fruit forward with solid weight and rib-sticking length of flavour. It will only get better over the coming years but if you must drink it now then have some roast lamb studded with rosemary and garlic handy."
Yvonne-Marie Lorkin, Hawkes BHay Today, 18 April 2009

"Awarded a silver at the Easter Show, this merlot is a bloody coloured drop, deep brown/purple in hue. It presents complex aromas of blackcurrant and tobacco, sherry and marzipan, then smooth smoky mushrooms and plums and toasted raisin bread, tailing off into a long unctuous finish. Spot on with roast pork."
Claudine Earley, Capital Times, 22 April 2009