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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 18 Snap Block Sauvignon Blanc 2008
- Trophy Champion Sauvignon Blanc: Tri Nations Wine Challenge 2009
- Gold: International Aromatic Wine Competition 2008 , Royal NZ Show
- Gold: San Francisco International Wine Competition 2009
- Gold: Royal Easter Show Wine Awards 2009 - NZ
- Silver: Bragato Wine Awards 2008
- Silver: International Wines & Spirits Competition, 2008
- Silver: The New Zealand International Wine Show 2008
- Silver: Liquorland Top 100 2008
- Silver: International Wine Challenge 2009 - UK
- Bronze: Decanter World Wine Awards 2009
- Bronze: Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2008 - NZ
- Bronze: Indian Wine Challenge 2008 - India
- 5 Stars: Winestate Special Edition 2008
- 93 points: Taste NZ Magazine 2008 - 31st December
- 91 points: Wine Spectator 03/09 USA
- 3 Stars: Cuisine Magazine 2009 January Issue 132
- 3 Stars: Winestate Magazine 2009 March/April
I found the 2008 vintage Saint Clair Snap Block Sauvignon Blanc to have a wonderful bouquet of passionfruit, grapefruit and blackcurrant. The palate had the same presence of blackcurrant and passionfruit in a vibrant mix, with underlying mineral and savoury notes. The finish is long and lingering.
I would recommend trying the 2008 Saint Clair Snap Block Sauvignon Blanc with poached salmon or a seafood salad. .
Stephen Clark, The Weekly Wine Review, www.tstnz.com 2009
"Another good one", noted one panellist. Very pretty and powerful wine with full-on tropical richness evident on both nose and palate. Will improve even further with some age."
Winestate Annual Edition, 2009
"Wonderfully delicate and tantalisingly complex"
Bob Campbell, MW, Taste, Dec 2008