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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 19 Bird Block Sauvignon Blanc 2009
- Champion Sauvignon Blanc and New Zealand Wine Cellars Spence Brothers Trophy: Bragato Wine Awards 2009
- Gold: Liquorland International Wine Competition 2010 NZ
- Elite Gold: Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2009
- Gold: NZ International Wine Show 2009
- Silver: Bragato Wine Awards
- 90 points: Wine & Spirits Magazine USA - Issue Feb 2011
- 3 ½ Stars: Winestate Magazine Special Edition 2009
Starts off with some slightly fumé-like aromas, but soon settles down to an easy mix of celery and tomato leaf and ripe stone fruit. It’s plump and even a bit oily in texture, with a long, clinging finish of honey and green leafiness. —J.C. Wine Enthusiast (Sept Issue 2010).