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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

Our Wines

Other Vintages: 2007 | 2006

Pioneer Block 8 Friar's Sauvignon Blanc 2007

WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson



Grovetown area, north-east of Blenheim.


Soils: Deep fertile even, free-draining, sandy soils.

Topography: Flat, warm site.

Climate: Slightly warmer than the lower Wairau but slightly cooler than Rapaura.

Vine Age: Second cropping vines at low yields.

Regional Characteristics & contribution to Uniqueness of Flavours:

The sandy soils contribute to riper stone fruit characters in the wine. The wine is more like a Hawke’s Bay style - an interesting Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc at the ripe tropical end of the flavour spectrum.


The fruit was sourced from a single vineyard on the fertile, free-draining soils of Marlborough’s Grovetown area. The fruit was carefully monitored during ripening and harvested in the cool of
the evening at maximum flavour maturity and physiological ripeness.


Pale straw


Intensely lifted fresh stone fruit characters with uplifted passionfruit and gooseberry notes.


The palate has a powerful concentration of fresh peach and passionfruit with mineral notes that give the palate long lasting intensity.


This wine is drinking beautifully now and may also be enjoyed over the next one to two years.


Alcohol: 12.5% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 7.4 g/litre, Residual Sugar: 3.0g/litre, pH: 3.33.

Food Match:

An ideal match with lightly spiced Thai cuisine or grilled Marlborough Salmon with char-grilled vegetables.