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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.
Pioneer Block 5 Bull Block Pinot Gris 2007
WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson
Originally this site was the paddock where stud Jersey bulls grazed. Situated in Hawkesbury Road, in Omaka Valley, south-west of Blenheim, the vineyard gently slopes north.
Soils: Free-draining, mix of stones and lighter soils with some clay.
Climate: Typical Southern Valley climate of very warm days followed by cool nights.
Vine Age: Seven years
Regional Characteristics & contribution to Uniqueness of Flavours: This is a warmer site with early budburst allowing
a long ripening period well into the late autumn.
Hang time increases the intensity and ripeness of
the characteristic Pinot Gris aromas and gives a rich
weight to the palate.
Viticulture:The fruit was sourced from a single vineyard in the
southern Omaka Valley. Destined for a tardive style
with no botrytis influence the fruit was carefully
monitored during ripening and harvested in the cool
of the evening at maximum flavour maturity and
Aroma:A beautifully intense wine with, pungent Pinot Gris
characters of freshly cut white pears, bread crust
Palate:The wine is rich and mouth-filling with a soft, round,
oily texture on the palate showing pear and almond
with touches of spice and bread crust.
Cellaring:This wine is drinking beautifully now and is best
enjoyed between one to three years from vintage
Alcohol: 13% v/v,, Titratable Acidity: 5.9 g/litre, Residual Sugar: 24.0g/litre, pH: 3.61.
Food Match:This wine is an ideal match with lightly spiced Asian
cuisine or soft ripened cheeses.
- Gold, Bragato Wine Awards