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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: 2015 | 2013 | 2012

Pioneer Block 15 Strip Block Pinot Noir 2007

WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson



The Lower Waihopai Valley directly west of Blenheim


Soils: Clay based.

Topography: Even, flat site.

Climate: Flat and even, at the mouth of the Waihopai Valley.

Vine Age: Fourth year cropping.

Regional Characteristics & contribution to Uniqueness of Flavours:

The clay based soils provide a vigour-moderating environment conducive to growing top quality Pinot Noir.


The fruit was sourced from a single vineyard in the mouth of the Waihopai Valley. All Dijon clones, the fruit selected for this special wine was 53 per cent clone 777, and 47 per cent clone 115.


Bright ruby


Lifted aromas of raspberry and cherries, and intensely lifted aromatics of violet, complemented by touches of spice.


This elegant wine has a well–structured and refined palate. It has good length with flavours of raspberry and cherries, balanced by the acidity and soft tannins. Ageing in new French barrels has lent warm savoury notes which lead to a full lingering finish.


Drinking well now, and patient cellaring will reward over the next two to five years.


Alcohol: 13% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 6.2g/litre, pH: 3.55.

Food Match:

Best matched with game or lamb dishes and served with mushrooms or rich savoury sauces.



  • Trophy, International Wine Challenge 2009 Marlborough Pinot Noir Trophy 2009
  • Trophy, International Wine Challenge 2009 - NZ Pinot Noir Trophy
  • Gold, Christchurch Casino Pinot Noir Awards 2009
  • Gold, International Wine Challenge 2009 - UK