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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 www.raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz

Our Wines

Other Vintages: 2016 | 2015 | 2014
2008 VINTAGE

Pioneer Block 14 Doctor's Creek Pinot Noir 2008

WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson

BLOCK: 14

Region:

This wine is primarily from the Doctor’s creek vineyard, south-west of Blenheim. A small component is also from the Awatere Valley.

Terroir:

Soils: Clay rich, vigour moderating soils.

Topography: Flat, even land.

Climate: Slightly cooler than further up the Wairau Valley with a slower longer ripening period.

Regional Characteristics & contribution to Uniqueness of Flavours:

The two areas selected for this wine were chosen for the complexity they add to the wine, the fragrant aromatics from the cooler Doctors Creek area, with the concentration of fruit flavours from the very lowyielding Awatere Valley.

Viticulture:

The fruit was sourced from Saint Clair’s own vineyard at Doctors Creek and a small amount from the Awatere Valley to add complexity. The grapes harvested for this wine are from a mixture of Dijon clones.

Winemaking:

The fruit was harvested when it had reached full physiological ripeness and maximum flavour maturity. At the winery the fruit was held cold for four to five days prior to ferment to help extract maximum flavour and to enhance colour stability. Cultured yeasts were used to ferment the wine and during ferment the must was hand plunged up to six times daily. Once dry, each batch was pressed to tank and then racked off gross lees to 40 per cent New French oak. The wine then underwent malolactic fermentation and was aged for ten months in barrel before being blended and carefully prepared for bottling.

Colour:

Bright ruby

Aroma:

Aromas of raspberry and plums, complemented by lifted floral hints and a touch of spice.

Palate:

This Pinot Noir is elegant with a well-structured and full palate. It has good length of fruit with flavours of raspberry and plums. Oak ageing has lent warm savoury notes on the palate, with a long lingering finish.

Cellaring:

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

Analysis:

Alcohol: 13.5% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 6.2g/litre, pH: 3.56.

Food Match:

This Pioneer Block Pinot Noir is perfectly matched with spring lamb or tuna.

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Awards

  • 90 points, Wine Spectator 2010