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The Saint Clair Pioneer Block Pinots offer tremendous quality and value.
Pioneer Block 10 Twin Hills Chardonnay 2008
WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson
Region:Saint Clair’s own vineyard in the Omaka Valley, where the climate is warmer by day, but cooler by night than average in Marlborough. This site has proven itself to be capable of producing top quality chardonnay.
Soils: The soil is clay based and is quite compact.
Topography: Flat within a small open valley.
Climate: A warm site, with warmer days and cooler nights than average in Marlborough.
Regional Characteristics & contribution to Uniqueness of Flavours: This is a warmer site with good diurnal temperature changes, which contributes to better retention of fruit flavours.
Viticulture:The fruit was sourced from Saint Clair’s own vineyard on the clay based soils in the Omaka Valley. The vines are 50 per cent Mendoza Clone, 50 per cent Clone 95; the Chardonnay clone used predominately in Burgundy. The fruit was carefully monitored during ripening and hand harvested at maximum flavour maturity and physiological ripeness.
Winemaking:At the winery the fruit was whole bunch pressed and pressing components kept separate to ensure the highest quality fruit flavours were preserved. 30 per cent of the juice was fermented wild and the remainder was inoculated with selected yeast strains after settling. The wine was all fermented in barrel; 50 per cent new, and 50 per cent seasoned French oak. The wine then went through malolactic fermentation, followed by nine months ageing on yeast lees with regular stirring before blending, stabilising and finally prepared for bottle.
Aroma:Lifted aromas of tropical flavours and notes of peach and fig, with a touch of spice.
Palate:The palate is elegant and complex, with flavours of tropical fruits and fig, supported by an underlying minerality. Maturation on lees in French oak has provided a ‘biscuity’ note and a mouth filling viscosity. A firm acidity that leads to a warm lingering finish.
Cellaring:Although drinking well now, this wine will improve with age. Patient cellaring will reward over the next one to five years.
Alcohol: 14% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 6.0g/litre, Residual Sugar: 3.5g/litre, pH: 3.41.
Food Match:Perfect on its own or as an accompaniment to lamb or chicken dishes – or try with cheeses.