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The 2010 Pinot Noirs were outstanding with Saint Clair leading the way with no less than 4 Top Tip Awards. .....All of the Saint Clair Top Tip winners came from their Pioneer Block range and we would suggest that you can't go wrong with any wine from this range but that our favourite was Block 16 Awatere Pinot Noir.
Pioneer Block 4 Sawcut Pinot Noir 2008
WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson
Region:The high pH soil and limestone soil impacts significantly on the flavour of this wine, and ensures it has great palate weight and fruit intensity.
Soils: Free-draining river valley alluvial soils. This valley is noted for its very high limestone content.
Topography: Flat, on a plateau within the narrow valley.
Climate: Quite a warm site, despite it being significantly south. It has a similar number of growing degree days as Blenheim.
Regional Characteristics & contribution to Uniqueness of Flavours: The high pH soil and limestone soil impacts significantly on the flavour of this wine, and ensures it has great palate weight and fruit intensity.
Viticulture:The fruit was sourced from a single vineyard on the free draining river valley soils of the Ure Valley. The grapes harvested for this wine are from the Dijon clones 667 and 777 and also 115.
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 with a 50% portion to 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.
Aroma:Lifted aromas of dark cherry and plums, with hints of clove and spicy oak.
Palate:This elegant Pinot Noir has a round full palate, with well balanced acidity and abundant ripe tannins. Flavours of dark cherry and plums dominate the palate, with spicy oak notes. Ageing in new French barrels has lent warm savoury notes, which lead to
a full lingering finish.
Cellaring:Drinking well now and patient cellaring will reward over the next two to five years.
Alcohol: 13.5% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 6.5g/litre, pH: 3.64.
Food Match:An ideal match with roast poultry, full flavoured fish, spring lamb or barbecued beef.
- Gold, NZ International Wine Show 2010
- Gold, AWC Vienna International Wine Challenge 2010
- Silver, Bragato Wine Awards
- 91 points, Wine Enthusiast Magazine's Advance Buying Guide Joe Czerwinski