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Wineries whose Pinot Noir impressed me most include...Saint Clair...
Pioneer Block 11 Cell Block Chardonnay 2008
WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson
Region:Marlborough’s Lower Wairau area, east of Blenheim.
Soils: Even, fertile, deep, free draining silt loams on sand.
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: This is a slightly cooler area, which contributes to this wines elegance. The soil from the Lower Wairau has many available minerals, which shows in the ‘salty’ character of this special wine – making it a perfect accompaniment to seafood!
Viticulture:This fruit is sourced from two separate blocks from within the Lower Wairau area. The grapes are 40 per cent Mendoza and 60 per cent Clone 15. The fruit was carefully monitored during ripening and machine harvested in two batches at their respective maximum flavour maturity and physiological ripeness.
Winemaking:At the winery the two batches of fruit were whole bunch pressed and free run and pressing components separated to ensure the best fruit flavours were preserved. After settling, the juice was fermented naturally using indigenous winery yeast. The wine was 100 per cent barrel fermented in new French oak. The wine then went through malolactic fermentation, followed by 10 months ageing on yeast lees with regular stirring. The wine was then carefully blended, and prepared for bottling.
Aroma:Lifted aromas of tropical fruits and melon, supported by an underlying minerality.
Palate:The palate is full bodied, with tropical flavours and a lingering minerality that lasts and lasts. Toasty vanillin oak characters come through, along with a firm acidity that leads to a warm lingering finish.
Cellaring:Drinking well now and patient cellaring will reward over the next three years.
Alcohol: 13% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 6.4g/litre, Residual Sugar: 4.7g/litre, pH: 3.51.
Food Match:Perfect on its own or as accompaniment to seafood and shellfish such as seared scallops or Marlborough mussels.
- Gold, Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2009