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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.
Pioneer Block 3 43 Degrees Sauvignon Blanc 2009
WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson
Region:Marlborough’s lower Wairau area, east of Blenheim.
Soils: Even, fertile, deep, free draining silt loams.
Topography: Flat, with rows unusually running north-east to south-west at a 43 degree angle.
Climate: Slightly cooler than most of the Marlborough Valley with a slower longer ripening period.
Vine Age: Fifth year cropping.
Regional Characteristics & contribution to Uniqueness of Flavours: Rows are planted north-east to south-west. This is a cooler site and slower to ripen. The distinguishing flavours of this wine are crushed herbs (more like coastal Awatere) and an absence of sweaty characteristics.
Viticulture:The fruit was sourced from a vineyard on the fertile, free-draining soils of the lower Wairau Valley. The fruit was carefully monitored during ripening and harvested in the cool of the evening at maximum flavour maturity and physiological ripeness.
Winemaking:The fruit was pressed off as quickly as possible to minimise skin contact and juice deterioration following harvesting. After settling the juice was fermented using selected yeast in 100 per cent stainless steel at cool temperatures to retain fruit flavour and freshness. This batch was selected as a Pioneer Block wine due to its unique flavour, intensity and complexity.
Aroma:Powerful and intense aromas of crushed herb, blackcurrant bud, passionfruit and gooseberry.
Palate:This Sauvignon Blanc is distinctively Marlborough and has a fresh vibrant palate of passionfruit, gooseberry and crushed herb. The wine has a wonderfully full and rich palate with striking minerality leading to a long, lasting finish. It is the crushed herb flavour that is a point of difference for this wine.
Cellaring:This wine is drinking beautifully now and may also be enjoyed over the next one to two years.
Alcohol: 13% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 8g/litre, Residual Sugar: 4g/litre, pH: 3.44.
Food Match:This wine is an ideal match with fresh seafood such as mussel fritters, scallops or pan-fried fish. It is also perfect with summer salads and smoked chicken.
- Trophy Champion White Wine, WSA Wine Challenge 2010 Singapore
- Trophy Best Wine in the Show, WSA Wine Challenge 2010 Singapore
- Trophy Best Dry White Wine, Shanghai International Wine Challenge 2010
- Trophy Champion Sauvignon Blanc, Shanghai International Wine Challenge 2010
- NZ Sauvignon Blanc Trophy, Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition 2009
- Trophy Champion Sauvignon Blanc, Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition 2009
- Gold, AWC Vienna International Wine Challenge 2010
- Gold, Shanghai International Wine Challenge 2010
- Gold, WSA Wine Challenge 2010 Singapore
- Gold, Liquorland International Wine Competition 2010, NZ
- Gold, Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition 2009
- Gold, Liquorland Top 100 2009
- Elite Gold, Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2009
- Gold, NZ International Wine Show 2009
- 91 points, Wine & Spirits Magazine USA - Issue Feb 2011