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Our Wines

Other Vintages: 2013 | 2011 | 2009

Pioneer Block 4 Sawcut Pinot Noir 2009

WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson


The Sawcut Vineyard is named after the Sawcut Gorge, located within the Ure Valley (Marlborough).


The Ure Valley is about 40km south of Blenheim. The site is on a narrow valley floor protected by hills on three sides and is very close to the East coast. It has a unique micro climate and is ideally suited to the production of top quality wine.


Soils: Free draining river valley alluvial soils with a very high limestone content.

Topography: Flat, on a plateau within the narrow valley.

Climate: Quite a warm site with simular growing degree days as Blenheim.

Vine Age: Average 9 years old.

Regional Characteristics & contribution to Uniqueness of Flavours:

The high pH soil and limestone impact significantly on the flavour of this wine and ensures it has great palate weight and fruit intensity.


The grapes harvested for this single vineyard wine are from Dijon clones 667 and 777 with a small amount of 115.


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 days prior to ferment to help extract maximum flavour and to enhance colour stability. Selected yeasts were used to carry out the primary alcoholic fermentation during which the fermenting must was hand plunged up to six times daily. At dryness each batch was pressed to tank and then racked off gross lees to stainless steel tanks. The wine was then dropped into a mixture of 53 per cent new French oak for ten months where it underwent malolactic fermentation. It was then blended and carefully prepared for bottling.


Bright ruby


Lifted notes of dark cherries with hints of wild thyme and spicy oak.


An elegant Pinot Noir with a well rounded full palate. Well balanced acidity and ripe tannins give way to luscious flavours of ripe dark cherry with spicy oak. Aging in French oak has lent warm savoury notes and a lifted spicy finish.


Perfect for drinking immediately this wine will continue to develop for at least another 5 years from vintage date.


Alcohol: 13.5% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 6.4g/litre, pH: pH 3.51.

Food Match:

An ideal match with roast poultry, full flavoured fish, spring lamb or barbequed beef.



  • Silver, Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2010
  • 3 Stars, Tiz Wine Pinot Noir Tasting 2011