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Pioneer Block 11 Cell Block Chardonnay 2009

WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson


Owned by Colin McKay, formerly a senior detective in the New Zealand Police, this wine is aptly named Cell Block.


Lower Wairau Valley.


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 long, slow 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 Valley has many available minerals which show in the ‘salty’ character of this wine.


This fruit is sourced from two adjoining blocks from within the lower Wairau area. The grapes are a blend of 50 per cent Mendoza and 50 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.


At the winery the two batches of fruit were pressed as soon as possible to ensure the finest fruit flavours were preserved. After settling the juice was inoculated with selected yeast strains. Fermentation took place in 100 per cent new oak (a combination of French and American). The wine then went through malolactic fermentation, followed by 10 months ageing on yeast lees with regular stirring. The final product was then carefully blended and prepared for bottling.


Pale gold


Lifted aromas of tropical fruits and melon, supported by an underlying minerality.


The palate is full-bodied with mineral characters, toasty vanillin oak and firm acidity. The finish has great intensity.


Drink now or enjoy for up to five years from vintage date.


Alcohol: 13% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 5.7g/litre, Residual Sugar: 0.8g/litre, pH: pH 3.44.

Food Match:

An ideal match with seafood and shellfish. Try with seared scallops and avocado salad.


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