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Other Vintages: 2011 | 2010 | 2007

Pioneer Block 11 Cell Block Sauvignon Blanc 2010

WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson


This vineyard is located in the lower Wairau Valley and bounds the Opawa River. Owned by Colin MacKay, formerly a senior detective in the NZ Police, this wine is aptly named, Cell Block.


Dillons Point – Marlborough Valley.


Soils: This vineyard has free-draining alluvial silt overlying a sand subsoil.

Topography: Flat.

Climate: The proximity of this area to the coast makes it cooler than much of inland Marlborough.

Regional Characteristics & contribution to Uniqueness of Flavours:

This is a cooler site with slower ripening than the majority of the Marlborough region. It is often one of the very last blocks to be harvested. Site related characteristics include a distinct mineral intensity and a slightly rich salty finish that adds to the weight and length of the wine.


The fruit was sourced from the Dillons Point area where it was carefully monitored during ripening. Harvesting took place in the cool of the evening when the grapes were at maximum flavour maturity and physiological ripeness.


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.


Pale straw.


Powerful and intense aromas of blackcurrant, gooseberry and passionfruit, with subtle undertones of honeysuckle.


This wine has a silky texture showing flavours of melon, grapefruit and honey with underlying mineral characteristics.


This wine is drinking beautifully now and may also be enjoyed over the next one to two years.


Alcohol: 13% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 7.6g/litre, Residual Sugar: 4.1g/litre, pH: 3.54.

Food Match:

The mineral characteristics of this wine make it an ideal match with shellfish, especially fresh oysters.



  • Gold, New Zealand International Aromatic Wine Competition 2010
  • Silver, Decanter World Wine Awards 2011
  • Silver, Concours Mondial du Sauvignon Brussels 2011
  • 89 points, Wine Spectator Magazine USA 2011