Join the Saint Clair Wines mailing list
Connect with Saint Clair
Saint Clair Social Media Feeds

Our Wines

Other Vintages: 2014 | 2012 | 2011

Pioneer Block 16 Awatere Pinot Noir 2010

WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson


The Awatere vineyard is named from a north-facing hillside vineyard, overlooking the Awatere Valley, 25km south of Blenheim.


Southern Awatere Valley.


Soils: Windblown loess over clay.

Topography: A gentle north facing slope.

Climate: Slightly cooler than the Wairau Valley.

Regional Characteristics & contribution to Uniqueness of Flavours:

The vines are planted closely together on a north facing slope on devigourating soils. A long ripening season provided ideal conditions for the development of concentrated flavours and ripe tannin.


The fruit was sourced from a vineyard on the southern side of the Awatere Valley. The sloping site allows each vine to receive maximum exposure to sunlight, while the cooler maritime influence assists with acid and flavour retention.


The fruit was harvested when it had reached full physiological ripeness and maximum flavour maturity. At the winery the fruit was held cold for five days prior to fermentation 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 the peak of fermentation. This wine contains a blend of clone 5 and clone 115, which were fermented separately. At dryness each clone was pressed to tank then racked off gross lees. Each clone was then dropped into a mixture of 54 per cent new French oak and older seasoned 225L oak barriques. Barrels were regularly tasted until the right balance was achieved (ten months). During its time maturing in oak the young wine underwent malolactic fermentation. The wine was then carefully extracted from oak, blended and carefully prepared for bottling.


Dark glossy garnet core with purple hues.


A concentrated nose with black cherry, wild blackberry and sweet ripe raspberry, complemented by aromatics of violets, dried thyme and a touch of spice.


A luscious and elegant full palate with delicious black fruits - boysenberries, blackberries, and blueberries. A refined, elegant structure supports a rich complex toasty finish with spice and amazing length.


This is a complex and concentrated wine which is perfect for drinking immediately. With careful cellaring this wine will continue to develop for years to come.


Alcohol: 13.5% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 6.5 g/litre, pH: 3.51.

Food Match:

Beautifully matched with duck casserole, rare venison steaks or warm pumpkin and feta salad.



  • Gold, AWC Vienna 2012
  • Gold, Marlborough Wine Show 2011 - NZ
  • Gold, The New Zealand International Wine Show 2011
  • 5 Stars, tasting Top Tip
  • 91 points, Wine and Spirits Magazine USA Year's Best
  • 90+ Points, Wine Advocate Online Edition October 2011 - Issue 197