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Other Vintages: 2016 | 2015 | 2014

Pioneer Block 11 Cell Block Chardonnay 2012

WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson and Hamish Clark


Cell Block is named after one of Saint Clair’s growers, Colin MacKay, an ex detective in the New Zealand Police.


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 the wines elegance. The soil from the lower Wairau Valley has many available minerals reflected in the ‘salty’ character.


The fruit is sourced from two adjoining blocks within the lower Wairau area. The grapes are a blend of clone 15 & 95. 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 best fruit flavours were preserved. After settling, the juice was inoculated with selected yeast strains. 100 per cent barrel fermentation was carried out in new French oak. The wine then went through malolactic fermentation, followed by ten months ageing on yeast lees with regular stirring. Once completed the wine was carefully blended and prepared for bottling.


Pale gold


Lifted aromas of tropical fruit and melon is combined with toasty vanilla bean and supported by an underlying minerality.


A full-bodied palate with mineral characters, warm and toasty oak flavours, firm acidity with a finish of great intensity.


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


Alcohol: 14% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 6.5g/litre, Residual Sugar: 3.1g/litre, pH: 3.45.

Food Match:

An ideal match with seared scallops and avocado salad.



  • Pure Gold, Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2013