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Other Vintages: 2015 | 2014 | 2013

Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Merlot 2013

WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson, Hamish Clark and Kyle Thompson


Full bodied with lifted ripe plum, dark blackberries, chocolate, and coffee.


Hawkes Bay


Soils: Vigour moderating free draining gravel.

Topography: Flat, even site with a gradual slope.

Climate: Warm, sheltered site.

Regional Characteristics & contribution to Uniqueness of Flavours:

Warm days and cooler nights with gravel rich vigour-moderating soils all contribute to small berries which give this wine concentration, perfume and a deep rich colour.


This outstanding fruit was sourced from a single vineyard within the Gimblett Gravels winegrowing area of Hawkes bay. The vigour moderating, free draining gravel provides a superb base for this low cropping Merlot. This vineyard site has ideal ripening conditions for achieving the full aromatic profile and tannin structure that Merlot can give. The fruit was carefully monitored during ripening and harvested in the cool evening at maximum flavour maturity and physiological ripeness.


The fruit was held cold for four days prior to ferment to help extract maximum flavour and to enhance colour stability. It was then inoculated to carry out the primary alcoholic fermentation during which the fermenting must was hand plunged up to four times daily and pumped over the skin to help with extraction. When dry the young wine was pressed and then racked off gross lees to 47 per cent new American oak and 53 per cent older American oak. The wine underwent a clean malolactic fermentation while ageing in oak for 11months. It was then gently extracted from oak, blended and carefully prepared for bottling.


Very dense ruby core with thin purple highlights


Dense aromas of ripe plum, blackberry, coffee, dark chocolate and old leather.


Rich, round and full. A dense concentrated palate showing perfumed dark plums, blackberries and dark 70 per cent chocolate. Balanced acidity and a velvety texture melts into a heady aromatic spicy finish with old leather and roasted coffee.


Perfect for drinking immediately this wine will continue to develop and delight for a minimum of five years from vintage.


Alcohol: 13.5% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 5.5g/litre, pH: 3.50.

Food Match:

Delicious with exotic dishes lightly spiced.



  • Gold, Six Nations Wine Challenge 2014