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So far, the 2011s show plenty of promise and some pretty terrific wines and values. At the top of the list, not surprisingly, is Saint Clair. Saint Clair winemaker Matt Thomson is passionate about Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, and he's exploring the region in depth with the Pioneer Block series, which focuses on select parcels and vineyard sites. I like those wines very much but the reserve bottling is truly the standout - aromatic and elegant, and wonderfully delicious.
MaryAnn Worobiec Wine Spectator

Our Wines

Other Vintages: 2016 | 2015 | 2014
2015 VINTAGE

Pioneer Block 3 43 Degrees Sauvignon Blanc 2015

WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson and Hamish Clark

BLOCK: 3

The rows of vines in this vineyard are planted at an unusual angle of 43 degrees north-east to south-west.

Region:

Marlborough’s lower Wairau region, east of Blenheim township.

Terroir:

Soils: Even, fertile, deep, free-draining silt loam.

Topography: Flat and even. Approximately three metres above sea level.

Climate: Maritime. Slightly cooler than most of the Marlborough Valley with a slower annual ripening period.

Regional Characteristics & contribution to Uniqueness of Flavours:

Rows are planted north-east to south-west at a 43 degree angle rather than the typical north to south. This leads to slightly greener characters in grapes on the south facing side and more tropical characters in grapes on the north facing side. The resulting wine is therefore multi-dimensional and complex. The site is cooler than some other areas of the valley and hence slower to ripen. The distinguishing flavours are crushed herbs (often associated with coastal Awatere) and an absence of sweaty characteristics.

Viticulture:

Vertical shoot positioning, four cane.

Winemaking:

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. This batch was selected as a Pioneer Block wine due to its unique flavour, intensity and complexity.

Colour:

Pale straw with a slight green hue.

Aroma:

The effect of the 43 degree angle of these vines is evident in the contrast of tropical fruits and herbaceous aromas. Passionfruit and gooseberry combine with crushed green herbs.

Palate:

Passionfruit, melon and citrus with underlying green capsicum and a richly lingering finish.

Cellaring:

Drinking beautifully now and best enjoyed over the next two years.

Analysis:

Alcohol: 13% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 7.4g/litre, Residual Sugar: 3.2g/L, pH: 3.43.

Food Match:

A perfect companion for seafood, this wine also complements fresh vegetarian cuisine.

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Awards

  • Gold, Concours Mondial du Sauvignon
  • Gold, Royal Easter Show Wine Awards 2016
  • Silver, Marlborough Wine Show
  • 4 ½ Stars, Winestate Michael Cooper's Best of the recent releases
  • 4 Stars, Bob Campbell Wine Reviews 92 Points
  • Pure Gold, Air New Zealand Wine Awards