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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.
Saint Clair 2008 Vintage
A medium-bodied Chardonnay with appealing flavours of stone fruit and grapefruit with underlying nutty, spicy oak notes.
Aroma:On the nose this wine has delicate aromas of white peach, almonds and grapefruit laced with touches of spice and honeysuckle.
Palate:A medium-bodied chardonnay with appealing flavours of stone fruit and grapefruit, with underlying nutty, spicy oak notes. The palate is bright and elegant, youthful and creamy with a soft acidity that leads to a lingering finish.
Ageing potential:Perfect for drinking immediately, this Chardonnay will develop well
with careful cellaring up to four years and will mature into a fuller, more complex wine.
Winemaking:Components of the final blend were specifically chosen from several quality vineyards, primarily from the Omaka Valley, including the vineyard surrounding Saint Clair’s Cellar door on Rapaura Road. Fruit was also chosen from the Lower Wairau Valley. These fruit parcels were chosen to add complexity and fullness to this wine and their own special characteristics. A selected portion of the fruit was hand harvested and the balance was machine harvested in the cool of Marlborough’s autumn. Each resulting batch of juice was fermented at low temperature with selected yeasts. Fifty percent was put into oak (half new and half seasoned oak) to finish primary ferment and undergo malolactic fermentation, which softens the acidity and gives fullness to the palate. After ageing in barrel and stainless steel tanks for eight months the wine was blended and carefully prepared for bottling.
Alcohol: 13.5% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 6.2g/litre, Residual Sugar: 3.2g/litre, pH: 3.47.
Food match:Enjoy with seafood with cream-based sauces, mild Asian curries or pasta.
- Silver, NZ International Wine Show 2009