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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 2009 Vintage
A mouth filling medium-bodied Pinot Noir with a palate showing blackcurrant
and black cherry with hints of ripe raspberry and redcurrant.
Colour:Deep red with purple hues.
Aroma:Ripe dark fruits with a raspberry leaf lift complemented by subtle spice and savoury notes.
Palate:A mouth filling medium-bodied Pinot Noir with a palate showing black currant and black cherry with hints of ripe raspberry and redcurrant. This wine has a soft, full palate, well balanced acidity and supple tannins. A well integrated mixture of new and older French oak provides rich, savoury notes on the palate with a full, persistent finish.
Ageing potential:Drinking beautifully from the outset, this wine can be enjoyed young or with careful cellaring, will mature into a fuller, more complex wine that can be enjoyed for years to come.
Winemaking:The fruit was sourced from a number of specifically chosen low cropping vineyards from several sub-regions in Marlborough, including the Omaka Valley and the mouth of the Waihopai Valley. Leading up to harvest constant analysis and tasting of each block was carried out to determine when the flavours were at their optimum. At the winery each batch was held cold for four to five days prior to ferment to help extract maximum flavour and to enhance colour stability. Cultured yeasts were used for the primary alcoholic fermentation during which the fermenting must was hand plunged six times daily and then up to eight times daily during the height of fermentation. When dry, each batch was pressed to tank, settled and then racked off gross lees to either stainless steel tanks or a mixture of
new and older seasoned French oak. The wine then underwent malolactic fermentation and was aged for nine months in barrel before being blended and prepared for bottling.
Alcohol: 14% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 6.0g/litre, pH: pH 3.49.
Food match:Well matched with barbecued lamb, strongly flavoured fish or authentic Italian pasta with meat sauces.
- Trophy Champion Pinot Noir, Royal Hobart International Wine Show 2010
- Gold, West Point Royal Hobart International Wine Show
- Silver, International Wine Challenge 2011
- Silver, Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2010