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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 a soft round palate showing ripe peach and refreshing stone fruit flavours.
Colour:Pale straw with gold highlights.
Aroma:Lifted, elegant and varietal aromas of white peach, apricot and spice.
Palate:This medium bodied wine has a soft round palate showing ripe peach and refreshing stone fruit flavours.
Ageing potential:This Chardonnay can be enjoyed now and with careful cellaring will develop well in the bottle over the next two to three years.
Winemaking:Fruit for this wine was chosen from a selection of vineyards, primarily from the Dry Hills area at the foot of Marlborough’s Wither Hills. The grapes were harvested at optimum ripeness in the cool of the early morning. No sulphur was used prior to the press to minimise the extraction of harsh phenolics from the skins. The wine was cool fermented so as to retain the fruit flavours characteristic of these vineyards. Lightly oaked, malolactic fermentation was employed to soften the acidity and give fullness to the palate. Following completion of the malolactic fermentation, each component was assessed, the final blend balanced and the resulting wine prepared for bottling.
Alcohol: 13% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 5.9g/litre, Residual Sugar: 3.6g/litre, pH: 3.46.
Food match:This Chardonnay can be enjoyed either as an aperitif or with coconut cream curry, roast vegetable salads or seafood.
- Silver, NZ International Wine Show 2009