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What’s big and red and got us all excited?

While our winemaking team are still smiling after picking up multiple trophies at recent international wine awards, they’re hard at work, ensuring the 2014-vintage red wines are living up to Saint Clair’s reputation.

Kyle at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards dinner with our best open red wine trophy for our Premium Pinot Noir 2013

Kyle at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards dinner with our best open red wine trophy for our Premium Pinot Noir 2013

Our red winemaker Kyle Thompson says the winemakers are in the depths of 2014 barrel assessments – and it’s no easy task.

“It’s multi-faceted as we’re not just assessing the quality of wine in each individual barrel, we’re assessing the performance of individual clones, individual batches, choice of barrel cooper, and seeing how we can improve the vineyard next season,” he says.

“It’s quite a long task but in the end I come out with a fairly clear picture of what has contributed to each wine and where to from here.”

The wines are tasted every morning by the winemakers, as well as individually throughout the day, assessing the wine’s health and ensuring everything is as it should be.

Marlborough enjoyed a good flowering and warmer than usual season in 2014, with a very early start to harvest – the earliest Kyle has encountered in Marlborough.

“It was also the quickest I’ve seen the fruit coming into the winery. It was fast and intense but the quality of fruit coming in was excellent and fermentation went smoothly and trouble free.”

Saint Clair were pleased to have harvested most of their fruit before the heavy rain in the latter days of harvest set in, he said.

“Overall we’re very happy with what we’re seeing – nice ripe integrated tannins and structure, concentrated fruit aromas, perfume, and depth to colour.”

A good nine months after harvest, and the wines are starting to show their true flavour profile, and from here the winemaking team will consider blends, ageing of the wine and, in a few months time, bottling decisions.

While it’s still early days yet Kyle says he’s impressed with the concentration of flavours from some of the blocks located in the southern valleys sub-region.

“A couple of standouts would be our vineyard on Benmorven road which is dark, concentrated, and highly perfumed, and also our Delta vineyard which has heady aromatics, and a great structure and tension to the wine. I’m looking forward to capturing these in bottle.”

team Saint Clair at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards dinner in the Hawke's Bay

team Saint Clair at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards dinner in the Hawke’s Bay

And how about the trophy he picked up for the Saint Clair Premium Pinot Noir 2103 at the Air New Zealand wine awards?

“I still get a smile when I think about it – It’s great validation for all the work that’s gone into the wine from vineyard to bottling. We’re very happy for Saint Clair and it’s a great boost for Marlborough Pinot noir in general.”

More recently, we’ve received more fantastic news, picking up four trophies at the Sydney International Wine Competition, including:

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