Pinot Noir Pioneer Block 26 2017 – Saint Clair
100% Pinot Noir from Saint Clair’s Tutu Block located in the Waihopai Valley of Marlborough. ‘Tutu’ is a native plant which once grew on the property. Maturation lasted for 7 months in French oak and older seasoned 225 litre barriques. Aromas of dark berries, chocolate and perfumed violets lead to a full bodied palate which is round, seamless and full of delicious ripe raspberries, dark plum and coffee. The invitingly fine-grained structure weaves into a long savoury finish. Back to Saint Clair Wine
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Saint Clair is owned by viticulture pioneers Neal and Judy Ibbotson who planted their first vines in 1978. They originally supplied their grapes to local wineries, but established the Saint Clair Family Wine Estate in 1994 to produce their own wines.
The Saint Clair name originated from the vineyard property – first settled by the Sinclair family. Sinclair is a derivation of the original French Saint-Clair.
They own 160 hectares of vineyards in 10 different Marlborough locations specifically chosen for their individual terroir. In 2001 they introduced a grading system for each of their vineyards and mark them out of 10 for quality each year. This allows them to assess which sites provide the best fruit, and which varieties produce the best quality within each of the vineyards, which are all sustainably managed. This family owned Marlborough winery is now one of New Zealand’s leading wine companies with an exceptional quality record. Last year they were awarded the trophy for the Best New Zealand Winemaker of the Year by the AWC Vienna Wine Challenge – this is considered to be the largest officially recognised wine competition in the world, receiving over 12,000 entries from 39 countries, and it is the fifth time Saint Clair have been awarded this trophy by them.
Pinot Noir wines are made in a few places throughout France but the most famous region by far is Burgundy, “Bourgogne.”
The world’s most coveted Pinot Noir vines grow on a narrow, east-facing slope just South of Dijon. Burgundy is a very old wine region and was first tended by Cistercian monks in the Middle Ages.
When tasting French Pinot Noir, you may note its more earthy and floral style. This is part of Burgundy’s terroir. In fact, many fine winemakers here choose to ferment with whole grape clusters to increase tannin in their Pinot Noir wines. This effort may result in bitterness early on, but results in wines that age 20 plus years.