Neal and Judy Ibbotson were pioneers in the Marlborough wine industry, first planting vineyards in the valley in 1978 and then establishing Saint Clair Family Estate in 1994. They own 160 hectares of vineyard in 10 different Marlborough locations chosen specifically for the attributes of their individual “terroir” and ability to produce top quality grapes. Neal Ibbotson combines his extensive expertise in viticulture with the talent of one of New Zealand’s leading winemaking teams. Since 1994, when wines from the first vintage all won medals including gold, the name Saint Clair has been synonymous with quality and its award-winning record continues today. This is a sentiment shared by Bob Campbell MW, who says “Saint Clair now makes the country’s and perhaps the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc”.
Short periods of rain during the harvest were followed by brilliant sunshine and mild breezes which helped to dry the berries. Harvest started in earnest on 13th March and continued at a steady and manageable pace with minimal pressure. The vintage proceeded in near perfect conditions, with 2019 producing exceptional quality fruit with very concentrated flavours with excellent natural acidity. Vineyard The fruit is sourced from a number of specifically chosen low cropping vineyards from the Southern Valleys region of the Wairau Plain. The vines are grown in very clay rich, vigour moderating soils. Each vineyard is closely monitored and tasted to determine when the flavours were at their optimum and harvested in the cool of the morning.
The grapes from each vineyard underwent a cold maceration for five days, to assist colour and flavour extraction. The juice was then inoculated with yeast for the primary alcoholic fermentation and hand plunged up to eight times daily, during the height of fermentation. When dry, each batch was pressed to tank, settled and then racked off the gross lees to either stainless steel tanks or a combination of new and older, seasoned French oak. 100% underwent malolactic conversion. Following maturation, it was blended, fined, lightly filtered and gently prepared for bottling.
Aromas of ripe red berries are interlaced with spice and blackcurrant bud. The palate is full and rich, with flavours of vibrant red berries, layered with warm, spiced fruit through to a silky finish.
Pinot Noir 100%.
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