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 acidity.
The grapes for this wine are grown in Saint Clair’s vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels region of Hawkes Bay. The 10 year old vines are planted on the stoniest part of the vineyard. These stony soils are vigour moderating free-draining soils, ideal for growing Viognier. The vines are trained using the VSP Guyot system there is reasonably high exposure as a result, reflected in the ripeness of the wine. The grapes are harvested in the cool of the night, preserving the varietal characteristics.
The grapes were harvested at optimal ripeness, pressed and the must settled. Fermentation took place in stainless tanks with carefully selected yeast to enhance the varietal characters. The wine was left on the yeast lees imparting texture and complexity to the resulting wine.
An elegant wine displaying prominent notes of white peach, nectarine and fragrant almond blossom laced with impressions of clove and nutmeg spice. Rich and creamy on the palate through to a fresh and spicy finish.
Viognier 96%, Sauvignon Blanc 3%, Pinot Gris 1%.