Saint Clair 2014 ‘Premium’ and ‘Block 3’ Sauvignon Blancs

The Ibbotson family at Saint Clair have embraced Sauvignon Blanc as their flagship and over the years, their interpretation of the variety, the vineyard sites and the sub-regions has been explored superbly, showing the diversity that is inherent in the grape and the Marlborough vignoble. The Ibbotsons with winemakers Matt Thomson and Hamish Clark have enabled a richer style to prevail with the expression of the pungent, passionfruity thiols a feature in many of the bottlings, this becoming a signature character in the Saint Clair Sauvignon Blancs. While there is intellectual debate over the acceptability of these aromas and flavours, the wines continue to be popular as delicious and valid by much of the consumer market and the more open-minded (or less critical) who enjoy a range of styles and expressions.

The 2014 vintage in Marlborough is notable as one of ‘two halves’ with warm flowering and ripening leading to full crops and an early harvest, commencing 12 days earlier than 2013. However the latter part of the harvest was marred by rain. Much of the Sauvignon Blanc, especially from vineyards focussed on quality with lower yields, was picked before the rain, and there are many excellent and exciting wines. Here, I review two 2014 Sauvignon Blancs from Saint Clair, the ‘Premium’ which is made from a number of vineyards, giving a good overall indication of what has been achieved regionally, and the ‘Pioneer Block 3 – 43 Degrees’ made from fruit from vines planted on a 43° NE–SW orientation, this giving a range of fruit flavours from herbaceous to tropical, and another indication of the range ripeness possible. www.saintclair.co.nz


  • Saint Clair ‘Premium’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014
  • Saint Clair ‘Pioneer Block 3 – 43 Degrees’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014

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