Saint Clair 2016 Omaka Reserve Chardonnay and Pioneer Block 17 Merlot


uintSaint Clair have no qualms about their admiration for the Villa Maria Group’s success at wine judging competitions. In talking to the Ibbotson family, they say they wish to emulate how Villa Maria wins so many top awards. By my reckoning, Saint Clair are very successful too, winning their fair share (and more) of gold medals and trophies, both here in New Zealand and overseas. They don’t quite match Villa Maria, but more often than not are in the next tier down of winning producers. This is no mean feat for a moderately sized family operation which is up against the larger producers with greater vineyard and winemaking resources. I know the Ibbotsons do not skimp on anything for quality, and it really does show in the wines.

The 2018 Royal Easter Show Wine Awards was a happy hunting ground again for Saint Clair, winning three gold medals for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot, and a trophy for the Merlot, the latter wine from the company’s Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay vineyard. Here I review the Saint Clair ‘Omaka Reserve’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2016, a gold medal winner, and Saint Clair ‘Pioneer Block 17 – Plateau’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2016, a gold medal and trophy winner, both at the Royal Easter Show this year. www.saintclair.co.nz


  • Saint Clair ‘Omaka Reserve’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2016
  • Saint Clair ‘Pioneer Block – 17 Plateau’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2016

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