Saint Clair 2016 Premium Pinot Gris Rosé and 2015 Block 17 ‘Plateau’ Cab/Merlot

The Saint Clair viticultural and winemaking teams go through a rigorous classification of the fruit, the ferments and the resultant wines to decide which range they are destined for. No doubt the process is quality based, but character and style must play an important part, and this applies to all the different varieties and styles made. The ‘Reserve’ wines are bottlings of the lots, usually single vineyard wines, deemed to be the best of type for that vintage. The ‘Pioneer Blocks’ are selected for the site specific expression and individual character. In essence the ‘Premium’ range is that which blends high quality fruit that may be from multiple sources, and the ‘Vicar’s Choice’ made for accessibility. What is particularly fascinating is that Saint Clair appears to gain gold medals and top awards across all the tiers, and not just the ‘Reserve’ of ‘Pioneer Block’ wines. This is an indication of the overall high quality of the fruit for all the Saint Clair wines, and the ‘correct’ style interpretation. Here, I review two wines, the 2016 ‘Premium’ Marlborough Pinot Gris Rosé which went gold at this year’s Royal Easter Show Wine Awards, and the 2015 ‘Pioneer Block 17 – Plateau’ Gimblett Gravels Cabernet/Merlot, which demonstrate the diversity which which the Saint Clair team manage.


  • Saint Clair ‘Premium’ Marlborough Pinot Gris Rosé 2016
  • Saint Clair ‘Pioneer Block 17 – Plateau’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet/Merlot 2015

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