Saint Clair ‘Pioneer Block 13’ Unoaked Chardonnay 2007

Saint Clair’s winemaker Hamish Clark has a fantastic memory. He remembered that years ago, at a function at Boulcott Street Bistro showcasing a range of Saint Clair wines, I wasn’t taken by the ‘Pioneer Block 13 – B&B Block’ Chardonnay 2007, made is a Chablis style, without any oak contact, but still receiving positive winemaker inputs. Hamish and his winemaking team were proud of the wine, but knew that it would require some time to realise its potential. In a way, this was an experimental wine exploring the styles of Chardonnay that could be included in the Saint Clair portfolio. However, owner Neal Ibbotson was less impressed, as most of the attendees at the tasting, so the project was discontinued after two vintages. At that stage of growth, Saint Clair needed wines to show well straight away. Making a wine of this style was not commercially viable.

In a stock room clean-out, Sarina Ibbotson found 3 cases of the ‘Pioneer Block 13 – B&B Block’ Chardonnay 2007. On tasting the wine, it was deemed excellent, having developed beautifully over the course of a decade. Hamish remembered my reaction to the wine from long ago, and thought it interesting to send me a bottle to assess. I’ve done so here. I mention that I have not charged for this review, but include it here due to its interest factor. And I also note that there are no stocks for sale, unfortunately.


  • Saint Clair ‘Pioneer Block 13 – B&B Block’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2007

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