Saint Clair ‘Wairau Reserve’ Sauvignon Blanc 2013

The Saint Clair ‘Wairau Reserve’ Sauvignon Blanc is one of this country’s benchmark wines, having won more top awards than any other label of this variety. The style is unashamedly up-front and bold, packed with as much flavour as possible. Saint Clair’s preference in the expression of the thiol-based pungent passionfruit or ‘sweaty’ character has placed them at one end of the flavour spectrum, and this has created its fair share of criticism, especially from those who don’t like that style and from those who don’t or can’t make such wines. The fact of the matter is that it’s one expression, and a valid one, no longer seen as a vineyard, viticultural, vintage or winemaking fault, and a style that has its fans around the world.

The Saint Clair approach in making this as their ‘flagship’ is that it is a selection of the very best wine they have in tank. More often than not, the wine is based on a particularly special parcel of fruit, from one single vineyard. On occasion, the ‘Wairau Reserve’ wine has indeed been a single vineyard wine. But if the wine can be improved upon by the judicious blending of wine from other sites, then winemakers Hamish Clark and Matt Thomson are not averse to doing so. This clearly leads to slight stylistic variations in flavour expression over different vintages, as seen in the other ‘Reserve’ wines from Saint Clair, but the over-arching basis is intrinsic quality combined with exceptional character, rather than style per se. For 2013, the wine was based solely on the ‘Pioneer Block 18 Snap Block’ fruit, the vineyard in the Dillons Point district of the Lower Wairau. Here is my review of the wine. wwwsaintclair.co.nz


  • Saint Clair ‘Wairau Reserve’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013

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