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Producer: Saint ClairGrape Varieties: 100% Pinot NoirOptimum Drinking: Within 4 yearsWine Style: Light juicy redAlcohol by Volume: 13.5%Closure: ScrewcapCountry: New Zealand
When the oceans in the heavens became too warm then Mango (the shark), and Tuatara (the great lizard) came down to earth in search of cooler waters. It was then that Mango said to Tuatara, “Let us reside on land”.
They argued at length until Mango said to Tuatara: “Very well, remain on land to be loathed by all”.
Tuatara replied: “That will give me distinction, and I will thrive, but you will be hauled up with a hook in your mouth, cast into a canoe, and pounded with a fernroot- pounding mallet, after which you will be hung to dry like a wet rag”.
“Maori Religion and mythology” Eldson Best.
The almost extinct Tuatara, cousin of the dinosaur, is still to be found on Stephens Island in the Marlborough Sound, not far from Saint Clair’s vineyards, and gives its name to some of their fruit driven wines which are ideal for serving by the glass.
Neal and Judy Ibbotson were pioneers in the Marlborough wine industry, first planting vineyards in the valley in 1978 and then establishing Saint Clair Family Estate in 1994. They own 160 hectares of vineyard in 10 different Marlborough locations chosen specifically for the attributes of their individual "terroir" and ability to produce top quality grapes. Neal Ibbotson combines his extensive expertise in viticulture with the talent of one of New Zealand's leading winemaking teams led by Hamish Clark. Since 1994, when wines from the first vintage all won medals including gold, the name Saint Clair has been synonymous with quality and its award-winning record continues today. This is a sentiment shared by Bob Campbell MW, who says “Saint Clair now makes the country’s and perhaps the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc”.
The summer of 2015 to 2016 was the driest on record in 86 years, with February also proving to be one of the warmest months on record. Warm days and cool nights during the closing weeks of harvest presented ideal conditions for the grapes to achieve full maturity; resulting in healthy, concentrated berries.
The fruit was sourced from a number of specifically selected low cropping vineyards from the Southern Valleys region of Marlborough. Leading up to the harvest, each vineyard was closely monitored and the grapes were tasted to determine when the flavours were at their optimum. Harvesting took place during the cool of the morning to retain the freshness and vibrancy of flavour in the berries.
Each parcel of fruit was cool macerated for five days to help achieve flavour and colour extraction. Selected yeasts were used for fermentation and the wine was hand plunged at the height of fermentation. It was then gently pressed and racked off the gross lees to either stainless steel tanks or a combination of new and older seasoned French oak, where 100% underwent malolactic fermentation before being blended, fined, lightly filtered and gently prepared for bottling.
Juicy red fruits aromas dominate with notes of sun-ripened raspberry combined with blackcurrant leaf, dried herbs and hints of spice. Vibrant flavours of fresh raspberries and ripe red cherry are balanced with a good acidity and a touch of oak and spice. Round and full with a long, savoury finish.
Enjoy on its own or with charcuterie meats or pheasant stew.
Pinot Noir 100%
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