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”.
2017 Saint Clair navigated challenging weather conditions during véraison and the harvest period. Flavours came into the fruit early and although the wines are a little lighter in alcohol, they are still appreciably full flavoured. 2017 was a good year for the early ripening varieties; Pinot Noir had beautiful small bunches and berries of very good quality and Chardonnay also stands out with full flavours.
The fruit for this wine was selected from vineyards across Marlborough’s sub regions, including the Wairau Valley. In this region a magical synergy of climate and soil come together to produce wines with extraordinary purity of fruit. Situated in the north-eastern corner of New Zealand's South Island, the vineyards are surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the east and hinterland mountain ranges to the north and south.
The fruit was carefully monitored throughout maturity and was harvested upon reaching optimum flavour development and ripeness. The grapes were transported to the winery with haste and pressed with minimal skin contact, the resulting juice was cool fermented in stainless steel to retain freshness and aromatics.
Aromas of ripe grapefruit and snow pea are complemented by fresh, lifted notes of green leaf and a hint of flint. A soft lingering palate imbued with citrus flavours and mineral notes, leads to a long and zesty finish with a silky texture.
Ideal on its own or with light dishes such as chicken or fish salad.
This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.