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2010 Saint Clair Block 2 Swamp Block Sauvignon Blanc
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- ABV 13.5%
- Closure: Screw Cap
Over the last few years, a sameness has emerged in the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc segment - caricatures of those early bottlings that we came to love. So what's happened? The commoditization of Australian Chardonnay and its subsequent demise should lend a clue from recent history. As with the ‘Chardy’ gold rush, New Zealand's enthusiasm with Sauvignon Blanc saw the area under vine explode and the size of the cuvees grow to extraordinary proportions which became viticulturaly difficult to manage. As one example, Oyster Bay’s annual production of Sauvignon Blanc has been estimated at 5.5 million litres! The resulting wines are uninspiring, tropical acid bombs that, in the words of food blogger Ed Charles, "...may well be grown in Marlborough but really reflect the terroir of stainless steel." Saint Clair is one producer who represents a welcome return to precision and the search for complexity.
The site for the Pioneer Block 2 Sauvignon Blanc was originally a low lying, poorly drained, swampy area. Now a well developed and well maintained vineyard, it is located near to the coastline of Cloudy Bay and has a cooler climate than other areas in Marlborough.
This provides a longer growing season for the grapes thereby adding flavour intensity to the wines. Brilliant very pale straw, almost water like colour with slight greenish tinge around the edges and watery hue. Lifted aromas of herbaceous ripe gooseberry are followed by some passionfruit and citrus with a touch spice as end note. Displaying outstanding concentration and flavour intensity the palate is filled with passionfruit and ripe gooseberry flavours followed by some tropical fruit, citrus and spice. Clean crisp finish with long aftertaste of passionfruit, ripe gooseberry and citrus.
Drink now (2011).