This wine is named after the Doctor’s Creek that runs through the home block vineyard of Saint Clair’s owners, Neal and Judy Ibbotson. From 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. Top international accolades include the trophy (to Saint Clair/Matt Thomson) for White Winemaker of the Year at the London International Wine Challenge, September 2008 and the coveted trophy for Best New Zealand Wine Producer of the Year at the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2005.
The Saint Clair Family Estate also has the distinction of being the first New Zealand wine company to win major international trophies for Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir in the same year.
What: Pinot Noir. The 2011 vintage won Gold at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2012: "A delightful Pinot showing perfumed aromas of red cherry, floral and nutmeg. The palate is delicately poised with fine texture and bright flavours, finishing elegantly dry." This wine is ideal with beef, strongly flavoured fish or a flavoursome pasta dish.
When: 2011 - Perfect for drinking now but will keep for five years from the date of vintage
Tech: Neal and Judy Ibbotson (Saint Clair owners) have successfully experimented with top grafting Pinot Noir (using Dijon clones) in this vineyard where the clay under the sub-soil provides some intense and interesting flavours. The fruit was harvested when it had reached full physiological ripeness and maximum flavour maturity. At the winery the fruit was held cold for five days prior to fermentation to help extract maximum flavour and to enhance colour stability. During maturation the barrels were regularly tasted until the right balance was achieved (ten months). During its time in oak, the young wine completed malolactic fermentation. The wine was then carefully extracted from oak, blended and prepared for bottling.
Taste: Delicate aromatics with redcurrant, raspberry, blackcurrant and spice are prevalent on the nose; the palate is round and full with lots of bright juicy fruits perfectly balanced by the acidity which blends seamlessly with light powdered tannin. French oak has added a rich complex toasty finish.