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Saint Clair Vicar's Choice Pinot Noir 2011

Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
  • W&S91
13.5% ABV
  • RP87
  • RP90
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2.8 5 Ratings
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2.8 5 Ratings
13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Rich garnet color. Ripe red fruits of red cherries and red currents, followed by bright lifted aromas of raspberry. The nose is complex with spice and a hint of savory oak. Bright and lifted, with raspberry and red cherry combined with strawberry and red plum. Well balanced acidity leads to an inviting and structured mid palate with fine grained tannin and an elegant long-lasting finish.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
Floral black raspberry scents glow through this delicate, relatively light pinot. It lasts on berry fruit, stem tannins and dark mushroom earthiness. Decant it for a Sunday roast.
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Saint Clair

Saint Clair Family Estate

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Saint Clair Family Estate, Marlborough, New Zealand
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The Saint Clair name originates from the vineyard property, first settled by the Sinclair family. Pioneer James Sinclair built one of the first homes in Blenheim and was closely associated with the early development of the town. Over time the name of the property reverted to the original Saint Clair.

Saint Clair Estate Wines is owned by Neal and Judy Ibbotson, pioneers of viticulture in Marlborough since 1978. Grapes were originally supplied to local wine companies; however, a desire to extend the quality achieved in the vineyard through to the finished wine led to the establishment of Saint Clair Estate Wines.

Saint Clair Estate Wine's success is founded on the 27 years of extensive pioneering viticulture, ongoing as a critical part of the highest quality winemaking practices. Neal and Judy's passion for their Marlborough vineyards and award-winning range of wines is continuing to build their growing reputation in New Zealand and in the 35 markets around the world to which they export.

The company's mission is to create world-class wines that exceed their customers' every expectation. To achieve this, Neal Ibbotson's viticultural expertise and Marlborough's unique climate and soils are combined with the proven experience of one of New Zealand's leading winemaking teams, led by Saint Clair's chief winemaker, Matt Thomson.

Marlborough

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An icon and leading region of New Zealand's distinctive style of Sauvignon blanc, Marlborough has a unique terroir, making it ideal for high quality grape production (of many varieties). Despite some common generalizations, which could be fairly justified given that Marlborough is responsible for 90% of New Zealand's Sauvignon blanc production, the wines from this region are actually anything but homogenous. At the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, the vineyards of Marlborough benefit from well-draining stony soils, a dry, sunny climate and wide temperature fluctuations between day and night, a phenomenon that supports a perfect balance between berry ripeness and acidity.

The region’s king variety, Sauvignon blanc, is beloved for its pungent, aromatic character with notes of exotic tropical fruit, freshly cut grass and green bell pepper along with a refreshing streak of stony minerality. These wines are made in a wide range of styles, and winemakers take advantage of various clones, vineyard sites, fermentation styles, lees-stirring and aging regimens to differentiate their bottlings, one from one another.

Also produced successfully here are fruit-forward Pinot noirs (especially where soils are clay-rich), elegant Riesling, Pinot gris and Gewürztraminer.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

HNYSIRVPN11C_2011 Item# 123625