Saturday, August 4, 2012

Saint Clair Family Estate Vicar's Choice Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir

Two Wines Formerly Endorsed by a Member of the Clergy.

The owners of Saint Clair Estate Wines, Neal and Judy, have a relative who was a vicar in the Anglican Church. On one of his visits to the winery, he selected his favorite barrel samples, that's when Vicar's Choice began and continues a delicious tradition.

Vicar's Choice 2011 Sauvignon Blanc
Saint Clair Family Estate, Marlborough

This is an endearing Sauvignon Blanc. It perked up my afternoon and lifted my spirits.

Color: pale straw
Nose: mineral, stone fruit, wet rock, and essence of a rainy day.
Flavor: citrus, stone fruit, starfruit wonderful minerality, dry, bright, inspiring finish.

This is a beautiful, clean, crisp, white wine, with enchanting mineral and river rock notes. Perfect for oysters on the half shell, sushi, and soft cheese. While at first I thought of it as delicate, I realized it has so much personality and minerality, that it's really quite strong and bold. An affirmation of the Winemakers skill and creativity, this is a wonderful expression of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. No wonder I'm grooving on New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc this summer. Bravo. Recommended.

Winemakers: Matt Thomson and Hamish Clark
Cool fermented in stainless
ABV: 13%
Suggested retail price: $17
Imported by: Winesellers LTD
Sample provided by: Winesellers LTD

Vicar's Choice 2010 Pinot Noir
Saint Clair Family Estate, Marlborough

I'm still seeking to understand New Zealand Pinot Noir. This wine was a good addition to my quest. This is a good any day red wine. While well suited to both clergy and congregation, you don't have to be Anglican or Episcopalian to enjoy this New Zealand Pinot Noir.

Color: Clear ruby
Nose: Smoky edged, cherry-blueberry, violets, black pepper. After two hours, the nose opened to greater depth and focus.
Flavor: Bright fruit, cherry, strawberry, tart. Gentle tannins, medium finish.

Paired with grilled beef short ribs, this wine was a good match. The bright fruit complimented the tender, smoky, sweet meat. A well balanced wine, immediately approachable and enjoyable over several hours. Enjoy with grilled beef, lamb and pasta with red sauce. Recommended.

Day two: The wine was silky, not tart, richer and drier than day one; well integrated and more elegant. This wine has some aging potential over the next handful of years. Very enjoyable.

ABV: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Winemaker: Matt Thomson
Suggested retail price: $19
Imported by: Winesellers LTD
Sample provided by: Winesellers LTD

Contact Details:
Saint Clair Family Estate Cellar Door & Café
Corner of Rapaura & Selmes Roads
Blenheim, Marlborough, NZ
Phone: 03 570 5280

Cellar Door Hours: Open 7 days per week from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
The Cellar Door & Café is CLOSED on the following public holidays: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day morning.

Connect Details:

Saint Clair Family Estate is producing exceptional New Zealand wines.

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