Monday, September 17, 2012

Review: Saint Clair Family Estate 2011 Sauvignon Blanc Wairau Reserve

Summer is almost over. It's been a hot, dry summer in Eastern Washington. Last night, as the sun set, smoke from several forest fires singed the horizon with deep colors of burnt orange, blackened red and deepest violets. In contrast, the Saint Clair Family Estate 2011 Sauvignon Blanc Wairau Reserve I was drinking, was the color of palest straw. Thankfully, the smoky haze outside did not intrude on the bright nose of ginger, citrus, tropical fruit, ripe honey dew melon with a touch of river rock. Absorbing the beauty of the sunset and the wine, I reclined on my cool leather couch and relished this New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Racy citrus flavors of fresh grapefruit and tangerine were intense, a hint of minerality pleasantly danced on my tongue, while crisp acidity left a knowing caress on my gums.

Photo: Saint Clair 2011 Sauvignon Blanc Wairau Reserve on day one.

I really enjoyed the liveliness of this wine. What a pleasure to drink. This is the kind of wine which wakes me up and makes me thankful for the fruits of this world. New Zealand wines deserve a place at your table. “Expletive”, this Sauvignon Blanc is fine, it would be wonderful with fresh oysters on the half shell, king crab, or grilled trout. I enjoyed this bottle of wine over two days. Day one I paired it with smoked salmon, cheese, strawberries and flat bread. Day two I paired it with grilled chicken wings and corn on the cob. Recommended.

Photo: Saint Clair 2011 Sauvignon Blanc Wairau Reserve on day two.

Winery supplied notes:
Maritime influences on the vineyards of the lower Wairau, sees warm days and cooler evenings than the central or upper parts of the Wairau valley, promoting hang time and flavor development. Nutrient rich silts have formed even and fertile sites which helps the Sauvignon Blanc produce ultra concentrated flavors and aromas.

Winemakers: Matt Thomson and Hamish Clark
100% Stainless steel fermentation.
ABV: 13%
Closure: Screw cap
Suggested retail price: $30
Imported by: Winesellers LTD, Niles, IL
Sample provided by: Winesellers LTD

Saint Clair produces a number of varietals that are available in four ranges at varying price levels: Vicar's Choice, Saint Clair Premium, Saint Clair Pioneer Block & Saint Clair Reserve. Each of these wines is made with fruit from specific vineyard sites in Marlborough specially selected for their ability to produce wines of uncompromising quality and character.

Saint Clair Reserve wines represent the top 1 percent of quality, the reserve wines are Saint Clair's finest – harvested at optimum ripeness.

All the best!

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