Saint Clair Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
Fruit was sourced from a selection of vineyards located predominantly in the lower Wairau sub-region. This is what Saint Clair regards as Marlborough’s best sub-region for Sauvignon Blanc, producing wines with heightened expression. Each vineyard block was harvested at optimum flavour maturity and physiological ripeness. Grapes were transported to the winery quickly and pressed off immediately to minimise skin contact. After cold settling the juice from each batch was fermented at cool temperatures using selected yeast strains. Each batch was assessed for quality and only the best components were selected for this premium blend.
Pale Straw in colour, this wine has tropical notes of passionfruit, guava and blackcurrant combine with nettle and subtle chalky mineral notes. Perfect for drinking immediately, this wine will be at its best over the next two years.
Saint Clair Family Estate is owned by Neal and Judy Ibbotson, viticulture pioneers 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 Family Estate in 1994.
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.
The company’s mission is to create world-class wines that exceed their customers’ every expectation. Neal Ibbotson combines his extensive viticultural expertise plus Marlborough’s mix of climate and soils with the talent of one of New Zealand’s leading winemaking teams.
A wide choice in Marlborough Vineyard sites, including the Wairau, Awatere and Ure Valleys as well as a vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels winegrowing district in Hawke’s Bay, allows Saint Clair to specialise its plantings by grape variety in the sub-regions that provide the most suitable terroir for each. Saint Clair has developed vineyards in different sites in Marlborough, including the Rapaura, Awatere, Waihopai and Omaka Valleys and another site in the Gimblett Gravels winegrowing district. Only superior fruit from the best locations for each individual variety is selected for the Saint Clair label.
In 2001 Saint Clair introduced a ‘grading system’ for all its vineyards different wine batches and marks them out of 10 for quality each year. This provides valuable information with records now over a period of time showing which vineyards provide the best fruit and which varieties produce the best quality in each of the vineyards. The grading system is also used extensively as a management tool for identifying and improving best vineyard practices, and for payments to growers.
Other factors contributing to wine quality include a sustainable approach with minimal use of vineyard sprays, open canopy with good light and airflow, leaf plucking, fruit and shoot thinning and selection with no cultivation. After harvest the fruit is moved rapidly from vine, to press, to tank and barrel, to preserve fruit quality and character.
Saint Clair Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – Hay Wines
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