2013 Saint Clair Vicar’s Choice Pinot Noir, Marlborough
Saint Clair is a famous and popular producer of Marlborough on the South Island of New Zealand.
The Vicar’s Choice range represents their entry-level offering counting with all the main varieties grown in NZ: Sauvignon Blanc of course (including the low-alcohol ‘Bright Light‘ and ‘Bright Light Rosé‘ as well as a sparkling ‘Bubbles‘), Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, but also Gewürztraminer, Merlot or Grüner Veltliner. They range between $10 and $17 USD representing good introductory value to New Zealand wines.
The Pinot Noir I tasted today is a blend of wines sourced around the Marlborough ‘Southern Valleys’ areas. Grapes are cold-soaked for a few days before fermentation to extract colors and flavors, and hand-plunged during fermentation, a common traditional practice to make Pinot Noir. Final alcohol is at 13.5% abv. For further winemaking and chemistry information, consult the full technical sheet at 2013 Saint Clair Vicar’s Choice Pinot Noir Tech Sheet.
So what is the wine actually worth?
Tasting Notes: A good and honest Pinot Noir from Marlborough, displaying ripe-fruit characters of strawberry and red currant, with spices mainly in the form of white pepper. There’s plenty of roasted grape seeds notes, especially on the nose just after opening the bottle.
Light color and body. Tannins are slightly grippy on the finish. Tastes like a good Beaujolais or Bourgogne wine, with the extra-fragrance typical of Marlborough in a warm vintage, with alcohol present on the finish (13.5% on the label).
2 stickers on the label (bought in New Zealand), both are not directly related to the wine itself:
- 2014 Winemaker of the Year by New Zealand WineEstate awarded to Hamish Clark
- 20111 Winery of the Year by New Zealand WineEstate
“Saint Clair Family Estate owners and viticulture pioneers Neal and Judy Ibbotson first planted grapes in Marlborough in 1978. The Vicar’s Choice range is names after and Anglican-vicar relative, who declared and early Saint Clair wine his favorite and halleluiah the Vicar’s choice brand name was born.
The wines are selected from Saint Clair’s Marlborough vineyards at the top of the South Island of New Zealand. This wine is made in a fruit driven, easy drinking style with flavours of red cherry and ripe black currants. An ideal wine with red meat, pasta and fish.
- Mark Thomson Winemaker
- Hamish Clark Winemaker”
You may find further information about this wine on the producer’s website at Saintclair.co.nz
Find this wine to buy online on Wine-Searcher.