2015 Saint Clair Pioneer Block 20 Cash Block Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough
Vintage 2015 was an year of exceptional quality for New Zealand wine, in general, and the Marlborough ones in particular.
As usual (though we’re not bored, quite the opposite) Saint Clair Family Estate has given us a series of single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc wines than aim at expressing the characteristics of their terroir.
Block 20 Sauv Blanc comes from the lower Wairau Valley of Marlborough, which was previously part of the Wairau floodplain.
It was named Cash Block by its vineyard owners, Hayden and Kerry Register.
Climate on this site is maritime with influence from the Pacific ocean close by. It is slightly cooler than most of the Marlborough Valley, with a slower longer ripening period.
Soil is deep, fertile, free-draining soils help produce the intensity of flavour in the wine. The vineyard has an extremely healthy canopy (or leaf cover) thanks to the fertility of the terroir. The vine health along with the vineyard rows being slightly off the usual north-south orientation contribute to the characteristic flavors of this wine.
So how good is this 2015 Saint Clair Pioneer Block 20 Savvy?
The answer is in the tasting notes:
The wine is of a rather light lemon-yellow color. Bright and a little pale.
The nose is powerful, tropically grassy: sweaty passion fruit is the dominant note, completed by surrounding notes of kerosene and fresh fruity esters (pear and apple).
A precise yet strong overall nose, undecided between freshness and tropical/petrol stickiness.
The palate presents the same division, but vertical rather than horizontal.
The upfront palate is fruity and zesty filled with lime, floral tones and lifted pear. Quite a light body with good acidity confirms this impression of lightness, easiness and freshness.
The powerful tropical and petrol notes kick in towards the finish. They release their intensity and layered complexity during and after the tasting.
A well-made, intense and rather typical Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. It displays all the attributes of a solid New Zealand Sauv Blanc: grassy and tropical character, good acidity and sheer aromatic intensity.