The Pinot Noir Pioneer Block 26 Tutu Block Saint Clair fruit was cool macerated for four days in order to extract maximum flavour and enhance colour stability. Pinot Noir Pioneer Block 26 Tutu Block Saint Clair’s 21% of whole cluster fruit was used during fermentation, which added a stem component to the wine, imparting structure. Fermentation took place with selected yeasts and the must was hand plunged – up to four times daily at the peak of fermentation. The wine was pressed and racked off its gross lees to a combination of 41% new French oak and older seasoned 225 litre barriques, where it completed malolactic fermentation. Maturation lasted for seven months.
This wine is named after the native ‘Tutu’ plant which once grew on the property. The ‘Tutu’ estate vineyard is located in the Waihopai Valley and lies on a flat, even river terrace where the soils are alluvium based, with clay over silt, sand and gravel. The area enjoys large diurnal temperature shifts with cool nights and warm days encouraging a long ripening period which is a major influence in producing this fine structured, fragrant Pinot Noir. The fruit was sourced from clones 115, 114 and 667 and was picked when it had reached full physiological ripeness.
The Saint Clair winery is run from Neal and Judy Ibbotson were pioneers in the Marlborough wine industry, first planting vineyards in the valley in 1978 and then establishing Saint Clair Family Estate in 1994. They own 160 hectares of vineyard in 10 different Marlborough locations chosen specifically for the attributes of their individual “terroir” and ability to produce top-quality grapes. Neal Ibbotson combines his extensive expertise in viticulture with the talent of one of New Zealand’s leading winemaking teams led by Hamish Clark. Since 1994, when wines from the first vintage all won medals including gold, the name Saint Clair has been synonymous with quality and its award-winning record continues today. This is a sentiment shared by Bob Campbell MW, who says “Saint Clair now makes the country’s and perhaps the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc”.