14th October – This month we have Saint Clair Family Estate from Marlborough with Alison Downs presenting.
Saint Clair Family Estate was established by Neal and Judy Ibbotson in 1994, having been viticulture pioneers in Marlborough since 1978. From their first vintage, when all their wines won medals, including gold, the name Saint Clair has been synonymous with quality and its award-winning record continues today.
Saint Clair is 100% family-owned, with the next generation also involved in the day-to-day running of the company.
Daughters Sarina and Julie both work within the business in sales and marketing after studying wine business marketing at Adelaide and have a vast knowledge of the wine industry. Son Tony is responsible for the design of all Saint Clair’s packaging, promotional material and advertising. He owns a design consultancy business, the Creative Method, in Sydney. Tony designed the original Saint Clair labels back in 1994 when he was a student and has been refining and expanding the range of Saint Clair labels ever since.
Our mission is to create world-class wines that exceed their customers’ every expectation.
2019 Saint Clair Origin Pinot Gris Rosé
2018Saint Clair Pioneer Block 28 Pinot Blanc
2019 Saint Clair Origin Hawke’s Bay Viognier
2019 Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
2019 Saint Clair James Sinclair Chardonnay
2018 Saint Clair Pioneer Block 22 Pioneer Block Pinot Noir
2017 Saint Clair Origin Hawke’s Bay Merlot
Book it in now – Tasting: 14th October, starts at 8pm J’ville Community Centre – look out for our sign outside
History in the bubbles: 105 and still loving her bubbly| Joelle Thomson – 16/12/19
(This item is something of a prelude to our proposed June tasting. It relates to Dawn Ibbotson who is the matriarch of the Ibbotson family who operates Saint Clair)
This month marks the 105th birthday of the woman who inspired one of New Zealand’s best bubblies made using the French traditional method, the same way that champagne is created.
The woman and the wine are called Dawn. The first vintage of Dawn was made from the 2012 vintage to mark its namesake’s 100th birthday in December 2014. Now, Dawn Ibbotson has turned 105 and her family says she enjoys a daily glass of the bubbly they made in her honour.
It’s a top bubbly in taste too, as our instore experts pick it as one of their favourites, year-round.
The wine is made from hand-harvested, whole bunch pressed grapes, which were fermented in a combination of stainless steel (the Chardonnay) and seasoned French oak barriques (the Pinot Noir). The two still wine components were then blended and bottle-fermented for three months to allow the carbon dioxide from the second fermentation to dissolve into the wine, creating its fine bubbles. It was then left on tirage (lees) for thirty-nine months until disgorgement.
Story of the name Saint Clair…bubb
The Ibbotson family who founded Saint Clair Winery named it after the original landowners of their Marlborough vineyards, the Sinclair family. Saint Clair is also the name of a suburb in Dunedin, hometown to the Ibbotson’s and to Dawn.
Dawn is made from…
Vines are grown on stone and sandy alluvial soils on Rapaura Road, Marlborough; overlooked by Saint Clair Vineyard Kitchen. It contains 6 grams of residual sugar per litre; off-dry, but only just, in other words. This wine tastes dry from the first sip to the last, lingering sparkling drop.
Wine experts have settled on a list of close to 50 wines, some costing more than $100 a bottle, for Air New Zealand to select from for its business class passengers.
Six of the nation’s leading independent wine experts have selected “The Fine Wines of New Zealand” – to serve in planes from September.
A selection panel comprising Masters of Wine Alastair Maling, Michael Brajkovich, Sam Harrop, Simon Nash and Steve Smith along with Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas has agreed on the list for 2016 which includes 47 wines representing seven varietals.
One of the key criteria was consistency, with a wine having had to have been produced to an ”exceptional standard” for a minimum of five consecutive years.
Air New Zealand chief operations officer Bruce Parton says the airline had been a longstanding supporter of New Zealand’s wine industry.
It spends about $6 million a year on wine for passengers throughout aircraft.
“We believe we can help further build awareness and appreciation of these world class wines with international travellers and propel leading New Zealand wineries to even greater commercial success,” Parton said.
The wines would be promoted through its inflight entertainment system, at offshore events and using contacts internationally to help open up key export markets for the wineries should they need this support.
The airline’s specialist inflight wine consultants, who are based in New Zealand, China and the United States, will select wines from the list for serving in business premier cabins. Not all on the list of 47 would make it on board as some do not react well to high altitudes or are available in sufficient quantities.
Parton said it was important that the wines were selected independently of its existing wine programme.
”We look forward to working closely with the wine masters in the coming years to compile this list annually.”
In 2014 Air New Zealand moved to a three-year deal with a single supplier, Villa Maria, in its economy section which upset some in the wine industry, but which the airline said had been part of simplifying the supply chain.
The Fine Wines of New Zealand for 2016:
Aromatics Felton Road Dry Riesling 2014 Felton Road Block 1 Riesling 2015 Framingham F series Riesling Kabinett 2015 Johanneshof Cellars Gewürztraminer 2014 Stonecroft Gewürztraminer 2015 Te Whare Ra Toru SV5182 2014 Millton Vineyards Clos de Ste Anne Chenin Blanc 2014 Prophet’s Rock Pinot Gris 2014 Dry River Pinot Gris 2014
Pinot Noir Felton Road Block 3 2013 Burn Cottage 2014 Valli Bannockburn 2014 Rippon Vineyards Tinkers Field 2012 Bell Hill 2012 Ata Rangi 2013 Dry River 2013 Craggy Range Aroha 2013 Kusuda 2013
Bordeaux style Te Mata Coleraine 2014 Craggy Range Sophia 2013 Villa Maria Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013 Esk Valley The Terraces 2013 Stonyridge Vineyard Larose 2014 Church Road Tom 2013
Sauvignon Blanc Cloudy Bay Te Koko 2011 Astrolabe Province 2015 Dog Point 2015 Greywacke 2015 Saint Clair Reserve Wairau 2015 Vavasour 2015
Chardonnay Kumeu River Mate’s Vineyard 2014 Neudorf Moutere 2011 Sacred Hill Riflemans 2014 Dog Point 2013 Felton Road Block 2 2010 Villa Maria Keltern Vineyard 2014
A Hawke’s Bay Syrah has won the top prize at the 2015 Air New Zealand Wine Awards, presented last night at Nelson’s Saxton Stadium.
The Church Road McDonald Series Syrah 2013 won the prestigious Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Trophy, as well as the Fruitfed Supplies Champion Syrah Trophy. Chair of Judges and Master of Wine Michael Brajkovich said the Church Road McDonald Series Syrah 2013 was one of the fuller-bodied Syrahs in this year’s competition.
“It’s a wine with lovely ripe black fruit and floral Syrah characters, and very well-handled subtle oak influence,” said Mr Brajkovich. “The palate is full-bodied, with rich berry fruit and firm tannins to fill out the finish and ensure a long maturation potential.
“Syrah provided a quality class of wine, displaying a diversity of styles from fresh, vibrant peppery and herbal, to full-bodied rich and ripe black-fruit styles, with significant oak impact and earthy tannins.”
There were strong trophy contenders across the 16 classes, but the winners prevailed by having that “extra something special”, Mr Brajkovich said.
The second highest accolade of the evening, the O-I New Zealand Reserve Wine of the Show Trophy, went to the Lake Chalice The Raptor Chardonnay Marlborough 2014. This exceptional Chardonnay also won the Rabobank New Zealand Champion Chardonnay Trophy.
Air New Zealand Chief Operating Officer Bruce Parton said the airline was a longstanding partner of the New Zealand wine industry, which continued to produce some of the world’s best wines.
“We’ve been a proud sponsor of the awards for 29 years, and are passionate about promoting home-grown wines and showcasing New Zealand as a destination for wine tourism.”
“It’s been fantastic to see such a large number of entries in this year’s competition from wineries across the country. We wish to congratulate all medal and trophy winners.”
As well as the 18 trophies awarded, 36 Pure Elite Gold Medals and one Elite Gold Medal were announced at the dinner, which was emceed by TV3’s Hilary Barry and Mike McRoberts. This year’s competition saw 1,407 wines entered, 99 percent of which were accredited as being sustainably produced.
The Air New Zealand Wine Awards celebrate excellence in New Zealand winemaking and are widely considered to be the country’s most prestigious wine competition. New Zealand Winegrowers, the national organisation for the country’s 1,600 grape growers and winemakers, has owned and organised the competition for 40 years.
Air NZ wine awards 2015 – Trophy winners
Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Church Road McDonald Series Syrah 2013
O-I New Zealand Reserve Wine of the Show Lake Chalice The Raptor Chardonnay Marlborough 2014
JF Hillebrand New Zealand Champion Pinot Noir Brightwater Vineyards Pinot Noir Nelson 2014
Label and Litho Ltd Champion Sauvignon Blanc Delta Hatters Hill Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014
Rabobank New Zealand Champion Chardonnay Lake Chalice The Raptor Chardonnay Marlborough 2014
Pinot Gris Greystone Pinot Gris Waipara Valley 2015 Isabel Pinot Gris Marlborough 2015 Saint Clair Premium Pinot Gris Marlborough 2014 Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Gris Awatere Valley, Marlborough 2015
Riesling Ceres Black Rabbit Vineyard Riesling Central Otago 2015 Peter Yealands Riesling Marlborough 2015 Spy Valley Envoy Riesling Marlborough 2010
Sauvignon Blanc Delta Hatters Hill Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014 Rapaura Springs Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015 Saint Clair Premium Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015 The Ned Waihopai River Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015 Vidal Estate Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015
Chardonnay Church Road Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2013 Lake Chalice The Raptor Chardonnay Marlborough 2014 Mission Estate Jewelstone Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2014 Nautilus Chardonnay Marlborough 2014 Villa Maria Library Release Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2010 Villa Maria Reserve Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2014 Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Chardonnay Marlborough 2014
Sweet Wine Giesen The Brothers Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014 Seifried Winemakers Collection Sweet Agnes Riesling Nelson 2015
Rosé Aspiring Flats Rosé Central Otago 2015
Pinot Noir Akitu A2 Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014 Brightwater Vineyards Pinot Noir Nelson 2014 Coal Pit Tiwha Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014 Giesen Single Vineyard Selection Ridge Block Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013 Kuru Kuru Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014 Spy Valley Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013
Merlot, Cabernet and Blends Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Merlot Hawke’s Bay 2014 Vidal Reserve Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Syrah Church Road McDonald Series Syrah 2013 Matua Single Vineyard Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2014
Other Varieties – Single Waimea Family Estate Albariño Nelson 2015
Elite Gold Medals
Sparkling Daniel Le Brun Méthode Traditionnelle Blanc De Blancs Marlborough 2009