Putting Saint Clair Family Estate Chardonnay on the World Map

It is with great excitement that Saint Clair Family Estate announce that the 2022 Saint Clair Omaka Reserve Chardonnay has been awarded a ‘platinum’ medal in the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards. Rated 97 points in the 2024 competition, this Marlborough Chardonnay was one of two New Zealand wines to place in the platinum category. 

View the Platinum award here

Senior Winemaker Stewart Maclennan along with the entire Saint Clair team are thrilled by the resulting wine accolade. Stewart comments on the award-winning Chardonnay, “We like to say the Omaka Reserve Chardonnay is ‘unapologetic’ in its design, staunch in character and traditional in method. It represents the best of what we believe well treated Marlborough Chardonnay can produce. Marlborough’s natural acidity and growing conditions create a perfect framework on which to build world class Chardonnay”.

Saint Clair’s success in the 2024 competition doesn’t stop with the Omaka Reserve. The 2022 Saint Clair Pioneer Block 10 Twin Hills Chardonnay was awarded an exciting Gold Medal and 95 Points from the Decanter World Wine Awards judging panel. Saint Clair Family Estate are proud to have two Marlborough Chardonnays rate so highly in an international wine competition.

View the Gold Medal award here


About the Decanter World Wine  Awards

Now in its 21st year, Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) has firmly established itself as the world’s largest and most influential wine competition. Respected globally for its rigorous judging process and world-class judges, DWWA results are trusted internationally by both trade and consumers.

Decanter recruits hundreds of the world’s leading wine experts to ensure wines entered in the competition are judged by top specialists in their field. From Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine, to wine buyers, winemakers, distributors, writers and educators.


Introducing the 2022 Saint Clair Omaka Reserve Chardonnay

Produced only in small quantities, in vintages of exceptional quality, the Saint Clair Omaka Reserve Chardonnay was crafted using fruit from Saint Clair’s vineyards in the Omaka Valley, where a combination of warm days, cool nights and clay-based soils contribute to greater retention of fruit flavours. The fruit is a blend of Chardonnay clones, predominantly Mendoza and Burgundian Clone 95.

The vines were monitored carefully during ripening and hand harvested at optimum flavour maturity and physiological ripeness. Following harvesting the fruit was lightly whole bunch pressed and the juice fermented in American oak barrels, 14 per cent of which were new, using selected yeast strains. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation, followed by nine months aging on yeast lees with regular stirring. Only the very best barrels were selected for the Saint Clair Omaka Reserve Chardonnay.

The generous and rich palate makes this wine a perfect accompaniment for succulent roast chicken with lemon and garlic.


A Note from the Winemaker

“The Decanter awards are a prestigious forum for global wine quality, we are beyond thrilled to receive this accolade for the Omaka Reserve Chardonnay.
In contrast to our other Chardonnays, the Omaka Reserve is fermented entirely in American oak barrels. With fruit that harmonises with the strong characters of Quercus Alba (white oak), it’s a magical combination.

Oak influence and a commitment to quality treatment and careful lees management all contribute to the foundations of a well-balanced Chardonnay. A structure of toasted and savoury characters supports the floral, citrus, and stone fruit profile.” 

-Saint Clair Senior Winemaker Stewart MacLennan: 2022 Omaka Reserve Chardonnay


Saint Clair Family Estate would like to thank all the 2024 Co-Chairs, Regional Chairs and behind the scenes team at Decanter for hosting this outstanding competition, and to the excellent team of winemakers at Saint Clair for producing a top-quality Marlborough Chardonnay.

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