Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Block Cabernet Merlot 2018

Densely concentrated flavours of blueberry, blackberry, roasted coffee bean and toasty oak.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Block Cabernet Merlot 2018
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Block Cabernet Merlot
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Load image into Gallery viewer, Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Block Cabernet Merlot

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Tasting Notes

Deep dark ruby core with a thin purple rim.


Perfumed with fresh blackcurrant, dark plum and cigar box aromas with a touch of new leather.


Fresh blueberries and wild blackberries, with fresh roasted coffee bean. A dense full bodied palate with toasty oak on the finish.


Perfect for drinking immediately this wine will continue to develop and delight for at least 5 years from vintage but with careful cellaring will continue to develop and please.

Winemaking and Viticulture

Kyle Thompson and Hamish Clark

Block: 17

Omahu Road, Gimblett Gravels wine growing region, Hawke’s Bay.


Soils: Vigour moderating free draining gravel.
Topography: Flat even site with a gradual slope.
Climate: Warm, sheltered site.

Regional Characteristics & Contribution to Uniqueness of Flavours:

Warm days and cooler nights with gravel rich vigour-moderating soils contribute to small berries which give this wine concentrated flavours, perfume and a deep rich colour.


This wine is a blend of 55 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 41 per cent Merlot and 4 per cent Malbec.

Each variety was kept separate during fermentation through to the time of blending. The fruit was held cold for four days prior to ferment to help extract maximum flavour and enhance colour stability. Inoculation took place to carry out the primary alcoholic fermentation during which the fermenting must was hand plunged up to four times daily.

When dry the young wines was pressed and then racked off gross lees to 35 per cent new French oak 65 per cent seasoned French oak. The wine underwent a clean malolactic fermentation while ageing in oak for 10 months. It was then gently extracted from oak, blended and carefully prepared for bottling.


The outstanding fruit was sourced predominantly from a single vineyard within the Gimblett Gravels winegrowing area of Hawke’s Bay. The vigour moderating, free draining gravel provides a superb base for growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec. This vineyard site has ideal ripening conditions for achieving the structure and full aromatic profiles of these varieties. The fruit was carefully monitored during ripening and harvested in the cool evening at maximum flavour maturity and physiological ripeness.

Wine Analysis
Wine Analysis:

Alcohol: 13.5% v/v

Acidity: 5.6g/litre

pH: 3.55

Food Match
Our Food Match Recommendation:

Delicious with smoky flame grilled steak served with garlic butter and roast beetroot salad.

Vegetarian friendly

Tasting Notes PDF
Click here to open the 2018 tasting notes as a PDF.
Previous Vintages Tasting Notes:

2015 | 2014 | 2013

Awards & Accolades

TROPHY - NZ Wine of the Year Awards 2019

GOLD Medal - NZ Wine of the Year Awards 2019

GOLD MEDAL - Gimblett Gravels - Cameron Douglas  2021

EXCELLENT - Mark Henderson - Otago Daily Times 2021

5 STARS - Raymond Chan 24-Feb-2021

94/100 - Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers 2020


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