Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Merlot 2019*

Full bodied with ripe Damson plum, dark chocolate and a silky spiced texture.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Merlot 2019*

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Tasting Notes

Dense dark ruby red.


Complex aromas of chocolate and Christmas spice with new leather notes.


Full bodied and concentrated with layers of ripe Damson plum, boysenberry and dark chocolate. The texture is silky smooth with hints of Christmas spice, black liqourice and a toasty finish.


Perfect for drinking immediately this wine will continue to develop and delight for a five plus years from vintage date.

Winemaking and Viticulture

Hamish Clark and Kyle Thompson


Grapes were de-stemmed into small stainless steel fermenters for a five-day cold soak to help maximise flavour and colour extraction. The juice was inoculated with specialised yeast to complete fermentation and then hand plunged and pumped over for gentle extraction of flavour colour and tannin. The young wine was kept in contact with skins and tasted daily until the right extraction and balance was achieved then gently pressed. Once settled it was then racked to 33 per cent new French oak and the remainder to seasoned French oak barrels where it underwent secondary fermentation (malolactic fermentation). After ageing for 11 months on light lees the wine was blended, fined, balanced and carefully prepared for bottling.


This outstanding fruit was sourced from a single vineyard within the Gimblett Gravels winegrowing district of Hawke’s bay. The vigour moderating, free draining gravel provides a superb base for this low cropping Merlot. This vineyard site has ideal ripening conditions for achieving the full aromatic profile and tannin structure that Merlot can give. The fruit was carefully monitored during ripening and harvested in the cool evening at maximum flavour maturity and physiological ripeness.


Omahu Road, Gimblett Gravels winegrowing district, Hawke’s Bay.


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

Regional characteristics and contribution to uniqueness of flavours:

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

Wine Analysis
Wine Analysis:

Alcohol 13.5% v/v

Acidity 5.6g/litre

pH 3.52

Food Match
Our Food Match Recommendation:

Delicious with fillet steak and portobello mushrooms drizzled in rosemary and balsamic jus.

Vegetarian Friendly

Tasting Notes PDF
Click here to open the 2019 tasting notes as a PDF.
Previous Vintages Tasting Notes:

2018 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

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