You might say that Neal and Judy Ibbotson of Saint Clair Family Estate are kind of pioneers of the Marlborough wine scene. As far back as 1978 they were supplying local wineries with grapes from their vineyard but in 1994 they decided they wanted to put their name on a bottle of wine.
Well, not their name. But someone else’s name. His name was James Sinclair and he was another real pioneer of the area and credited with building the first houses in the Blenheim area. Saint Clair is the name of the original property on the estate.
Saint Clair’s range includes the world class Reserve range and seriously good Pioneer Blocks. The Vicar’s Choice is named after an Anglican-vicar relative of theirs loved nothing more than a bottle of his favourite Saint Clair wine. So much so they decided to name this range after him! It’s what they call their ‘excellent value for money range’ and holy moly, we wouldn’t disagree.
This is their Saint Clair Vicars Choice Pinot Noir 2021 using fruit from some of Saint Clair’s Southern Valley vineyards in Marlborough.
This is a good example of the sheer value for money that can be found when it comes to Marlborough Pinot in that everyday drinking $15-20 price point. Fruit driven, easy drinking Pinot with juicy dark fruits and a touch of savouriness.