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Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2015 – Gold Medal Wines

By November 10, 2015No Comments

The medal winning wines of the 2015 Air New Zealand Wine Awards have been announced. There were 84 (5.97%) gold medals, 220 (15.64%) silver and 551 (39.16%) bronze medals awarded, with a total of 855 (60.77%) wines awarded medals. The judging was conducted in the first week of November in Auckland by a team of experienced judges led by Michael Brajkovich MW, with Ronny Lau from Greater China and Mark Protheroe from Australia as the international judges.

An Analysis
The most successful variety was Pinot Noir with 18 golds awarded. Of these, 6 were from Central Otago, 5 from Marlborough and 4 from Martinborough. It appears 2014 and 2013 are good years for the variety, with 10 and 8 golds respectively for these vintages.

Continuing a comeback for Chardonnay, there were 12 golds awarded, 6 each for Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough. 2014 is a year for Chardonnay as 10 of the golds came from that vintage. There were 11 golds for Sauvignon Blanc, all from the Marlborough region, and all but 2 from the 2015 vintage. 2015 is being touted as a top year for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, and these results support this.

The chameleon Pinot Gris variety took 9 gold, 7 of these from Marlborough. The esults for Pinot Gris seem to fluctuate more than other varieties. Riesling was the other successful white aromatic with 7 golds, 3 golds each for Marlborough and Central Otago, with an older 2010 wine figuring in these.

Syrah performed well, with 7 golds, all from Hawke’s Bay, with 4 from 2014 and 3 from 2013. It was a similar situation with the 6 golds for the Bordeaux varieties and blends, the 6 golds all to Hawke’s Bay wines bar one from Waiheke Island, and split among the 2013 and 2014 vintages, both these deemed outstanding.

The Rosé class captured only 2 golds, less than in some other wine shows. There is much work required in obtaining greater consistency among judges in this important and growing category.

As can be expected, Marlborough took the most gold medals, nearly half at 41. Hawke’s Bay wines won 19 golds and Central Otago took 11 golds.

In the producer stakes, the Villa Maria Group took top honours, Villa Maria taking 7 golds with 2 for Vidals and 1 for Esk Valley. Saint Clair had a particularly successful show winning 8 gold medals.
The trophy results will be announced at the awards dinner in Nelson on 28 November. www.airnzwineawards.co.nz

The Gold Medal Winners
Here are the gold medal winners listed by variety and category:

Sparkling
Akarua Vintage Brut Central Otago 2010
Daniel Le Brun Méthode Traditionnelle Blanc De Blanc 2009
Deutz Marlborough Cuvée Blanc de Blancs Méthode Traditionnelle 2011
Nautilus Cuvée Marlborough Brut NV

Sauvignon Blanc
Delta Hatters Hill Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014
Lowlands Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015
Rapaura Springs Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 3 43 Degrees Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015
Saint Clair Premium Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015
Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015
Starborough Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015
The Ned Waihopai River Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015
Tohu Mugwi Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014
Vidal Estate Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015
Volcanic Hills Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015

Gewurztraminer
Johanneshof Cellars Gewürztraminer Marlborough 2014
Lawson’s Dry Hills Gewürztraminer Marlborough 2014
Whitehaven Gewürztraminer Marlborough 2014

Pinot Gris
Brightwater Vineyards Pinot Gris Nelson 2015
Catalina Sounds Pinot Gris Marlborough 2015
Dashwood Pinot Gris Marlborough 2015
Greystone Pinot Gris Waipara Valley 2015
Isabel Pinot Gris Marlborough 2015
Saint Clair Godfrey’s Creek Reserve Pinot Gris Marlborough 2014
Saint Clair Premium Pinot Gris Marlborough 2014
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Seddon Pinot Gris Marlborough 2015
Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Gris Awatere Valley, Marlborough 2015

Riesling
Allan Scott Family Winemakers Riesling Marlborough 2014
Archangel Stefania Riesling Central Otago 2012
Ceres Black Rabbit Vineyard Riesling Central Otago 2015
Peter Yealands Riesling Marlborough 2015
Spy Valley Envoy Riesling Marlborough 2010
Terra Sancta Miro’s Block Dry Riesling Central Otago 2014
Waipara Springs Riesling Waipara Valley 2015

Chardonnay
Church Road Grand Reserve Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2013
Esk Valley Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2014
Kim Crawford Small Parcels Wild Grace Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2014
Lake Chalice The Raptor Chardonnay Marlborough 2014
Mission Estate Jewelstone Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2014
Nautilus Chardonnay Marlborough 2014
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 10 Twin Hills Chardonnay Marlborough 2014
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 11 Cell Block 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
Whitehaven Chardonnay Marlborough 2014

Other Whites
Waimea Family Estate Albariño Nelson 2015

Sweet Wine
Awatere River by Louis Vavasour Late Harvest Gewürztraminer Marlborough 2014
Giesen The Brothers Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014
Seifried Winemaker Collection Sweet Agnes Riesling Nelson 2015
Sileni Exceptional Vintage Pourriture Noble Marlborough 2014

Rosé
Aspiring Flats Rosé Central Otago 2015
Gladstone Vineyard Rosé Wairarapa 2015

Pinot Noir
Akitu A2 Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014
Brightwater Vineyards Pinot Noir Nelson 2014
Coal Pit Tiwha Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014
Craggy Range Single Vineyard Pinot Noir Te Muna Road Vineyard Martinborough 2013
Fifth Bridge Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014
Giesen Single Vineyard Selection Ridge Block Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013
Greylands Ridge Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014
Haythornthwaite Beverley Reserve Pinot Noir Martinborough 2013
Julicher Pinot Noir Martinborough 2013
Junction Possession Pinot Noir Hawke’s Bay 2014
Kuru Kuru Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014
Spy Valley Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013
Tarras Vineyards Single Vineyard The Canyon Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014
Te Tera Pinot Noir Martinborough 2014
The Boneline Waimanu Pinot Noir Waipara Valley 2014
Villa Maria Reserve Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013

Merlot, Cabernet and Blends
Babich The Patriarch Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec Merlot Hawke’s Bay 2013
Newton Forrest Cornerstone Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Malbec Hawke’s Bay 2013
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Merlot Hawke’s Bay 2014
Selaks Founders Merlot Cabernet Hawke’s Bay 2014
SOHO Revolver Merlot Cabernet Franc Malbec Waiheke Island 2014
Vidal Reserve Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Syrah
Beach House Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2014
Church Road Grand Reserve Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2013
Church Road McDonald Series Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2013
Elephant Hill Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2014
Matua Single Vineyard Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2014
Ngatarawa Proprietors Reserve Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2013
Sileni Estate Selection The Peak Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2014

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