General Blog

Air NZ Wine Awards 2016 Gold Medal Winners

By October 26, 2016No Comments

The medal results of the 2016 Air New Zealand Wine Awards have been released. Of the 1,402 wines entered for judging, there were 91 (6.49%) gold medals awarded, 268 (19.12%) silver and 614 (43.79%) bronzes, making a total of 973 (69.4%) wines awarded with a medal.

The wines were judged in Auckland over 17-19 October by a panel of judges chaired by Michael Brajkovich MW. The guest overseas judges were Michael Franz from the U.S.A. and Ralph Kyte-Powell from Australia. The senior judges were Emma Jenkins MW, Jack Glover, Olly Masters, Jim Harré, Greg Harris, Nikolai St George, Sam Kim, Ian Isaacs, Phil Brodie, Nick Picone, Simon Nunns, Wendy Stuckey and Stu Marfell. The associate judges were Liz Wheadon, Rebecca Deed, Huw Kinch, Colin Ford, Kyle Thompson, Flo Bouda, Dave Roper, Jo Gear, Paul Harre and Greg Allinson.

A Brief Analysis
As can be expected, the most successful classes were Pinot Noir with 17 golds, Sauvignon Blanc with 14 golds and Chardonnay with 13 golds, these having the most entries submitted. Of the 17 Pinot Noir golds, 10 were awarded to Marlborough wines and 6 to wines from Central Otago, with one Hawke’s Bay wine winning a gold. It appears 2015 and 2014 are successful vintages for the variety, with 9 and 7 golds respectively. Despite a challenging vintage for Sauvignon Blanc in 2016, 13 of the 14 Sauvignon Blanc wines came from that region, and 12 of the wines from 2016. Clearly, the producers of these wines had the blending options and winemaking skills to retain freshness and balance. Of the 13 Chardonnay golds, 6 were from Hawke’s Bay, 3 from Marlborough and one each from Central Otago, Nelson, Martinborough and Gisborne. It is noteworthy that there were 4 Villa Maria Estate Chardonnay gold medal wines.

The aromatic whites were moderately successful, with 6 golds for Riesling from around the country, 8 golds for Pinot Gris, 5 coming from Marlborough and, and 2 golds for Gewurztraminer. These varieties often how variability in results, indicating that it can be difficult to get them right. The Bordeaux Varietal Reds yielded 8 golds, all from Hawke’s Bay. With 4 of the wines coming from the highly touted 2013 vintage and 3 from the nearly as good 2014 vintage. Many of the popular 2013 and 2014 wines of this style have already been released through the market. There were 6 Syrah golds, all from Hawke’s Bay, 3 from the 2014 vintaged, deemed a very favourable one for the variety.

Of the specialised classes, all were modestly successful, with 3 golds for Sparkling, 5 golds for Rosé which had 100 entries, and 5 golds for Sweet Wines which is a relatively positive result. There were 2 golds each for Other White and Other Red varieties.

By region, the gold medals follow the approximate proportions of the growing region sizes, with 44 golds going to Marlborough wines, 26 going to Hawke’s Bay and 13 to Central Otago (Marlborough slightly underperforming).

Continuing their brilliant wine show track record, the Villa Maria Estate group of companies took 17 golds, 11 going to Villa Maria labelled wines, 2 each to Te Awa and Thornbury, and one gold each to Vidal and Esk Valley. The Pernod-Ricard group took 8 golds, 3 for Church Road wines, 2 each for Brancott Estate and Stoneleigh, and one for Deutz. Saint Clair, other top performer took 5 golds as did Giesen, the latter result signalling this company’s intent in the quality stakes. The Yealds Group took 4 golds and Mission Estates and Wairau River both took 3 gold medals.
The trophy winning wines will be announced at the Awards Dinner to be held in Auckland on Saturday 12 November. All of the medal winners can be seen at www.airnzwineawards.com

I list the 91 gold medal winning wines following:

Sauvignon Blanc
Babydoll Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Brancott Estate Terroir Series Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Esk Valley Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Fairhall Downs Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Giesen The August Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014
Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015
Hunter’s Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Leefield Station Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Peregrine Sauvignon Blanc Central Otago 2016
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 1 Foundation Block Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 20 Cash Block Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Stoneleigh Latitude Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016

Chardonnay
Archangel Chardonnay Central Otago 2015
Brancott Estate Letter Series “O” Chardonnay Marlborough 2015
Brightwater Vineyards Chardonnay Nelson 2015
Clearview Estate Coastal Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2015
Coopers Creek SV ‘Limeworks’ Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2015
Giesen The Fuder Clayvin Chardonnay Marlborough 2014
Leveret Estate Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2014
Te Kairanga John Martin Chardonnay Martinborough 2015
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2015
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Chardonnay Marlborough 2015
Villa Maria Reserve Barrique Fermented Chardonnay Gisborne 2015
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2015
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2014

Riesling
Beach House Riesling Hawke’s Bay 2016
Giesen Riesling New Zealand 2015
Maude Mt Maude Vineyard Dry Riesling Central Otago 2016
Saint Clair Premium Riesling Marlborough 2015
Vidal Estate Dry Riesling Marlborough 2015
Waipara Hills Equinox Riesling Waipara Valley 2015

Pinot Gris
Mount Riley Pinot Gris Marlborough 2016
Petane Station Esk Valley Single Vineyard Pinot Gris Hawke’s Bay 2015
Stoneleigh Pinot Gris Marlborough 2016
Thornbury Pinot Gris Waipara Valley 2016
Tinpot Hut Pinot Gris Marlborough 2016
Waipara Hills Pinot Gris Waipara Valley 2016
Wairau River Pinot Gris Marlborough 2016
Wairau River Pinot Gris Marlborough 2015

Gewurztraminer
Lawson’s Dry Hills Gewürztraminer Marlborough 2015
Whitehaven Gewürztraminer Marlborough 2016

Other White Varieties
Leveret Estate Viognier Hawke’s Bay 2015
Nautilus Albariño Marlborough 2016

Sparkling
Daniel Le Brun Methode Traditionnelle Blanc de Blancs Marlborough 2011
Deutz Cuvee Blanc De Blancs Methode Traditionnelle Marlborough 2013
Verde Brut Gisborne NV

Sweet Wine
Giesen The Brothers Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014
Riverby Estate SV Noble Riesling Marlborough 2015
Seifried Winemakers Collection Sweet Agnes Riesling Nelson 2016
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Late Harvest Riesling Marlborough 2015
Wairau River Reserve Botrytised Riesling Marlborough 2016

Rosé
Akarua RUA Pinot Rosé Central Otago 2016
Domain Road Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé Central Otago 2016
Grey Ridge Pinot Rosé Central Otago 2016
Wet Jacket Rosé Central Otago 2016
Whitehaven Pinot Rosé Marlborough 2016

Pinot Noir
Brennan B2 Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014
Eradus Single Vineyard Awatere Valley Pinot Noir Marlborough 2015
Giesen Single Vineyard Ridge Block Pinot Noir Marlborough 2015
Jackson Estate Vintage Widow Pinot Noir Marlborough 2014
Lake Chalice The Nest Pinot Noir Marlborough 2014
Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014
Marisco The Craft Series The Journey Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013
Nanny Goat Vineyard Pinot Noir Central Otago 2015
Osawa Winemaker’s Collection Pinot Noir Hawke’s Bay 2014
Rocky Point Pinot Noir Central Otago 2015
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 15 Strip Block Pinot Noir Marlborough 2015
Scott Base Pinot Noir Central Otago 2015
Thornbury Pinot Noir Central Otago 2015
Tohu Awatere Valley Pinot Noir Marlborough 2015
Villa Maria Reserve Pinot Noir Marlborough 2014
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Pinot Noir 2014
Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Noir Marlborough 2015

Merlot, Cabernet and Blends
Abbey Cellars Testament Cabernet Merlot Hawke’s Bay 2013
Church Road McDonald Series Cabernet Sauvignon Hawke’s Bay 2014
Church Road McDonald Series Merlot Hawke’s Bay 2013
Crossroads Winemakers Collection Cabernet Merlot Hawke’s Bay 2013
Matua Single Vineyard Merlot Hawke’s Bay 2013
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Merlot Hawke’s Bay 2015
Te Awa Single Estate Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon Hawke’s Bay 2014
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Hawke’s Bay 2014

Syrah
Alpha Domus The Barnstormer Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2015
Mission Barrique Reserve Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2015
Mission Jewelstone Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2014
Te Awa Single Estate Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2014
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2014
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2013

Other Red Varieties
Church Road McDonald Series Marzemino Hawke’s Bay 2014
Mission Reserve Cabernet Franc Hawke’s Bay 2014

Leave a Reply

SUBSCRIBE
Latest wine reviews, news, events and more. 🍷
We respect your privacy.