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Easter Show Wine Awards 2014 – Gold Medal Wines

By March 3, 2014No Comments

The Easter Show Wine Awards 2014 were judged over 21-23 February in Auckland. Of 1217 wines judged, there were 79 gold medals (6.49%), 207 silver (16.68%) and 447 bronzes (36.73%) awarded, making a total of 729 wines (59.9%0 gaining an award. This is very much in line with the proportions at most shows.

Successful and Underperforming Categories
The best performing categories were Pinot Noir with 18 golds, Sauvignon Blanc with 17 golds and Chardonnay with 13 golds awarded. The success of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir in particular reflect the large classes of these wines. Chardonnay continues its strong presence at shows, as seen recently. The aromatic white varieties of Riesling (7 golds), and Pinot Gris (8 golds) were supported by Gewurztraminer (3 golds). Chair of judges Mike de Garis of Australia commented “the early showing aromatics. Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Pinot Gris reflect what a great vintage 2013 was in New Zealand.” There were 4 golds for Sparkling, and 3 for Sweet Wines, categories that are performing well at present.

Conversely, the poor showing of the Cabernet Sauvignon (2 golds), Merlot (1 gold) wines and Syrah (2 gold) reflects the more challenging recent vintages in Hawke’s Bay. Also disappointing was Viognier (1 gold), which is indicative of the stalled progress of this variety here in New Zealand. Surprisingly there were no golds for Rosé, a category which has enjoyed success of late, but the timing of the show does not suit for freshness in this style.

Looking at the key varieties in depth, all 17 Sauvignon Blancs were from Marlborough, and all but one from the well-regarded 2013 vintage. One can see the continued emergence of Marlborough Pinot Noir, with 12 of the 18 golds coming from that region. Central Otago Pinot Noir took 5 golds. The 2012 vintage is a good one for Pinot Noir, with 12 of the wines coming from that year. Marlborough also performed well with Chardonnay, taking just over half of the 13 golds, and Hawke’s Bay taking 4 golds. As indicated by Mike de Garis, 2013 was a success with the Aromatics, taking 14 of the 18 golds.

As noted above in the varieties summarised, Marlborough wines have dominated the results, this reflecting not only the quality of production there across many varieties, but also the growing number of labels being made. Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest growing region by far.

As usual, the Villa Maria group was the most successful, taking 13 golds with Villa Maria labels and 2 under Esk Valley. With 5 golds for Chardonnay and 4 for Pinot Noir, the company is dominating the show circuit. Saint Clair is a particularly notable producer with 6 golds. And the Pernod-Ricard group with 7 golds across a variety of labels. Hunter’s Wines performed very well with 4 golds.

Behind the Scenes
The judges were chaired by Mike de Garis, one of the most experienced competition judges, leading a team with Jim Harré, Olly Masters, Rod Easthope, Ben Glover and Sarah-Kate Dineen as panel leaders. The senior judges were Jane Cooper, Barry Riwai, Yvonne Lorkin, Nikolai St George, Jane Boyle, Sarah Burton, Cameron Douglas MS, Alastair Leggat, Jack Glover and James Rowan. The competition director was Shona White, who took over the role from Terry Dunleavy.

The trophy results well be announced at an awards dinner to be held at the ASB Showgrounds, Auckland, on 22 March. The dinner is open to the public. Tickets can be obtained by contacting Shea, on Tel: 09 638-9969, or Email: shea@asbshowgrounds.co.nz

The Gold Medal Winners
Following are the gold medal wines. The full results with silver and bronze medal winning wines can be seen at www.wineshow.co.nz

Chardonnay
Charles Wiffen Chardonnay 2012 $$
Clearview Estate ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay 2012 $$$
Couper’s Shed Chardonnay 2012 $$
Faultline ‘Reserve’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2012 $$
Hunter’s Marlborough Chardonnay 2012 $$
Pask ‘Declaration’ Chardonnay 2012 $$$
Sileni ‘Cellar Selection’ ‘The Lodge’ Chardonnay 2012 $$$
The Fuder ‘Single Vineyard Selection Clayvin’ Chardonnay 2011 $$$
Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Gisborne Barrique Fermented Chardonnay 2012 $$$
Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2012 $$$
Villa Maria ‘Single Vineyard Ihumatao’ Chardonnay 2012 $$$
Villa Maria ‘Single Vineyard Taylors Pass’ Chardonnay 2011 $$$
Villa Maria ‘Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Chardonnay 2012 $$$

Gewurztraminer
Grove Mill Wairau Valley Gewurztraminer 2013 $$
Hunter’s Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2013 $$
Saint Clair ‘Pioneer Block 12 Lone Gum’ Gewurztraminer 2013 $$

Sauvignon Blanc
Brancott Estate ‘Special Reserve’ Fume Blanc 2013 $$
Hunters Marlborough ‘Kaho Roa’ (Oak Aged Sauvignon Blanc) 2012 $$
Lowlands ‘Lowlands’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 $$
Marlborough Estate ‘Reserve’ Sauvignon Blanc 2013 $
Nautilus Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 $$
Opawa Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 $$
Pretty Paddock Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 $$
Saint Clair ‘Pioneer Block 18 Snap Block’ Sauvignon Blanc 2013 $$$
Saint Clair ‘Pioneer Block 2 Swamp Block’ Sauvignon Blanc 2013 $$$
Saint Clair ‘Vicar’s Choice’ Sauvignon Blanc 2013 $$
Stoneleigh ‘Rapaura Series’ Sauvignon Blanc 2013 $$$
te Pa Sauvignon Blanc 2013 $$
Vavasour Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2013 $$
W5 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013 $
Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc 2013 $$
Wither Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 $$
Yealands Estate ‘Single Vineyard’ Sauvignon Blanc 2013 $$

Riesling
Abbey Cellars Medium Dry Riesling 2013 $$
Greenhough Apple Valley Riesling 2013 $$
Matua ‘Single Vineyard’ Marlborough Riesling 2013 $$$
Mondillo Riesling 2013 $$$
Riverby Estate ’Eliza’ Marlborough Riesling 2012 $$$
Terrace Edge ‘Liquid Geography’ Riesling 2012 $$
Zephyr Riesling 2012 $$

Pinot Gris
Boundary Vineyards ‘Paper Lane’ Pinot Gris 2013 $$
Camshorn Pinot Gris 2012 $$$
Farmers Market Pinot Gris 2013 $$
Hunter’s Marlborough Pinot Gris 2013 $$
Kim Crawford ‘Reserve’ Pinot Gris 2013 $$
Stoneleigh ‘Rapaura Series’ Pinot Gris 2013 $$$
Waipara Springs Pinot Gris 2013 $$
Wairau River Pinot Gris 2013 $$$

Viognier
Mudbrick Vineyard ‘Reserve’ Viognier 2013 $$$

Sweet White
Tohu ‘Raiha Reserve Limited Release’ Noble Riesling 2013 $$$
Villa Maria ‘Cellar Selection’ Marlborough Late Harvest Semillon 2011 $$
Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Marlborough Noble Semillon Botrytis Selection 2011 $$$

Cabernet Sauvignon
Esk Valley ‘Winemakers Reserve’ Gimblett Gravels Merlot Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 $$$
Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2012 $$$

Merlot
Matua ‘Single Vineyard Matheson’ Merlot 2010 $$$

Syrah
Giesen ‘The Brothers’ Marlborough Syrah 2011 $$$
Villa Maria ‘Cellar Selection’ Hawkes Bay Syrah 2012 $$$

Pinot Noir
Akarua Pinot Noir 2012 $$$
Askerne Pinot Noir 2010 $$
Charcoal Gully Sallys Pinch Pinot Noir 2012 $$$
Esk Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012 $$$
Jackson Estate ‘Vintage Widow’ Pinot Noir 2012 $$$
Lawson’s Dry Hills ‘Reserve’ Pinot Noir 2012 $$$
Morton ‘White Label’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013 $$
Rockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012 $$$
Saint Clair ‘Pioneer Block 14 Doctor’s Creek’ Pinot Noir 2012 $$$
Saint Clair ‘Pioneer Block 22 Barn Block’ Pinot Noir 2012 $$$
SOHO ‘McQueen’ Pinot Noir 2012 $$$
The Crossings Pinot Noir 2013 $$
Vavasour Awatere Valley Pinot Noir 2012 $$$
Villa Maria ‘Cellar Selection’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011 $$$
Villa Maria ‘Single Vineyard Seddon’ Pinot Noir 2010 $$$
Villa Maria ‘Single Vineyard Southern Clays’ Pinot Noir 2010 $$$
Villa Maria ‘Single Vineyard Southern Clays’ Pinot Noir 2012 $$$
Wooing Tree ‘Beetle Juice’ 2012 $$$

Sparkling
Akarua Vintage Brut 2010 $$$
Deutz ‘Marlborough Cuvée’ Blanc de Blancs 2009 $$$
Lindauer ‘Special Reserve’ Brut NV $$
Osawa Wines ‘Prestige Collection’ Methode Traditionelle NV $$$

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