Villa Maria – Stuff of Champions

26-Oct-2011
There is much said about Villa Maria's outstanding success at wine judging competitions, their wines winning what seems to be a disproportionate number of gold medals and trophies. Some people, critical of Villa Maria's winning ways say the wines are made in a show-competition style. This begs the question: "What makes a wine a show-winning one?” The answer would presume that one can understand and predict what wine judges here and overseas see as quality and the Villa Maria winemakers then proceed to make wines in a style that will make wine judges take note of their wines, and appeal to their perceptions of quality, in a blind tasting line-up. My reaction having judged wines in shows for over two decades is that it would be too hard if not impossible to do. And anyway, judges are asked to be open to different styles and see the quality within diversity.

Another assertion raised about Villa Maria is that they may flood the competitions with so many wines that they must win by sheer number of odds. The logic of this is faulty, as we all know that wine producers do not make wines to the same standard and quality. There are other wineries that win far less medals in proportion to what they enter, and vice versa; some wineries may have a higher strike rate. The statistics on this may not have been conducted, but if so, I'm sure they would bear me out. The simplest explanation is usually the correct one, so the saying goes. Villa Maria makes outstanding wines at each price level and in as many categories, styles and varieties they can. They enter their wines for judging, and then win medals, trophies and shows because of their quality. It's as simple as that!

Villa Maria asked for reviews of the three following wines, all gold medal winners. One has taken Champion Wine of the Show at three different judgings. The consistency of how a wine performs at a number of different shows must be the nearest to a definitive rating or assessment of a wine's quality. It's your call however, in the final analysis in what you enjoy and choose to drink. But such consistently high show results should be considered. This is how I see them. www.villamaria.co.nz


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