Held over 1-2 September, Marlborough’s first regional wine judging competition has yielded 46 wines rated as ‘Excellent’ from 424 entries. This is 10.85% of the wines judged, and according to chief judge Jeff Clarke reflects the recent run of good vintages. There were also 105 ‘Highly Recommended’ wines (24.76%) and 179 ‘Recommended’ wines (42.22%), with a total of 330 wines (77.83%) recognised for quality.
The use of the more consumer-driven and understandable award names instead of the traditional medal awards is one of the initiatives instituted by competition director Belinda Jackson. While the judging standards to the new terms is exactly the same as the medal criteria, wine drinkers will be able to make a more direct interpretation of the new award.
The other major initiative was to judge the wines in sub-regional classes. This is in recognition of the emergence of sub-regional styles apparent in the wines of Marlborough. This process was designed to highlight these differences and explore the range of styles within the sub-regions.
The Marlborough Wine Show joins other regional judging competitions that have been conducted in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay. To focus solely on one region, and in this case New Zealand’s largest wine growing region is extremely will help in understanding of the diversity as well as unity of Marlborough among wine interested people in this country and internationally
Here are the 46 wines judged as ‘Excellent’, which are equivalent to gold medal standard:
The full results can be seen at www.wineshow.co.nz