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Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2013 – Gold Medal Winners

By November 14, 2013No Comments
The gold medal winning wines from the 2013 Air N.Z. Wine Awards have been announced. From 1,379 wines entered for judging, there were 111 (8.05%) golds, 196 (14.21%) silver and 348 (25.24%) bronzes awarded, making a total of 355 (47.5%) of the wine receiving medals. These percentages are very much on par with the previous year, the number of bronzes lower than other shows due to the more stringent criteria to reach that award.

Of the 111 golds, Pinot Noir was the most successful variety with 22 golds, followed by Sauvignon Blanc with 20 golds and 17 for Chardonnay, these results echoing the relative strength and performance of these three varieties from last year. It is interesting to see the growing consistency of Pinot Noir, and the growth of Chardonnay to see it join the top three performing varieties. Proportionally, it appears Sauvignon Blanc is slipping in standing, possibly reflecting the considerable amount of plantings and wine made dedicated to the more commercial expression of this variety. Riesling performed even better this year with 12 golds and then Pinot Gris with 9 golds. The Sparkling wine and Dessert wine classes performed particularly well with 6 golds each. The Bordeaux varietals and Syrah took 7 and 5 golds respectively, probably reflecting the recent run of cooler vintages in the North Island.

Key Category Analysis
Looking at the key categories more deeply, 15 of the 20 Sauvignon Blanc wines were from the 2013 vintage, and I believe all but one of the wines from Marlborough. For the numbers of Sauvignon Blanc entered for judging, I sense a gradual proportional drop in top awards for the variety, which as noted above may indicate more commercial bottlings. It may also be indicative of the pressure of the compressed nature of the 2013 vintage.

With Chardonnay, 11 of the wines came from the 2012 vintage which was favourable for the variety. The honours were shared by Marlborough with 8 golds and Hawke’s Bay with 7 golds, indicating the strength of the variety in the latter region.

2012 is a very successful vintage for Pinot Noir with 17 of the 22 golds from that year, the other 5 from 2011. Central Otago was the most prolific Pinot Noir gold medal winning region with 14 of the golds, with only 3 of these from the 2011 vintage. Marlborough took 6 Pinot Noir golds and Waipara 2 golds.

Regionally, Marlborough wines took 55, nearly half of all the gold medals, followed by Hawke’s Bay which took 22 golds. 18 golds were awarded to Central Otago wines.

The Villa Maria group continues its dominant way in judgings with 17 gold medals among the Villa Maria, Esk Valley, Vidal and Te Awa brands. Saint Clair also performed creditably with 7 gold medals. Giesen is making a strong showing with 4 golds awarded, and among the larger companies, Pernod-Ricard and Foley Family Vineyards with 5 each, and Lion and Mud House with 4 and 3 each respectively. Among the ‘smaller’ and family-owned companies, Mount Riley, Wairau River and Akarua each took 3 gold medals. (These figures subject to confirmation as I counted them late at night!.)

The 2013 Judging and Results
The 2013 Air N.Z. Wine Awards were judged over 4-6 November in Auckland by panels of judges led by Michael Brajkovich MW as chairman, this being his second year in the head role. The overseas judges were wine writer Dan Berger from the U.S.A. and Madeleine Stenwreth MW from Sweden. The Elite gold medal and trophy winners will be announced at the awards dinner in Queenstown on 23 November. For more information and the results in a format which lists the gold medal wines eligible for each trophy, go to www.airnewzealandwineawards.co.nz The full results will also be posted on www.wineshow.co.nz in due course
Here, I list the gold medal winners by varietal or style category:

Sauvignon Blanc
Boundary Vineyards Rapaura Road Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Clark Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Corbans ‘Homestead’ Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Fairhall Downs Hugo Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Giesen ‘The Brothers’ Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Kuru Kuru Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Ponder ‘Olive Grove’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Rossendale Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Saint Clair Marlborough ‘Premium’ Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Saint Clair ‘Pioneer Block 2 Swamp Block’ Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Saint Clair ‘Vicar’s Choic’e Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Saint Clair ‘Wairau Reserve’ Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Stoneleigh ‘Latitude’ Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Stoneleigh ‘Rapaura Series’ Sauvignon Blanc 2013
te Pa Sauvignon Blanc 2013
The Fuder ‘Single Vineyard Selection Dillons Point’ Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Wairau River ‘Reserve’ Sauvignon Blanc 2012

17 Valley Chardonnay 2011
Ashwood Estate Gisborne Chardonnay 2010
Coopers Creek ‘SV’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay ‘The Limeworks’ 2012
Dashwood Chardonnay 2012
Goldwater Chardonnay 2012
HALO Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2012
Nautilus Estate Chardonnay 2012
Saint Clair ‘Pioneer Block 10 Twin Hills’ Chardonnay 2012
Saint Clair ‘Pioneer Block 11 Cell Block’ Chardonnay 2012
Te Awa Chardonnay 2010
The Fuder ‘Single Vineyard Selection Clayvin’ Chardonnay 2011
Vavasour Chardonnay 2012
Vidal ‘Reserve Series’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2012
Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2012
Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2011
Villa Maria ‘Single Vineyard Keltern’ Chardonnay 2012
Waipara Springs ‘Premo’ ‘Old Vine’ Chardonnay 2005

Pinot Gris
Ceres ‘Composition’ Pinot Gris 2012
Lake Chalice Marlborough Pinot Gris 2013
Mount Riley Pinot Gris 2013
Mud House South Island Pinot Gris 2012
Sanctuary Pinot Gris 2013
Tohu Pinot Gris 2013
Torea Wines Pinot Gris 2012
Two Tracks Pinot Gris 2012
Wairau River Pinot Gris 2013

Corbans ‘Homestead’ Riesling 2012
Giesen Riesling 2013
Highfield Riesling 2012
Hunter’s Marlborough Riesling 2013
Riverby Estate Marlborough ‘Eliza’ Riesling 2012
Rockburn ‘Tigermoth’ Riesling 2012
Spinyback Riesling 2013
Terrace Edge ‘Liquid Geography’ Riesling 2012
Villa Maria ‘Cellar Selection’ Marlborough Dry Riesling 2013
Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Marlborough Dry Riesling 2010
Waimea ‘Classic’ Riesling 2013
West Brook Riesling 2012

Askerne Gewürztraminer 2013
Mount Riley Gewürztraminer 2013

Other Whites
Coopers Creek ‘SV’ Gisborne Albariño ‘Bell-Ringer’ 2013
Villa Maria ‘Single Vineyard Omahu Gravels’ Viognier 2010

Kate Radburnd ‘Berry Blush’ Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2013
Julicher Rose 2013

Sparkling Wine
Akarua Brut NV
Akarua Rosé Brut NV
Daniel Le Brun Vintage 2008
Kim Crawford ‘Small Parcels’ Methode 2009
Nautilus ‘Cuvée’Brut NV
Palliser Méthode Traditionelle 2008

Dessert Wine
Allan Scott Family Winemakers Late Harvest Riesling 2013
A Sticky End Noble Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Riverby Estate Noble Riesling 2012
Seifried ‘Winemakers Collection’ ‘Sweet Agnes’ Riesling 2012
Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Marlborough Noble Semillon Botrytis Selection 2011
Wairau River ‘Reserve’ Botrytised Riesling 2012

Pinot Noir
Akarua Pinot Noir 2011
Archangel Pinot Noir 2012
Davishon Pinot Noir 2011
Domain Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
Gibbston Valley Pinot Noir 2012
Gibbston Valley ‘School House’ Pinot Noir 2012
Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012
Greylands Ridge Pinot Noir 2012
Greystone Waipara Valley Pinot Noir 2012
Lowburn Ferry ‘Home Block’ Pinot Noir 2012
Mount Michael ‘Bessie’s Block’ Pinot Noir 2012
Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012
Mud House Estate ‘Claim 431’ Pinot Noir 2012
Ribbonwood Pinot Noir 2012
Saint Clair ‘Pioneer Block 5 Bull Block’ Pinot Noir 2012
The Ned Pinot Noir 2012
Thistle Ridge Waipara Valley Pinot Noir 2012
Villa Maria ‘Cellar Selection’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Maria ‘Single Vineyard Seddon’ Pinot Noir 2012
Wither Hills Pinot Noir 2011
Wooing Tree ‘Beetle Juice’ 2012
Wooing Tree Pinot Noir 2012

Church Road ‘Grand Reserve’ Syrah 2011
Elephant Hill Syrah 2012
Esk Valley ‘Winemakers Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2010
Newton Forrest Syrah 2011
Passage Rock Wines ‘Reserve’ Syrah 2012

Merlot, Cabernet and Blends
Church Road ‘McDonald Series’ Merlot 2011
Crossroads ‘Winemakers Collection’ Cabernet/Merlot 2011
Esk Valley Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec 2012
Esk Valley ‘Winemakers Reserve’ Gimblett Gravels Merlot/Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Trinity Hill ‘The Gimblett’ 2012
Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2010
Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2010

Other Reds
Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Malbec 2009


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