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Bragato Wine Awards 2014 – Gold Medals

By August 28, 2014No Comments

The medal results of the 2014 Bragato Wine Awards were released to the exhibitors yesterday. There were 46 gold medal winning wines, which I list below. The trophy winners will be announced at the awards dinner tonight , (trophy winners now posted – click here to see). The full results with all the medal winners can be seen by clicking here.  From 540 wines in total judged, 47 golds comprise 8.7%, the 75 silvers make 13.89% and the 211 bronzes equate to 39.07%.  In all, 333 wines, or 61.67% were awarded medals.

The judging was conducted over 23-24 August, last weekend, by a team chaired by the very experienced Ben Glover of Mud House, with Sarah-Kate Dineen and Simon Nunns as panel leaders. The other senior judges were Helen Morrison, Sally Williams, James Rowan and Dave McKee with Stephen Wong and Francis Hutt as associate judges. www.bragato.org.nz

What About Terroir?
Over my tenure in judging, the Bragato competition was my favourite. I found the size of the classes and judging schedule very manageable and the general level of the entries higher than most of the other shows. And the wines entered showed a degree of individuality not seen readily in the other competitions. More importantly the show gave recognition to the grapegrower, rather than only the winemaker and winery. Many, including I saw the Bragato judging as possible building blocks for the acknowledgment of single vineyard sites and ultimately the identification of terroir. The conditions of entry state “a minimum of 85% of the grape juice content must come from a vineyard or vineyards owned, managed or operated by the entrant”, so the competition didn’t quite go there.

Since the judging has come under the auspices of New Zealand Winegrowers, there has been a closer tie-in with the methodology and interpretation of the Air New Zealand Wine Awards so that wines must be accredited as Sustainable (or ‘stricter’ certification such as BioGro, AsureQuality and Demeter). And the results list the grower and the vineyard, thus rewarding the ‘growing’ members of New Zealand Winegrowers.

It would be interesting to see some moves to further tighten the requirements so that only true single vineyard sites could be entered, and some identification factors which contribute to the albeit controversial notion of terroir be put into place. It’s a big ask, but it would put New Zealand into a role of innovation and research into one of wine’s most discussed and important topics today.

A Synopsis of the Results
Of the 46 golds, there were only 4 Sauvignon Blanc wines, the same number as Riesling. Pinot Gris was particularly successful with 6 golds. Of the Pinot Gris, 3 were from Nelson, two from Blackenbrook. Chardonnay saw 5 golds, two from Villa Maria and one from sister Vidal brand. In the technically more challenging classes of Sparkling and Dessert wines, there were 2 and 3 golds respectively. Rosé was also well rewarded with 3 golds, reflecting the greater attention paid towards this category.

There were only 2 golds for the Bordeaux varieties, but unsurprisingly there were 10 golds for Pinot Noir. Of the Pinot Noir, 5 were from Central Otago and 3 from Marlborough. Syrah was another winner with 5 golds awarded. 3 of these were from Waiheke Island, 2 being Mudbrick wines.

It is pleasing to see most varieties had wines from different regions come though, indicating the aspiration for quality grapegrowing is present in all our growing regions.

The most successful exhibitor was the Villa Maria group, with 6 golds for Villa Maria wines and one for a Vidal wine. Seven wine producers took two golds each, these being Maude, Osawa, Waimea, Blackenbrook, Saint Clair, Tohu and Mudbrick. These exhibitors clearly have a significant input into their growers and vineyards.

The Gold Medal Winners
The golds are listed here, with the grower and vineyard. The wines are listed alphabetically.

Maude ‘Mt Maude’ Central Otago 2013, Terry Wilson, Mt Maude Vineyard
Osawa ‘Prestige Collection’ Hawke’s Bay 2013, Brent Stone, Osawa Wines
Vidal ‘Legacy’ Hawke’s Bay 2012, Phil Holden, Keltern Vineyard
Villa Maria ‘Single Vineyard – Keltern’ Hawke’s Bay 2013, Phil Holden, Keltern Vineyard
Villa Maria ‘Single Vineyard – Taylors Pass’ Marlborough 2013, Ian Buck. Taylors Pass

Sauvignon Blanc
Peter Yealands Marlborough 2014, Peter Yealands, Seaview Vineyard
Starborough Marlborough 2014, James Jones, O’Dwyers Farm Vineyard
Tohu ‘Mugwi Reserve’ Marlborough 2013, Mondo Kopua, Tohu Awatere
Waimea Nelson 2014, Ben Bolitho, Waimea Estates

Maude ‘Mt Maude’ ‘East Block’ Central Otago 2014, Terry Wilson, Mt Maude Vineyard
Seifried Nelson 2012, Hermann Seifried, Seifried Estate
Spinyback Nelson 2013, Ben Bolitho, Waimea Estates
Wither Hills ‘Cellar Release’ ‘Kerseley’ 2012, Wendy & Owen Glover, Kerseley

Pinot Gris
Aronui ‘Single Vineyard’ Nelson 2014, Jonny Hiscox, Whenua Matua
Blackenbrook Nelson 2014, Daniel Schwarzenbach, Blackenbrook Vineyard
Blackenbrook Nelson 2013, Daniel Schwarzenbach, Blackenbrook Vineyard
Haythornthwaite ‘Ursula’ Martinborough 2012, Mark Haythornthwaite, Haythornthwaite Vineyard
Petane Station Hawke’s Bay 2014, Philip Barber, Barber Vineyards
The Kings Thorn Marlborough 2013, Anton Rasmussen, Marisco Vineyards

Bladen Marlborough 2013, Keven & Kerry Tilly, Paynters Road

Other Whites
Coopers Creek ‘SV – Bell Ringer’ Gisborne Albarino 2014, Doug & Delwyn Bell, Bell Vineyard
Elephant Hill Hawke’s Bay Viognier 2013, John Peet, Te Awanga/Gimblett/Triangle

Sparkling Wine
Akarua Central Otago Methode Traditionnelle Rosé Brut NV, Mark Naismith, Akarua
Osawa ‘Prestige Collection’ Hawke’s Bay Methode Traditionnelle Brut NV, Brent Stone, Osawa Wines

Dessert Wine
Saint Clair ‘Godfrey’s Creek Reserve’ Marlborough Noble Riesling 2013, John & Lynne Walsh, Woodbourne Farm
Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Marlborough Noble Riesling 2012, Chris Fletcher, Rocenvin Estate Vineyard
Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Marlborough Noble Semillon 2011, Robin Hammond, Hammond Vineyard

Merlot Predominant
Askerne ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Cabernet 2013, Kathryn & John Loughlin, Askerne
Mills Reef ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Malbec 2013, Paul McEvoy, Mere Road, Trust Vineyards

Pinot Noir
Aravin Central Otago 2012, Kay & Evan Moore, Aravin
Bald Hills ‘3Acres’ Central Otago 2013, Blair Hunt, Bald Hills Vineyard
Jules Taylor ‘OTQ’ Marlborough 2013, Garry Neill, Ballochdale Estate
Mount Michael ‘Bessie’s Block’ Central Otago 2012, Pip Feyen, Mount Michael Wines
Palliser Estate Martinborough 2013, Allan Johnson, Palliser Estate
Rockburn Central Otago 2013, Dick Bunton, Paul Halford, Chris James, Rockburn Wines
Saint Clair ‘Pioneer Block 5 – Bull Block’ Marlborough 2012, Robert & Heather Goulter, Hawkesbury Farm
Terra Sancta ‘Shingle Beach’ Central Otago 2012, Len Ibbotson, Terra Sancta
Villa Maria ‘Single Vineyard – Seddon’ Marlborough 2012, Garrie Armstrong, Seddon Vineyard
Waipara West Waipara 2013, Lindsay Hill, Waipara West

Brightwater Vineyards ‘Sophie’s Kiss’ Rosé Nelson 2014, Gary Neale, Brightwater Vineyards
Tiki ‘Estate’ Marlborough Pinot Noir Rosé 2014, James Nightingale, McKean Estates
Wooing Tree Central Otago Rosé 2014, Geoff Bews, Wooing Tree Vineyard

Babich ‘Winemakers’ Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay 2013, Tony Purdie, Gimblett Vineyard
Mudbrick ‘Reserve’ Waiheke Island 2013, Nick Otto, Mudbrick Vineyard
Mudbrick ‘Shepherds Point’ Waiheke Island 2013, Nick Otto, Mudbrick Vineyard
Obsidian Waiheke Island 2013, Mike Wood, Obsidian Vineyard
Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay 2012, Phil Holden, Twyford Gravels Vineyard

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