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Easter Show Wine Awards 2015 – Gold Medals

By February 18, 2015No Comments

The medal results of the 2015 Easter Show Wine Awards have been released. Of 1,222 wines entered for judging, there were 88 (7.20%) gold medals awarded, 298 (24.39%) silver and 444 (36.33%) bronzes. The number of wines entered this year was slightly up on 2014 and there were 9 more golds and 95 more silver medals awarded than the previous year. In total, there were 830 (67.95%) medals awarded, this being slightly more than the 729 (59.9%) of 1215 total last year, indicating the higher quality as wines from recent favourable vintages are becoming increasingly available.

Class Category Analyses
It is clear that Chardonnay was the most successful variety with 12 golds and 29 silvers from 146 wines entered. This result shows the continued resurgence of the variety in terms of quality, and the greater numbers of top quality wines will be readily accepted by the market which has renewed its interest in the variety. 7 of the golds were from Hawke’s Bay and 5 from Marlborough. The Villa Maria/Vidals group took 5 of the golds and Church Road 3 golds.

Sauvignon Blanc took 15 golds and 58 silvers, but from a base of 226 wines judged. This is a numerically successful category, but less so proportionally, taking into account the numbers submitted. The moderate success of Sauvignon Blanc no doubt reflects the more challenging 2014 Marlborough vintage where high yields and latter season rain were factors. All of the wines bar one were from Marlborough, and mostly again, from 2014.

And in a similar scenario, there were 12 Pinot Noir golds and 55 silvers from 214 wines entered. The Pinot Noir result may be an indication of the considerable growth of the variety with an increasing number of producers growing and making a wine that requires great focus to achieve quality. There were 6 wines from Central Otago and 5 from Marlborough in the golds. With 6 of the wines from 2013 and 5 from 2012, it can be seen that both years have produced excellent wines.

Proportionally, Gewurztraminer was arguably the most successful white with 6 golds from 33 entries. The wines came from Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough and Waipara. Riesling achieved a commendable result with 8 golds and 17 silvers from 71 wines judged. 6 of the Riesling golds came from Marlborough. The variety is clearly at home there. Any typically, Pinot Gris showed the difficulty in achieving consistent high quality, with 7 golds from 141 wines judged. There were 43 silvers which bodes well for the growing ability with the variety. Of the specialty whites, there were 2 golds each awarded to Viognier and Sweet Whites, and 5 for Sparkling Wines.

Syrah was consistently highly awarded red with 6 golds and 22 silvers from 67 wines entered, reinforcing the strength of this variety, especially from the excellent 2013 vintage in Hawke’s Bay, 5 of these golds coming from that district. Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines performed even better relatively, with 5 golds and 8 silvers from 23 wines entered. These were split among Hawke’s Bay and Waiheke Island, and from the 2013 and 2010 vintages. There were only 3 golds, but 20 silvers for Merlot-based wines. The golds were all Hawke’s Bay in origin and from the 2013 vintage. There were also 3 golds for Blush and Rosé, these from 42 entries.

The Villa Maria Estates group, comprising the Villa Maria, Vidal, Esk Valley and Thornbury labels, took 9 gold medals with Saint Clair awarded 6 golds. Pernod-Ricard under Brancott Estate, Church Road and Stoneleigh took 5 golds. Also performing with distinction were Spy Valley with 4 golds, and Giesen, Framingham and Lawson’s Dry Hills each taking 3 golds. These producers are consistent in their wine how successes.

The Judging
The wines were judged over 13-15 February at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland by a team lead by Kate Radburnd as Chair of Judges with Mike de Garis as Deputy Chair. The senior judges were Jim Harré, Barry Riwai, Jane Cooper, Olly Masters, Cameron Douglas MS, Emma Jenkins MW, Sam Kim, James Rowan, Ian Isaacs, Sarah Burton, Simon Waghorn, Jane Boyle, Terry Copeland, Geoff Kelly and Helen Morrison. The associate judges were Jo Gear, Michael Bann, Jenn Parr, Brent Park, Greg Allinson, David Roper, Brandon Nash, Chloe Parkinson, Dr Rebecca Deed and Matt Murphy. Shona Wilson was the Competition Director.

The trophy winners including the Heritage Class winner will be announced at an awards dinner to be held on Saturday 14 March. I’ll post the results soon after that date.

The Gold Medal Wines
Following are the 88 gold medal wines from the 2015 Easter Show Wine Awards. The full medal results can be seem at www.wineshow.co.nz

Church Road Chardonnay 2014
Church Road Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2013
Church Road McDonald Series Chardonnay 2013
Lawson’s Dry Hills Reserve Chardonnay 2013
Nautilus Estate Marlborough Chardonnay 2013
Saint Clair Omaka Reserve Chardonnay 2013
Vidal Legacy Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2010
Vidal Legacy Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2013
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2014
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2013
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2013
Whitehaven Marlborough Chardonnay 2013

Crossroads Milestone Series Gewürztraminer 2014
Giesen The Brothers Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2014
Johanneshof Cellars Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2013
Lawson’s Dry Hills Gewurztraminer 2013
Spy Valley Gewurztraminer 2013
Waipara Hills Waipara Valley Gewurztraminer 2014

Sauvignon Blanc
Big Bunch Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Giesen The Fuder Matthews Lane Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Hãhã Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Lawson’s Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Matua Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 1 Foundation Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 3 43 Degrees Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Satellite Sauvignon Banc 2014
Spy Valley Area H Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Starborough Family Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Stoneleigh Latitude Sauvignon Blanc 2014
W5 Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Zephyr Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Aspiring Flats Central Otago Riesling 2014
Boreham Wood Riesling 2014
Forrest The Doctors’ Riesling 2014
Framingham Marlborough Classic Riesling 2013
Highfield Riesling 2013
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 9 Big John Riesling 2013
Spinyback Riesling 2013
Wither Hills Marlborough Riesling 2012

Pinot Gris
Aronui Single Vineyard Pinot Gris 2014
Framingham Marlborough Pinot Gris 2013
Freeland Central Otago Pinot Gris 2014
Mud House Marlborough Pinot Gris 2014
Sea Level Home Block Pinot Gris 2014
Waipara Hills Waipara Valley Pinot Gris 2014
Wither Hills Marlborough Pinot Gris 2014

Babich Family Estates Fernhill Viognier 2014
Waimea Viognier 2014

Other Specified White Varieties
Bishops Head Waipara Valley Chenin Blanc 2012
Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Grüner Veltliner 2012

Sweet White
Brancott Estate Letter Series B Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Ngatarawa Proprietors Reserve Noble Riesling 2014

Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Predominant Blends
Mills Reef Elspeth Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Mission Estate Reserve Cabernet Merlot 2013
Obsidian Cabernet Merlot 2010
Pask Declaration Cabernet Merlot Malbec 2010
Passage Rock Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013

Merlot and Merlot Predominant
Coopers Creek SV Hawkes Bay Merlot/Malbec ‘Metals and Gravels’ 2013
Elephant Hill Merlot Malbec Cabernet Franc 2013
Wild Rock Gravel Pit Merlot Malbec 2013


Crossroads Winemakers Collection Syrah 2013
Matua Single Vineyard Matheson Syrah 2013
Mission Estate Reserve Syrah 2013
Morton Estate Black Label Syrah 2010
Sacred Hill HALO Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2013
Squawking Magpie Stoned Crow Syrah 2013

Pinot Noir
Akarua Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012
Brennan B2 Pinot Noir 2013
Framingham Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013
Giesen Single Vineyard Selection Ridge Block Pinot Noir 2013
Mount Brown Estates Pinot Noir 2013
Mud House Single Vineyard Claim Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013
RUA Central Otago Pinot Noir 2014
Satellite Pinot Noir 2013
Thornbury Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Seddon Pinot Noir 2012
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Pinot Noir 2012
Wooing Tree Pinot Noir 2012

Rosé or Blush
Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Rosé 2014
Murdoch James Pinot Rosé 2014
SOHO Westwood Rosé 2014


Daniel Le Brun Methode Traditionnelle Non Vintage Brut NV
Hunter’s MiruMiru™ Reserve 2010
Lindauer Classic Brut NV
Soljans Estate Fusion Sparkling Muscat NV
Verde Methode Traditionnelle Brut NV

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