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Hawke’s Bay A&P Mercedes Benz Wine Awards – Trophy Winners

By October 17, 2012No Comments
The top awards for the 2012 Hawke’s Bay A&P Mercedes Benz Wine Awards were announced at the awards dinner in Hastings last night. The panel of judges chaired by Rod McDonald awarded Esk Valley ‘Winemakers Reserve’ Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2010 the Champion Wine of the Show, with the Reserve Wine going to Sacred Hill ‘Brokenstone’ 2010, and the Winery of the Year was Ash Ridge Wines.  The Hawke’s Bay show has a ‘Museum’ class, a category which recognises the aging ability of wines, this year’s winner being the Sacred Hill ‘Rifleman’s’ Chardonnay 2007.
Too Many Wine Shows?
There is some comment that there are too many wine shows being conducted in New Zealand, and that the results of all of the shows are confusing to the general public. However, I believe these smaller, regionally-focused shows are very important. In my opinion, they look at the district’s distinctive traits that may be overlooked in more general shows.

For instance, at the Hawke’s Bay Wine Awards, the show differentiates between Merlot, Merlot-Dominant Blends, and Cabernet Sauvignon-Dominant Blends, to any keen wine enthusiast all being quite different in their expressions. And fittingly, the show awards trophies for each of these categories. The varieties that are vital to the district’s surviival and success are scruitined with grater care, such as Chardonnay, Viognier and Syrah. This greater focus can also be seen in the Marlborough Wine Show being judged this week, where sub-regional provenance of Sauvignon Blanc is recognised and judged separately.

Regional wine shows usually employ local judges predominantly, and these people have a much finer appreciation of styles and developments within the region. (Of course, outside perspectives are engaged, and influential guest judges must be involved.) And the numbers of wines being judged at these regional shows are much lower, reducing time pressures on the judges. www.hawkesbaywineawards.co.nz

Here are the award winners. (Note: ‘Best in Class’ signifies a silver or bronze medal award): 
Champion Wine of Show
Esk Valley ‘Winemakers Reserve’ Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2010
Reserve Champion Wine of Show
Sacred Hill ‘Brokenstone’ 2010
Winery of the Year
Ash Ridge Wines
NZ Frost Fans – Best Export Wine of Show
Te Awa Cabernet/Merlot 2009
EIT – Best Student Wine
Andrew Yin Bao – Chardonnay 2011
Hawke’s Bay A&P Society Young Vintners Scholarship
Haidee Johnson
Hawke’s Bay Cellar Door of the Year
Sileni Estates Winery
Champion Merlot
Church Road ‘McDonald Series’ Merlot 2010
Champion Red Blends – Cabernet Sauvignon Dominant
Te Awa Cabernet/Merlot 2009
Champion Red Blends – Merlot Dominant
Sacred Hill ‘Brokenstone’ 2010
Champion Syrah
Esk Valley ‘Winemakers Reserve’ Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2010
Pinot Noir (Best In Class – Bronze)
Junction ‘Body and Soul’ Pinot Noir 2011
Other Premium Red Varietals and Blends (Best In Class – Silver)
Church Road ‘McDonald Series’ Marzemino 2009
Champion Chardonnay
Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2011
Champion Sauvignon Blanc and/or Semillon
Vidal ‘Reserve Series’ Hawkes Bay Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Pinot Gris (Best In Class – Silver)
Mills Reef Pinot Gris 2012
Viognier (Best In Class – Silver)
Villa Maria ‘Single Vineyard – Omahu Gravels’ Viognier 2010
Premium White Varietals (Best In Class – Silver)
Church Road ‘McDonald Series’ Sauvignon Gris 2012
Champion Sweet Wines
Osawa Wines – Osawa Wines Noble Gewürztraminer 2011
Rosé (Best In Class – Bronze)
Black Barn Rose 2012
Champion Museum Class
Sacred Hill ‘Rifleman’s’ Chardonnay 2007
Sparkling (Best In Class – Silver)
Black Barn Methode Traditionnelle Blanc de Blanc’s 2010
The 25 gold medal winning wines can be seen by clicking here.

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