The medal winners from the fourth Marlborough Wine Show have been released. Of 495 wines entered for judging, there were 35 (7.07%) gold medals awarded, 125 (25.25%) silver and 221 (44.65%) bronzes awarded making 381 (77%) of the wines entered winning an award. The relatively high proportion of silver and bronze medals indicates the high general quality of the wines judged.
I believe the emergence of the regional and specific themed wine shows is a welcome development in New Zealand and follows the situation in Australia. The number of wines judged is less than the major shows which allows the latitude of more attention given to the wines for a more accurate appreciation of style as well as quality. The regional focus of judgings such as the Marlborough Wine Show allow for an embracing of a district’s strengths and exploration and understanding of the detail and diversity within. And the judging personnel can be more easily chosen on their specific understanding and expertise of the region and its styles.
The 2014 Marlborough Wine Show was judged over the second week of October with a team of experienced judges led by Jeff Clarke, chief winemaker of Ara Wines. Jeremy Stockman, the general manager of Watson’s Wine, Hong Kong was the guest international judge. The show under the direction of Belinda Jackson and administration of Margaret Cresswell recognised the significant of sub-region in Marlborough, especially with Sauvignon Blanc, and differentiated the classes to be judged accordingly. Jackson and Cresswell also respected vintage variation, and sweetness levels in the aromatic wines, with classes separated accordingly. A growing category of judging is the ‘Legacy’ class which rewards wines with a consistent performance over several vintages. There were 15 wines assessed in this class, each with 3 different vintages.
Of the gold medals, there were 14 Sauvignon Blancs, of which 7 were Wairau Valley 2014 bottlings. There were 10 Pinot Noir golds, of which 5 were Southern Valleys 2012 wines. Riesling performed well with 4 golds. In terms of producers, Villa Maria was the leader with 8 gold medals and both Giesen and Lawson’s Dry Hills took 3 gold medals. The trophy winners, the Marlborough Museum Legacy Award and the Marlborough Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced at a celebration dinner on 8 November. All of the gold, silver and bronze medal winners can be seen by visiting www.marlboroughwineshow.co.nz
I list the 35 gold medals here: