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New World Wine Awards 2017

By October 9, 2017No Comments
The results of the 2017 New World Wine Awards have been released. Of the 1250 wines judged, there were 82 (6.56%) gold, 242 (19.36%) silver and 502 (40.16%) bronze medals awarded, making a total of 826 (66.08%) wines winning medals.
There were 10 Champion varietal awards, and these were:
· Champion Sauvignon Blanc: Russian Jack Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
· Champion Pinot Gris: Dashwood Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017
· Champion Chardonnay: Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Chardonnay 2016
· Champion Riesling: The Doctor’s Marlborough Riesling 2015
· Champion Sparkling Wine: Morton Estate Premium Brut NV
· Champion Rosé: Forrest Marlborough Rosé 2017
· Champion Pinot Noir: Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Pinot Noir 2015
· Champion Red Blend: Coopers Creek SV Gravels and Metals Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Malbec 2014
· Champion Single Varietal Red: Real Compania de Vinos Tempranillo 2016
· Champion Syrah & Shiraz: Taylors Clare Valley Shiraz 2016
The overall Champion Red was the Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Pinot Noir 2015, and the overall Champion White was the Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Chardonnay 2016.
The Judging and New World
The judging was conducted in Wellington over 31 July to 2 August by16 judges using the 100 point system. The judges were chaired by Jim Harré and the international guest judge was Meg Brodtmann from Australia. The senior judges were Jane Boyle, Jane Cooper, Terry Copeland, Sarah-Kate Dineen, Cameron Douglas MS, Rebecca Deed, Simon Fell, Jack Glover, Ben Glover, Sam Kim, Olly Masters, Simon Nunns, Barry Riwai and James Rowan. Shona White was the chief steward.
The results of wine judging competition are proven to have significant commercial benefits for the best-judged wines. The New World Wine Awards is the foremost competition which takes advantage of this phenomenon, by actively supporting the judging competition itself, as well as promoting the results through its supermarket stores throughout the country. The criteria for the entrants is that the wines must retail for $25.00 or less and have 5,000 bottles (or 3,500 for niche varietals) available for sale. Following the results of last year’s competition, New World sold nearly 400,000 bottles of the ‘Top 50’ wines with a retail value of $5.3m in the first 6 weeks.
An Analysis
The most successful classes were Shiraz/Syrah with 15 golds, Sauvignon Blanc with 12 golds, and Pinot Noir also with 12 golds, followed by Pinot Gris with 9 golds. As can be expected, the Shiraz/Syrah class was dominated by Australian wines winning 13 of the golds, the other 2 won by New Zealand wines. All of the gold medal Sauvignon Blancs came from Marlborough, with 8 from the challenging 2017 vintage, the other 4 from 2016. All of the 12 gold medal Pinot Noirs were from New Zealand, 6 of these from Marlborough, and 3 each from Central Otago and the Wairarapa, this result reflecting the notion that Marlborough is the ‘engine room for the variety. Of the 9 Pinot Gris golds, 6 were from Marlborough.
Surprisingly, there were only 2 golds in the Sparkling Wine class. And there were only 5 golds for Chardonnay. Riesling performed well with 6 golds, 7 if counting the Low Alcohol White. There was only one gold Gewurztraminer and one Sweet Wine gold, these being more specialised categories.
The judges and organisers point out the success of the Rosé category, with 5 golds, but 49 of the 82 wines judged winning medals. In total, 129 Sauvignon Blancs, 109 Shiraz/Syrah, 89 Pinot Noir, 84 Pinot Gris and 82 Chardonnay wines won a medal award.
‘Soft Golds’
I list the 82 gold medal winning wines below. My only concern is that there appears to be a number of ‘soft golds’. This happens in all wine shows, where second or third tier wines win top awards ahead of the premium or ‘flagship’ wines. With the New World Wine Awards, the latter point is irrelevant, as the ‘top’ wines are over the $25.00 retail limit. The awards for second tier wines can be explained by the nature of these wines, which are typically well-fruited, very accessible and very well-balanced. These factors provide wines that shows well in their youth and thus are recognised for their overall composure. This can be enough to result in a wine winning a gold medal. Wine producers are aware this happens, and of course, they enjoy the success of a second tier wine in judgings.
For me, there appears a slightly greater number of ‘soft golds’ in this show than others. It must be said that the judges at the New World Wine Awards are the same personnel that regularly judge at other shows, and they are assessing wines ostensibly to the same standards. However I wonder if there is a psychological effect knowing that the wines entered meet the $25.00 or less criterion? This could work in both positive and negative ways. The judges could be more ‘lenient’ thus giving more medals, or alternatively, the judges know these are lower tier wines, thus marking them ‘harder’. The phenomenon is in the minds of the judges, and more discussion should be given to the subject. The full results of the 2017 New World Wine Awards can be seen at www.newworld.co.nz/wineawards

The Gold Medal Wines
The wines are listed in their various categories, in the order as forwarded by the competition organisers, rather than alphabetically.
Sauvignon Blanc
Matua Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Catalina Sounds Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Russian Jack Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Vidal Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
The Sisters Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Summerhouse Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Tohu Single Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Falconhead Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
SOHO Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Mount Vernon Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Rapaura Springs Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Clearview Estate Beachhead Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016
Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Chardonnay 2016
Sidewood Mappinga Chardonnay 2016
Huntaway Reserve Gisborne Chardonnay 2015
Sacred Hill Reserve Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016
Pinot Gris
Stanley Estates Single Vineyard Awatere Valley Pinot Gris 2016
te Pa Marlborough Pinot Gris 2016
Terrace Edge Waipara Valley Pinot Gris 2016
Dashwood Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017
Summerhouse Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017
Grower’s Mark Gale Force Vineyard Marlborough Pinot Gris 2016
Main Divide Waipara Valley Pinot Gris 2015
Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough Pinot Gris 2016
Matawhero Single Vineyard Gisborne Pinot Gris 2017
Grower’s Mark Gale Force Vineyard Marlborough Riesling 2016
The Crater Rim From the Ashes Waipara Riesling 2016
Sugar Loaf Marlborough Riesling 2016
The Doctors’ Marlborough Riesling 2015
The Crater Rim Waipara Riesling 2014
Giesen Estate Riesling 2015
Seifried Winemakers Collection Nelson Gewurztraminer 2016
Jacob’s Creek Moscato 2016
Morton Estate Premium Brut NV
Lower Alcohol White Wine
SOHO Betty Marlborough Riesling Spatlese 2016
Sweet Wine
Hunter’s Hukapapa™ Dessert Riesling 2014
Forrest Marlborough Rosé 2017
Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Merlot Rosé 2017
Peter Yealands Marlborough Rosé 2017
Squealing Pig Marlborough Pinot Noir Rosé 2017
Villa Maria Private Bin Hawkes Bay Rosé 2017
Pinot Noir
Mount Riley Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016
Esk Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016
Shaky Bridge Pioneer Series Pinot Noir 2016
Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Pinot Noir 2015
Saint Clair James Sinclair Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015
Mount Riley Limited Release Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016
Te Kairanga Martinborough Pinot Noir 2016
Dashwood Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016
Three Paddles Martinborough Pinot Noir 2016
Ant Moore Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016
Gibbston Valley Gold River Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016
Russian Jack Martinborough Pinot Noir 2016
Hesketh Regional Selection Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015
Thomas Goss Shiraz 2016
Take It To The Grave Langhorne Creek Shiraz 2016
Atkins Farm McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016
St Hallet Faith Barossa Shiraz 2016
Squawking Magpie The Gravels Syrah 2016
Pepperjack Barossa Shiraz 2015
Grant Burge Fifth Generation Barossa Shiraz 2015
Shingleback Davey Estate Reserve Shiraz 2015
Wirra Wirra Scrubby Rise Adelaide Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Jim Barry The Barry Bros Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Taylors Estate Clare Valley Shiraz 2016
Thorn-Clarke Sandpiper Barossa Shiraz 2016
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Syrah 2015
The Black Shiraz 2016
Single Varietal Reds
Kirrihill Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Yalumba Y Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Taylors Promised Land Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Taylors Estate Clare Valley Merlot 2016
Yalumba Y Series Merlot 2016
Thorn-Clarke Sandpiper Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Red Blends
Sandalford Margaret River Cabernet Merlot 2014
Coopers Creek SV Gravels and Metals Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Malbec 2014
Other Reds
Chapel Hill The Parson Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2015
Real Compania de Vinos Tempranillo 2016
Durif 2016
Brown Brothers 1889 Victoria Tempranillo 2016
Castano Ecologico Organic Monastrell 2016


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