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New Zealand Organic Wine Awards 2015 – Medal Winners

By June 5, 2015No Comments

The results for the 2015 New Zealand Organic Wine Awards were released on May 19 (my apologies for missing them). The judging is the second time the awards have been run, and was judged over mid-May in Christchurch. Wines certified organic by any one of the four New Zealand certifiers are eligible. In 2014 there were 29 medals awarded. For 2015, there are 22 gold medal wines, 23 silvers and 18 bronzes, from 110 wines entereed, the increase showing the growth of entries from the greater number of eligible exhibitors, as well as the wider attention organic wines are receiving from the industry and public.

Different Judging Methodology
The judging is methodically different from most of the wine shows conducted in the country. The awards organisers hold the principal belief that “organic growing produces a better tasting product”, and the judging process must be able to identify and reward specific notes that a more generic judging system might miss. These ‘notes’ are unfortunately not described or specified on the awards website. The wines are tasted blind by a large and varied panel, the members being volunteers and independent to the exhibitors, and include a winemaker, organic specialists, restaurant owners, and a wine writer.

The wines are judged according to their varieties and categories, and the results for Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir (and other large classes) split into price levels, $20.00 and $30.00 being the break points respectively. The medal winning wines are decided by their relative place to points thresholds, once the highest and lowest scores have been removed. The best wines under each class are brought forward for the appropriate medals. The medal awarding process is a more convoluted way than based strictly on wine quality per se.

Most of the smaller specific focus and regional wine shows have their methodology tailored in some way to enable appreciation of the special characteristics the judgings are meant to highlight, such as varietal strength and sub-regional expression. However, the judging process and criteria are very much identical to all other shows. I believe that parity with these other shows will lend more credibility to the N.Z. Organic Wine Awards. After all, the vast majority of exhibitors and the consuming market will want high quality wine first, with the organic status in support. I’m sure the awards will become more aligned to other shows in judging criteria in the future.  The awards curator Luke Thomas would agree that the competition, now conducted twice is a work in progress.  www.organicwineawards.co.nz

The 2015 Results
Here are the top results from the 2015 New Zealand Organic Wine Awards:

NZ Organic Wine Awards Vineyard of the Year: The Darling
NZ Organic Wine Awards Sustainable Vineyard of the Year: Kaimira Estate
NZ Organic Wine Awards Wine of Show: Muddy Water ‘Hare’s Breath’ Pinot Noir 2012

The medal winners follow:

The Darling Pinot Gris 2013
Terrace Edge Pinot Gris2014
Loveblock Vintners Pinot Gris 2014
Villa Maria ‘Single Vineyard – Braided Gravels’ Merlot 2013
Babich ‘Family Estates – Headwaters’ Organic Chardonnay 2014
Sunset Valley Vineyard Chardonnay ‘Reserve’ 2014
Richmond Plains Blanc de Noir 2014
Muddy Water ‘Hare’s Breath’ Pinot Noir 2012
Urlar ‘Select Parcels’ Pinot Noir 2013
Fancrest Estate Pinot Noir 2011
Muddy Water Pinot Noir 2013
Terrace Edge Rose 2014
Muddy Water ‘James Hardwick’ Riesling 2014
Loveblock Vinters Riesling 2012
Huia Gewurztraminer 2014
The Darling ‘Barrel’ Sauvignon Blanc 2014
The Darling Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Villa Maria ‘Single Vineyard – Templar’ Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Giesen Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Urlar ‘Select Parcels’ Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Odyssey Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Richmond Plains ‘Blue Moon’ Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Urlar Pinot Gris 2014
Sunset Valley Vineyard Pinot Gris 2014
Sunset Valley Vineyard Syrah 2012
The Darling Chardonnay 2013
Richmond Plains Chardonnay 2014
Villa Maria ‘Single Vineyard – Ihumato’ Organic Verdelho 2013
Highfield Pinot Noir 2012
The Darling Pinot Noir 2013
Urlar Pinot Noir 2013
Walnut Block ‘Nutcracker’ Pinot Noir 2013
Sunset Valley Pinot Noir ‘Reserve’ 2014
Fancrest Estate Pinot Noir 2010
Kaimira Estate ‘Iti Selection’ Riesling 2013
Greenhough ‘Hope Vineyard’ Riesling 2014
Babich ‘Family Estates – Headwaters’ Organic Gruner Veltliner 2014
Turanga Creek ‘Par Nature’ 2011 Viognier
Kaimira Gewurztraminer 2013
Urlar Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Terrace Edge 2014 Sauvignon Blanc
Greenhough ‘Hope Vineyard’ Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Walnut Block ‘Nutcracker’ Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Huia Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Invivo Organic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Kaimira Estate Pinot Gris 2013
Richmond Plains Pinot Gris 2014
Turanga Creek ‘La Cote’ Syrah 2012
Huia Chardonnay 2014
Kaimira Estate Pinot Blanc 2013
Huia Pinot Noir 2012
Te Mania ‘Reserve’ Pinot Noir 2013
Babich ‘Family Estates – Headwaters’ Organic Pinot Noir 2014
Walnut Block ‘Collectables’ Pinot Noir 2013
Richmond Plains Pinot Noir 2013
Kaimira Estate Riesling 2013
Sunset Valley Vineyard 2014 Rose
Wrights Wine Gewurztraminer 2013
Te Mania Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Richmond Plains Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Villa Maria ‘Cellar Selection’ Marlborough Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Kaimira Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014


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