The medal winners of the 58th Royal Easter Show Wine Awards have been released. From 1542 wines entered for judging, 119 gold medals were awarded. This high proportion of gold medals reflects the increasing general quality of wines across the board in this country and the favourable 2010 and 2009 vintages for white wines and red wines respectively.
22 golds were awarded to Sauvignon Blanc, all from the 2010 harvest, in Marlborough, confirming the reports of the exceptional vintage the region experienced. Pinot Noir was also very successful, with 21 wines awarded gold. All of these bar three were from the 2009 vintage. The 2009 vintage was also very favourable for wines made from the Bordeaux varietals, and of the 16 wines of this style, 15 were from 2009. The Chardonnay variety took 14 golds, 12 from the 2009 vintage, with around half of the Chardonnays from Marlborough. The aromatic whites of Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewurztraminer were awarded 14, 10 and 6 golds respectively. Judges commented that Pinot Gris seemed very attractive as a category. There were 6 Syrah and 5 Sparkling golds.
Marlborough was the most successful region, taking around half of the golds, followed by Hawke’s Bay with approx. 25%, and then Central Otago with less than 10% of the gold medal awards. The Villa Maria group was the most successful entrant, taking 25 golds, 17 of which went to Villa Maria labelled wines. The Villa Maria wines ranged from the affordable ‘Private Bin’ to the flagship ‘Reserve’ and ‘Single Vineyard’ expressions. Saint Clair enjoyed a successful showing with 7 golds, as did Matua Valley with 5 golds.
An innovation for the Royal Easter Show Wine Awards was the introduction of a ‘Heritage’ category where multiple vintages of a label could be entered to show a track record of quality. Of the 26 sets of wines entered, the following were selected:
Following are the gold medal winning wines: