The 2012 Royal Easter Show Wine Awards gold medal winners have been announced. This is the 59th time the wine judging competition has been run, and is the oldest and longest running wine show in New Zealand. 1,261 wines were judged Friday 17 to Sun 19 February, with Kate Radburnd and Mike de Garis as Chair and Deputy Chair of judges.
111 gold (8.8%), 198 silver (15.7%) and 497 bronze (39.4%) medals were awarded. As expected Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir garnered the most with 20 and 19 golds respectively, these two varieties making the largest proportion of entries, reflecting the country’s plantings. 16 gold medals were awarded to Chardonnay showing the return to favour in growing and making wine from this grape. The emerging Syrah variety captured 13 golds, and Pinot Gris took 10. Riesling followed with 9 gold medals. Also notable was the sparkling class with 6 golds.
All but two of the 20 Sauvignon Blanc golds were from the 2011 vintage, which while not as well rated as the previous year, still produced attractive, archetype wines in Marlborough. 2010 vintage wines dominated the Pinot Noir winners, with 15 of the 19 golds. Central Otago and Marlborough had the lion’s share of the Pinot Noir golds with 9 and 8 respectively. 9 of the 16 Chardonnay golds came from the 2010 vintage which is regarded as superior to 2009, especially in Hawke’s Bay where 7 of the 16 golds came from. Hawke’s Bay also dominated the Syrah results with 10 of the 13 golds originating from there. 2 came from Waiheke Island and one from Nelson. And 2011 seems to have been very satisfactory as a vintage for the aromatic varieties, with 15 of the 24 golds awarded to wines from that vintage across Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewurztraminer.
The most successful region was Marlborough where nearly half of the gold medal winners had fruit from that region. Hawke’s Bay figured with just over one-quarter of the gold medal count and was the second most successful region. Otago had 10 gold medal winning wines and interestingly the Wairarapa and Martinborough region did not figure in the gold medal count.
Yet again, the Villa Maria Estates group was the most successful at the show, winning 17 golds, 11 for Villa Maria, 4 for Vidal and 1 each for Esk Valley and Thornbury. It is good to see the larger companies making a good showing with 10 golds for Pernod-Ricard wines and for Treasury Wine Estates featuring 5 Matua Valley/Shingle Peak wines among their tally. Saint Clair and Coopers Creek took 5 and 4 golds respectively.
Full lists of gold, silver and bronze medal winners from the 2012 Royal Easter Show Wine Awards can be seen at the Wineshow website by clicking here. The trophy winners will be announced at the awards dinner on Saturday 17 March.