The medal results of the Royal Easter Show Wine Awards 2013 have been released. From 1,130 wines entered, there were 95 gold medals (8.4%), 182 silver (16.1%) and 471 bronze medals (41.7%) awarded, making a total of 748 wines (66.2%) with medals. Kate Radburnd was Chair of Judges with Mike de Garis of Australia and Sam Harrop MW of the U.K. as co deputy chairs. The 2013 judging has been labelled the ‘Diamond Jubilee’ as it is the 60th competition. The co-directors of the show were Shona White and Terry Dunleavy, the latter in his 21st and final year as director.
Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir were the major successes, due to the sheer numbers of entries, with 19 and 15 gold medals respectively. The 2012 Marlborough vintage was recognised as a quality one, with 17 of the golds for Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, of which all but one were from 2012. Of the 15 golds for Pinot Noir, Central Otago claimed 8, and 6 of these from 2011, regarded as a lighter vintage than 2010. 6 golds for Pinot Noir went to Marlborough.
Chardonnay was also a strong class with 11 golds, of which 9 were awarded to Marlborough labels, the other 2 to Hawke’s Bay wines, possibly reflecting the difficult vintage in 2011 in that region. The aromatic whites have also fared well, continuing the strength of these varieties over previous years, with a very high 10 golds for Riesling, 8 for Pinot Gris and 5 for Gewurztraminer.
Syrah made a good comeback, with 8 gold medals, all but one of which were Hawke’s Bay wines. There were a total of 8 golds for the Bordeaux varieties combined, with all but one from Hawke’s Bay. Sparkling Wines also showed depth with 7 wines awarded gold, all from Marlborough.
Marlborough as a region continues to dominate the results with 53 of the 95 golds coming from that region. Hawke’s Bay and Central Otago follow with 19 and 12 golds respectively.
Looking at producers, the Villa Maria Estates group led the field with 13 golds for Villa Maria, 2 golds each for Vidal and Esk Valley and one for Thornbury, thus taking nearly one-fifth of the golds. As stand-alone labels, Saint Clair was awarded 5 gold medals and Coopers Creek 4 golds. It is fascinating to see the larger companies performing well, with Pernod-Ricard labels taking 8 golds and Yealands labels taking 5 golds as well. It is also pleasing to see a number of smaller producers figure in the results with more than one gold medal, such as West Brook, Wooing Tree and Zephyr.