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Royal Easter Show Wine Awards 2017 – Gold Medal Wines

By February 22, 2017No Comments

The results of the 2017 Royal Easter Show Wine Awards have been released. Of 1,111 entries from 145 entrants, there were 81 (7.29%) gold medals awarded, 206 (18.54%) silver and 447 (40.23%) bronzes awards, making a total of 734 (66.07%) of the wines entered winning an award.

Chardonnay was the most successful class with 15 golds, followed by Pinot Noir with 13 golds. There were 9 Sauvignon Blanc golds, 8 for Pinot Gris and 7 for Syrah, and 6 golds each for Merlot-based wines and Sparklings.

An Analysis of the Gold Medal Winners
The Chardonnay class received 15 gold medals, the most of any category. Of these 7 were from Hawke’s Bay and 5 from Marlborough. 8 of the wines were from the 2015 vintage, and 4 from 2014. The former vintage appears to be very good for the variety. The most telling result was that Villa Maria won 8 of the Chardonnay golds, and associated labels Vidal and Te Awa took a gold each. It should be pointed out that the Chardonnays were judged across all 4 panels, so there was no judging bias or influence.

Pinot Noir earned 13 gold medals, from a total of 200 wines entered. So proportionally, the success rate was a bit low. 7 of these were from Central Otago and 6 from Marlborough. 7 wee from the 2015 vintage and 5 from 2014, so both years performed well.

There were only 9 Sauvignon Blanc golds from 198 entries, this indicating the more challenging nature of the 2016 vintage in Marlborough. Pinot Gris was also proportionally disappointing, with the 8 golds coming from 120 entries. Marlborough, as expected was the best performing region by numbers entered, of course. Riesling and Gewurztraminer were moderately strong performers, the former with 5 golds from 57 entries and the latter with 2 golds from 27 entries.

In the specialised whites, the Sweet Wines were also poorly performed with only one gold from 27 entries. However, the Sparkling wines performed very well, with 6 golds from 34 wines entered for judging.
The Rosé class performed only moderately well, with 4 golds from 66 wines judged. The Rosé wines are now considered a difficult category to assess, due to their variability. There seems a preference for paler-coloured wines, which may be producer driven rather than consumer driven.

The Cabernet Sauvignon-based, Merlot-based and Syrah wines all performed within expectations, each with 10% of the entries in each class awarded gold medals. Hawke’s Bay dominated all of these varieties, with one Syrah coming from Waiheke Island and one from the Bay of Islands.

The Villa Maria group of companies continues its dominance of wine shows, with the results at this judging. There were 15 golds going to Villa Maria labelled wine with three for the Te Awa brand, 2 for Esk Valley, and one each for Vidal and Thornbury, thus totalling 22 for the group. Saint Clay and Giesen each were awarded 5 golds, and Mud House/Accolade group winning 4 golds. It is pleasing to see Whitehaven continue its recent progress, winning 3 golds here. The Lion group took 3 golds too, all for Sparklings. However, some usually high performers were notably absent, such as Pernod-Ricard, who did not enter.

The Judging
The judging was conducted at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland over 17-19 February, by a team chaired by Kate Radburnd, with deputy chair Mike de Garis from Australia. The senior judges were: Terry Copeland, Oliver Masters, James Rowan and Simon Waghorn as panel leaders, with Michael Bann, Jane Boyle, Jane Cooper, Greg Harris, Ian Isaacs, Matt Murphy, Barry Riwai and Nikolai St George. The associate judges were: Greg Allinson, Rebecca Deed, Joanne Gear, James Hillard, Brandon Nash, Jen Parr, Dave Roper and Richard Tollenaar,

Shona White was the competition director, and Mark Compton looking after the back room. It is believed this is the 68th year of the A&P sponsored Easter Show Wine Awards judging. I will report on the trophy awards after their release at the awards dinner at The Pullman on Saturday 4 March. For all of the gold, silver and bronze medal winners, go to www.wineshow.co.nz

The Gold Medal Winners

Chardonnay
Clearview Estate Beachhead Chardonnay 2016
Giesen The Fuder Clayvin Chardonnay 2014
Pa Road Marlborough Chardonnay 2016
Quarter Acre Chardonnay 2016
Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Chardonnay 2015
Te Awa Single Estate Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2015
Vidal Legacy Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2015
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2015
Villa Maria Reserve Barrique Fermented Gisborne Chardonnay 2014
Villa Maria Reserve Barrique Fermented Gisborne Chardonnay 2015
Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2014
Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2015
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2015
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2014
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Chardonnay 2015

Gewurztraminer

Bladen Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2016
Giesen The Brothers Gewurztraminer 2014

Sauvignon Blanc

Babich Winemakers’ Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Craft Series Pride and Glory Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Giesen The Fuder Matthews Lane Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Leefield Station Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Matua Single Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Mud House Sub Region Series Rapaura Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Thornbury Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Wild Grace Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Riesling

Giesen Estate Riesling 2015
Lawson’s Dry Hills Riesling 2015
Mount Brown Estates Riesling 2016
Te Kairanga Riesling 2015
Two Rivers ‘Juliet’ Riesling 2016

Pinot Gris

Ceres Swansong Pinot Gris 2015
Mud House Marlborough Pinot Gris 2016
Peter Yealands Reserve Pinot Gris 2016
Spy Valley Pinot Gris 2016
Torlesse Pinot Gris 2014
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Seddon Pinot Gris 2016
Waipara Hills Pinot Gris Waipara Valley 2016
Whitehaven Marlborough Pinot Gris 2016

Viognier
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Viognier 2016

Other Specified White Varieties

Tinpot Hut McKee Vineyard Marlborough Grüner Veltliner 2016

Sweet White

Whitehaven Marlborough Noble Riesling 2014

Cabernet Sauvignon

Saint Clair James Sinclair Hawke’s Bay Cabernet-Merlot 2015
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Cabernet-Merlot 2015
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013

Merlot

Edwin Fox Merlot 2015
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2013
Mission Estate VS Merlot 2015
Te Awa Single Estate Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Merlot 2013

Syrah

Coopers Creek SV ‘Chalk Ridge’ Hawkes Bay Syrah 2014
Coopers Creek SV ‘Gimblett Gravels’ Hawkes Bay Syrah 2014
Goldie Estate Reserve Syrah 2014
Mills Reef Reserve Syrah 2015
Te Awa Single Estate Hawkes Bay Syrah 2014
The Landing Syrah 2013
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Syrah 2015

Pinot Noir
Akarua Pinot Noir 2015
Ara Resolute Pinot Noir 2013
Ceres Pinot Noir 2014
Delta Hatters Hill Pinot Noir 2015
Giesen Single Vineyard Selection Waihopai Pinot Noir 2015
Lowburn Ferry Skeleton Creek Pinot Noir 2014
Mondillo Pinot Noir 2015
Mud House Sub Region Series The Narrows Pinot Noir 2015
Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Pinot Noir 2015
Vavasour Felix’s Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015
Wild Earth Pinot Noir 2014
Wild Earth Special Edition Pinot Noir 2014
Wooing Tree Pinot Noir 2014

Other Red Varietals

Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Malbec 2013

Rose´ or Blush

Domain Road Vineyard Pinot Noir Rose´ 2016
Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Rose´ 2016
Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Pinot Gris Rose´ 2016
Whitehaven Marlborough Pinot Rose´ 2016

Sparkling

Allan Scott Family Winemakers Cecilia Brut NV
Daniel Le Brun Rose´ NV
Daniel Le Brun Vintage 2008
Morton Estate White Label Brut NV
Soljans Estate Fusion Sparkling Muscat NV
Te Hana Reserve Cuvee NV

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