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New World Wine Awards Plenty Of Sub-$20 Winners

Draft news release
23rd July 2003

New World Wine Awards Prove Plenty Of Sub-$20 Winners

The winners of New Zealand’s first international wine competition focusing on the under-$20 market have been announced.

“We unashamedly aimed at bringing the the best commercially available wines retailing at under $20 to the consumer,” says Foodstuffs (Auckland) liquor merchandise manager Dave Yurak.

Wines were judged on a 20 point system, with gold, silver and bronze medals being awarded.

Chairman of the judges, Michael Cooper, says by excluding the over-$20 wines and those produced in minute quantities, the show clearly differentiated itself from other wine competitions stages around the country.

“It attracted entries from large-scale wineries such as Montana and Babich, which had previously withdrawn from the local show circuit,” he says.

Six of the 610 entries won gold medals, compared with the usual 5% to 6% in New Zealand competitions. Cooper says this reflected the absence of high quality, high-priced wines.

Australian wines topped the medals table, with 159 awards, ahead of New Zealand’s 130 and Italy’s 14.

The three gold-medal winning whites are: Framingham Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 ($19), Waipara Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2002 ($18) and Montana Reserve Marlborough Riesling 2001 ($19).

The gold medal-winning reds included Yarraman Banjo Cabernet/Merlot 2001 ($16), Taylors Promised Land Cabernet.Merlot 2002 and Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz ($16).

Budget-priced silver medal winners include Banrock Station Chardonnay 2002 ($10), Penfolds Rawson’s Retreat Chardonnay 2002 ($13), Oxford Landing Sauvignon Blanc 2002 ($11), Lindemans Bin 75 Riesling 2002 ($11) and Corbans Marlborough Riesling 2002 ($14).

Australian wines dominated the reds, with budget silver medal reds include Lindemans Bin 45 Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 ($11), Miranda Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 ($13), Penfolds Rawson’s Retreat Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 ($13) and Rosemount Estate Cabernet/Merlot 2002 ($12).

One of the criteria for entry was that the wines had be widely commercially available, with a minimum of 500 cases available to New World supermarkets. Fifty of the medal winners are being promoted in a Best of Selection booklet, which has been delivered free to more than a million homes throughout New Zealand.

“We want to make good wine accessible to New World shoppers,” says Dave Yurak. “The New World Wine Awards mean our shoppers can select their wines with confidence, knowing they’re the best available in that price range.”

[insert comment re reaction? eg “We had a great response from the wineries, and our customers have reacted enthusiastically to the concept. We’re already looking forward to next year’s New World Wine Awards attracting even more entries,” says Yurak.]

The judges were Jeff Clarke – Chief Winemaker Montana; Mark Robertson – Chief Winemaker Matua Valley; Kate Radburnd – Chief Winemaker CJ Pask; Steve Smith MW – Director of Wine and Viticulture; Craggy Range, Michael Ivivevich – Chief Winemaker Delegat’s Wine Estate; Helen Frith – Senior Brand Manager Nobilo Wines; Simon Nash MW – Group Brand Manager Montana; Sam Kim – Fine Wine Consultant Negociants NZ; Ken Moon – wine judge since 1990; Terry Copeland – wine judge since 1995; Simon Waghorn – Chief Winemarker Whitehaven and Astrolabe; and Mark Compton – Chief Winemaker Soljan’s Estate.


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