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NZ Sauvignon Blancs Shine At New World Wine Awards

News release
28 July 2005

NZ Sauvignon Blancs Shine At New World Wine Awards

This year’s New World Wine Awards has seen a record number of gold medals, with New Zealand sauvignon blancs among the judges’ top picks. The awards are restricted to wines retailing at under $20.

“We were delighted with the quality of the wines this year. The awards mean New World shoppers can choose their wine from a range of recommendations at affordable prices,” said Foodstuffs (Auckland) Limited liquor merchandise manager Dave Yurak.

“This year 20 wines were awarded gold medals – the most we’ve awarded since the challenge began in 2003 – six of those went to New Zealand sauvignon blancs,” he said.

Chief judge Michael Cooper, said the key aspect of this year’s awards was the surge in gold medal winners.

“The selling point of these awards is that they show that top quality wine is available in New Zealand at affordable prices. You don’t have to pay $40 or more to get a gold medal wine.

‘Traditionally the drawback of New Zealand wine competitions is that top wines tend to be expensive and hard to find because they are produced in small volumes. This competition addresses these shortcomings.”

Dave Yurak says this year there was a substantial increase in the number of wines entered. “Last year we judged 655 wines, this year that number jumped to 813. Winemakers are really seeing the benefit of entering their wines in this competition.”

“We also have had excellent feedback from our shoppers about the awards. It makes sense as 90% of shoppers buy their wine at the under $20 mark,” he said.

One of the criteria for entry was that the wines had to 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 is being delivered free this weekend to more than a million homes throughout New Zealand.

“People are always looking for recommendations,” says Dave Yurak. “We see them come into the store and choosing their wines straight out of the booklet. It makes it easy for them to pick a good wine at a great price.”

This year 20 of the 813 entries won gold awards, 92 won silvers and 314 were awarded bronze medals, the wines were judged on a 20 point system.

The judges were John Hancock, Oliver Masters, Terry Copeland, Ben Glover, Jim Harre, Michael Ivicevich, Alastair Maling MW, Simon Nash MW, and Simon Waghorn with Michael Cooper the Chief Judge.

New Zealand sauvignon blancs, all priced between $16 and $20, dominated the winning white category. The gold medal winning wines were:

- Jackson Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (NZ)
- Montana Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (NZ)
- Southbank Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (NZ)
- Saint Clair Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (NZ)
- Mud House Vineyard Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (NZ)
- Whitehaven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (NZ)
- Waimea Classic Riesling 2003 (NZ)
- Villa Maria Private Bin East Coast Gewurztraminer 2004 (NZ)
- Deen De Bortoli Vat 5 Botrytis Semillon 2002 (Aus)
- Mondoro Asti (Italy)

Australian wines dominated the reds, the gold medal winners were:

- Rosemount Estate Shiraz/Cabernet 2004 (Aus)
- Shingleback McLaren Vale Shiraz 2002 (Aus)
- Pepperjack Shiraz 2003 (Aus)
- Knappstein Clare Valley Shiraz 2002 (Aus)
- Red Knot Shiraz 2004 (Aus)
- Hungerford Hill Fishcage Shiraz/Viognier 2004 (Aus)
- Preece Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 (Aus)
- Pepperjack Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 (Aus)
- Preece Merlot 2003 (Aus)
- Promessa Negroamaro 2003 (Italy)


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