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Kim Crawford Wines Win Supreme Trophy at Awards

Media release
12 November 2005

Kim Crawford Wines Win Supreme Trophy at Air New Zealand Wine Awards

- A first for Sauvignon Blanc and a first for Kim Crawford Wines
- Exceptional Hawke’s Bay Syrah wins Reserve trophy

Winemaker Kim Crawford has taken away New Zealand’s most prestigious wine trophy for 2005.

The Kim Crawford SP Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Spitfire 2005 has won the Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Trophy. This is the first time the trophy has been won by a Sauvignon Blanc wine and the first time Kim Crawford Wines has won the Champion Trophy.

The Kim Crawford SP Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Spitfire 2005 has also won the Esvin Champion Sauvignon Blanc Trophy.

The Air New Zealand Wine Awards chairman of judges, Brent Marris, says that for a wine to win this trophy it must be an absolute classic of the wine style.

“The trophy winning wine epitomises what Sauvignon Blanc wine should be. It is a beautifully fruit driven wine, the balance shown is fantastic, it shows qualities of seamlessness with lingering flavours and displays exquisite fruit purity,” he says.

The Bell Gully Reserve Wine of the Show Trophy and the Business World Travel Champion Syrah Trophy were won by Unison Syrah 2004. Unison is produced by Bruce and Anna-Barbara Helliwell in Hawke’s Bay.

Mr Marris says the Unison Syrah 2004 was an excellent example of the style, and it was great to see a Syrah pick up the Reserve trophy.

The trophy winning wines have highlighted the stunning 2005 vintage for white wines and the superb 2004 vintage for red wines. White wines from 2005 won the Champion trophy, the Sauvignon Blanc trophy, the Gewurztraminer trophy, the Riesling trophy, the Pinot Gris trophy and the Other White Varieties trophy.

Red wine from the 2004 vintage won the Reserve trophy, the Pinot Noir trophy, the Syrah trophy, the Merlot blend trophy and the Open Red Wine trophy.

In addition to the Champion and Sauvignon Blanc trophies, the Marlborough region also won trophies for Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, showing the increasing diversity of a region known predominantly for its Sauvignon Blanc.

Wines from the Hawke’s Bay region also won several trophies including Syrah, Chardonnay, Rosé, Merlot, Cabernet blend and Merlot blend. Wine from the Martinborough region won the Sparkling trophy and wine from Gisborne won the Other White Varieties trophy.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe says the awards are a real celebration of New Zealand’s winemaking excellence.

“Air New Zealand has been a proud sponsor of the awards for 19 years. The industry’s remarkable growth in terms of size and quality, coupled with our ongoing commitment to delivering a uniquely New Zealand experience, will see us serve more of the nation’s wine than ever before on our flights next year.

“We carry more than 11 million customers annually and provide the New Zealand wine industry with exposure to a range of potential customers it might not normally have access to. Therefore, we take great pride in the role we play in helping growth of the industry,” says Mr Fyfe.

International judge Linda Murphy, wine editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, attended the event and said it was a stunning showcase of New Zealand’s best wines. She also commended the thoroughness of the judging process.

“The Air New Zealand Wine Awards are the most well organised and rigorous that I have seen in my experience as a wine judge, which means consumers know when they choose a gold medal wine from this competition that it really is a gold medal winning wine,” she says.

The Air New Zealand Wine awards were held in Wellington tonight at a glamorous event attended by 750 guests where all the winners of the prestigious trophies were announced.

Guests enjoyed a stunning six course dinner designed by Air New Zealand’s consultant chefs – Rex Morgan from Citron in Wellington and The Spire in Queenstown, Peter Gordon from Dine in Auckland and The Providores and Tapa Room in London, Govind Armstrong from Table 8 in Los Angeles and Miami, and Geoff Scott from Vinnies in Auckland. Guests were also treated to a generous taste of each of the trophy winning wines.

Throughout the evening guests were entertained by the legend of Maui, enacted by a dynamic cast of 20 performers, including eight aerialists, with evocative original music by well known New Zealand composer Gareth Farr.

AIR NEW ZEALAND WINE AWARDS 2005 TROPHIES AWARDED

Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Trophy
KIM CRAWFORD SP MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC SPITFIRE 2005

Bell Gully Reserve Wine of the Show Trophy
UNISON SYRAH 2004

Esvin Champion Sauvignon Blanc Trophy
KIM CRAWFORD SP MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC SPITFIRE 2005

O-I New Zealand Champion Chardonnay Trophy
VILLA MARIA RESERVE MARLBOROUGH CHARDONNAY 2003

Nissan New Zealand Limited Champion Sparkling Wine Trophy
PALLISER ESTATE METHODE TRADITIONELLE 2001

Air Sea Global Champion Pinot Noir Trophy
VILLA MARIA RESERVE PINOT NOIR 2004

Label and Litho Champion Gewurztraminer Trophy
ALLAN SCOTT GEWURZTRAMINER 2005

Dish magazine Champion Pinot Gris Trophy
LAWSON’S DRY HILLS PINOT GRIS 2005

AMPM Marketing Limited Champion Riesling Trophy
COOPERS CREEK MARLBOROUGH RIESLING 2005

BDO Spicers Champion Other White Varieties Trophy
COOPERS CREEK GISBORNE VIOGNIER 2005

Marlborough Bottling Company Champion Medium Sweet or Sweet Wine Trophy
CANTERBURY HOUSE NOBLE RIESLING 2004

Hort Research Champion Rosé or Blush Trophy
ESK VALLEY BLACK LABEL MERLOT/MALBEC ROSÉ 2005

Huka Lodge Champion Merlot Trophy
VILLA MARIA RESERVE MERLOT 2002

Fruitfed Supplies Champion Merlot Predominant Blend Trophy
CAPRICORN RED ROCK GRAVEL PIT RED 2004

New World Champion Open White Wine Trophy
MORTON ESTATE WHITE LABEL HAWKES BAY CHARDONNAY 2002

Carter & Associates Champion Cabernet Sauvignon or Predominant Blend Trophy
NEWTON FORREST CORNERSTONE CABERNET/MERLOT/MALBEC 2002

Business World Travel Champion Syrah Trophy
UNISON SYRAH 2004

Sunday Star Times Champion Open Red Wine Trophy
CAPRICORN RED ROCK GRAVEL PIT RED 2004

ENDS

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