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Top 100 success delivers wines New Zealanders want

Top 100 success delivers wines New Zealanders want

An extraordinary total of 12 gold medal placings in this year’s Liquorland Top 100 from the Vintage Wines & Spirits wine portfolio reflects the growing trend in wine judging towards acknowledgement of consumer tastes, interests and requirements as well as quality and winemaking techniques, according to the company’s managing director, Nick Hern.

“It is, of course, vital that New Zealand, Australian and other wines available here are judged by reputable assessors against international benchmarks to ensure the Australasian industry constantly strives for excellence,” he said.

“But it is equally important that judgment be passed on the basis of a wine’s market strengths, which still takes into account quality, nuances, winemaking prowess, terroir and so on but balances this with saleability factors.”

Wines might be aimed at differing market levels, he pointed out, but if they weren’t offered with the consumer in mind, the accomplishment of medals and trophies had only limited relevance.

The Liquorland Top 100, organised by the retail group of that name but recognised more widely as an indicator of top wines that are readily available in New Zealand, was established to give just that balance.

“To win 12 out of the 100 slots, and with gold medals for each, suggests our portfolio is matching New Zealand consumer requirements,” said Hern. “We were also delighted that the wines we handle won three of the Top 100’s trophies.”

This success builds on a similarly impressive performance in the New World Top 50, where wines marketed by Vintage were awarded 10 per cent of the 50 positions. The portfolio also did well in the New Zealand International Wine Show recently.

For the Shingleback McLaren Vale Shiraz 2004, its Liquorland Top 100 gold medal placing was the third vintage in a row to receive a gold medal. This wine also took the category trophy.

“The Shingleback range is selling very strongly in New Zealand,” said Hern. Two other wines from the South Australian producer also feature in the Top 100: Shingleback McLaren Vale D Block Reserve Shiraz 2003 and Shingleback The Gate McLaren Vale Shiraz 2004.

Shingleback’s 2005 D Block Cabernet Sauvignon this year won the prestigious Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy in Australia.

Vavasour took a Top 100 gold medal and category trophy with the first vintage of a premium single vineyard chardonnay, the Anna’s Vineyard Chardonnay 2004 which reflects its Awatere Valley terroir.

Marlborough-based Hunter’s Wines were a strong performer in the Top 100, winning golds for the Hunter’s Gewürztraminer 2006 (trophy winner in this category), Chardonnay 2004 and Riesling 2005. The Hunter’s Kaho Roa Sauvignon Blanc 2004 took a gold medal at this year’s New Zealand International Wine Show.

Other Australian Top 100 gold winners from the Vintage portfolio were Elderton Estate Barossa Shiraz 2004, Elderton Estate Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Elderton Friends Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Serafino Sharktooth McLaren Vale Shiraz 2004 and Serafino Sharktooth Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2005.

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