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Chardonnay makes a comeback as a must-have wine

Media release

23 September 2013

Chardonnay makes a comeback as a must-have wine

This year, with 65% of all entries in the Chardonnay category of the New World Wine Awards winning a medal and Spy Valley’s 2012 Chardonnay taking out the title of Champion White Wine, the varietal is back as a must-have for wine lovers.

With a record number of entries, including more than 100 wines from the eagerly anticipated 2013 vintage, the highest number of medals ever was awarded overall this year.

"White wine varietals performed particularly strongly at this year’s awards with around 60% of all Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Sparkling and sweet wines entered winning a medal. For the second year in a row, Chardonnay has scooped the Champion White Wine trophy which reflects the international resurgence in Chardonnay’s popularity,” says Jim Harré, Chairman of the judging panel.

The New World Wine Awards are judged by an independent panel of 13 expert wine judges using the same internationally recognised 20-point system as other leading wine competitions, ensuring that winning wines are the best examples of their type. The only difference is that all wines entered must retail for below $25 a bottle and at least 6,000 bottles must be available for sale, which means consumers are guaranteed access to top-quality wines at affordable prices.

Of the 1,099 wines entered a total of 607 medals were awarded, of which there were 53 Gold, 122 Silver and 432 Bronze medals awarded. Of these:

•          There are 77 medal-winning wines of the 2013 vintage (from 119 entries), including 9 Gold, 18 Silver, and 50 Bronze.
•          The new lower and reduced alcohol class introduced this year attracted 12 entries and took out 7 medals, reflecting the growing popularity and increasing quality of this wine style.
•          The Marlborough region continued its track record of winning the most medals taking out 199 in total, with 21 wines awarded Gold, 36 Silver, and 142 Bronze.
•          Wines from both the Canterbury and Otago regions received their highest number of Gold medals since the New World Wine Awards began eleven years ago.
•          There are 19 award-winning sweet wines, more than double the number that won awards last year.
•          While there were a similar number of Pinot Noir entries as in 2012, there were 12% fewer award winners in this category. Similarly, despite a marginal increase in the number of entries in the Shiraz/Syrah category, the same number of awards (77) were won in this category.

In a separate ‘taste-off’ of the top wines, the judging panel decided the Champion wines, which are:

•          Champion White Wine – Spy Valley Marlborough Chardonnay 2012
•          Champion Red Wine – Treasures Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
•          Champion Bubbles – Lindauer Classic Rosé.

"We were delighted with the record number of entries submitted this year, as well as the overall quality of the wines entered. It reflects the credibility these awards have among winemakers," says Mr. Harré.

All medal-winning wines are distributed and promoted in New World’s 138 supermarkets nationwide.  A Top 50 selection of the medal-winning wines will be showcased in the New World Wine Awards 2013 booklet, online and stocked in New World stores from 23 September.

“Wine lovers can have confidence that a Gold medal wine in the New World Wine Awards is of the same quality as any other Gold medal wine, but costing $25 or less.  This gives people a great chance to try varieties and brands they wouldn’t normally choose,” says Mr Harré.


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