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Modern style Chardonnay shines at 2018 New World Wine Awards

Media Release

Tuesday 9 October 2018

It’s no longer a case of ‘love it or loathe it’ with Chardonnay – the classic but often polarising varietal has staged a comeback at this year’s New World Wine Awards with modern style wines sure to please a wide range of palates.

“While a record number of Rosé wines entered the New World Wines Awards, it was the enduring Chardonnay category that particularly pleased the judges this year,” says Chair of Judges Jim Harré.

Top-ranking Gold medal Chardonnays feature in the hotly anticipated New World Wine Awards ‘Top 50’, which are available in New World stores nationwide from today.

There has been a significant progression in Chardonnay winemaking over the years, and consumers are set to reap the rewards. These winners are all stunning examples of the quality and range of modern style Chardonnay wines that are now climbing back to the top of

shopping lists.

Mr Harré says the varietal has moved on from the heavily oaked and buttery Chardonnays of the 1980s, and beyond the pronounced citrus and steely acidity that was prominent in the early 2000s.

“Now, we have well-managed wines that reflect the true quality of the Chardonnay fruit, with a judicious use of oak, and a fine elegance brought about by considered winemaking. They are simply a delight to drink, and a must-try even for those who may not typically

choose Chardonnay.”

The Wither Hills Marlborough Chardonnay 2017 was selected as the Champion White Wine for the whole competition and is amazing value. The judges noted it as a “superb food wine” and the one “that shows Chardonnay matches nearly anything”.

Other Gold medal-winning Chardonnays include: the Riverby Estate Marlborough Chardonnay 2014, recognised for its beautifully aged characteristics and fruity sweetness; the Sacred Hill Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017 which displays lovely density and texture; and the deliciously tropical Mission Estate Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017 from New Zealand’s oldest winery.

Gold medal wine for $25 or less

Mr Harré says results like these highlight the real strength of the New World Wine Awards in providing shoppers with trustworthy guidance to help make their next wine purchasing decision.

“The New World Wine Awards has a 16-year track record of connecting wine-lovers with the best quality affordable wines.

“Whether you are looking for a great bottle of your favourite varietal, or would like to try something new, these Gold medal-winning wines are the perfect starting point.”

Mr Harré says consumers can put their confidence in a New World Wine Awards medal thanks to an extremely thorough, three-day judging by 17 independent experts, who together brought more than 250 years of experience to the 2018 competition.

Medal-worthy wines were tasted and re-tasted through blind judging process, meaning judges see only the wine in the glass, no bottles or brands, and are only supplied with the varietal, vintage and country of origin of each wine.

“A Gold medal wine will have been tasted at least 19 times 11 different judges before being awarded this merit. Champion wines will have been tasted at least 36 times! A New World Wine Award Gold medal shows the wine is of the highest standard and shoppers can have absolute confidence in it.”

The New World Wine Awards uses the internationally recognised 100-point system. Under this system, wines are benchmarked and scored against what a perfect wine should be like, rather than against each other.

This means there can be several Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in a category. New World rewards the 50 top-ranked wines with nationwide distribution and promotion to customers.

As a condition of entry, all wines must retail for $25 or less and have a minimum volume available for sale in order to meet consumer demand.

The Champion Wines in the New World Wine Awards 2018

Champion Sauvignon BlancVidal Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Champion Pinot GrisRapaura Springs Reserve Marlborough Pinot Gris 2018
Champion AromaticMount Brown Estates North Canterbury Riesling 2018
Champion ChardonnayWither Hills Marlborough Chardonnay 2017
Champion Sparkling WineMorton Estate Black Label Brut
Champion RoséMadam Sass Central Otago Pinot Noir Rosé 2018
Champion Pinot NoirShaky Bridge Pioneer Series Central Otago Pinot Noir 2017
Champion Single Varietal RedGrant Burge Cameron Vale Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Champion Red BlendMo Sisters Red Blend 2016
Champion Shiraz & SyrahZonte's Footstep Chocolate Factory McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016

The full medal results of the New World Wine Awards can be viewed at

Videos, which include interviews with winning winemakers and Chardonnay insights from Mr Harré, are available for download here and here. ‘Clean’ versions are available on request.


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