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Sauvignon Blanc Trophy Proves 2005 a Great Vintage

Champion Wine Trophy To Sauvignon Blanc Proves 2005 a Great Vintage

For the first time in it's nineteen year history, the Air New Zealand Wine Awards has awarded the Trophy for Champion Wine of Show to a Sauvignon Blanc.

Accepting the trophy for Kim Crawford Wines at the 2005 award dinner in Wellington last night Erica Crawford said, "to win this trophy is exciting for Kim Crawford Wines, but to win with Sauvignon Blanc is exciting for our whole industry."

NZ makes more sauvignon blanc than any other variety it is the wine that created an international interest in NZ wine and dominates NZ wine exports.

"Sauvignon blanc is the staple diet of the NZ wine industry and it is the standard bearer for our wines worldwide. This win isn't just about one wine, it is proof of the brilliance of the 2005 vintage for Sauvignon Blanc and in particular sauvignon blanc from Marlborough, our biggest production region.

We, like many wineries and commentators, have been saying 2005 is a special vintage and this is further proof of that. It's not easy for sauvignon prophets in the home of great sauvignon blanc, in NZ our wine shows are very tough on Sauvignon blanc, and as an industry we set a very high standard. So sauvignon blanc winning wine of show at the Air New Zealand's for the first time demonstrates what a great year 2005 is for the wine that is so critical to success for the whole NZ wine industry." Said Mrs Crawford.

The winning wine, Kim Crawford Wines Small Parcels Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Spitfire 2005 Winemaker Kim Crawford said "is from the Delta vineyard in Marlborough and is reward for the company's specific focus on creating a world class expression of Sauvignon Blanc. As the company relies mainly on contract growers, it is nice to be able to reward the excellence of the growers."

He has made more distinct sauvignon blanc blends from the 2005 vintage than ever before in his 15 years winemaking. Mr Crawford said "I'm stoked to take the trophy, but you can only work with what the vineyard gives you and Marlborough is the place in the world to grow great sauvignon blanc. In the Marlborough Valley and over the hills in the Awatere Valley, are a few outstanding plots that turn up knock out fruit year after year. I want to see us respecting the distinct Marlborough savvy characters.

Herbaceousness is Marlboroughs? signature and long may it continue. If we move into the more tropical styles, we move into competition from the so called cooler climates in Australia, South Africa and Chile, and we will lose our competitive edge. Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is about in your face flavours, fresh, crisp wines that excite the drinker and are unmistakable.

People may say I'm old school with my savvy, but it's supply and demand, if we are the only place in the world that can make it and people love it, keep your point of difference. Build that world reputation and watch as international demand drives up price and profitability for NZ wine."

Mrs Crawford said export profitability and sales are strong but a top end sauvignon blanc is needed. "The US market is very important to us and it is a growing market too, with breakthroughs like the Marriott Hotel group taking us into by the glass pours in every one of their several hundred North American Resorts and Hotels. Our wines, and Sauvignon Blanc in particular, sit in the upper end of prices for NZ wine sold in the US, but even so, we are a long way below iconic wines of Europe and the USA. We believe we need to offer our US customers an aspirational sauvignon blanc, a premium priced icon wine, an ultimate expression of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that justifies a top price and gives the customer seeking out that special wine, the wine they want at the price that they expect to pay for a world class wine."

"It is the success and reputation of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that opens the doors to international customers, to retailers, hotels, bars and restaurants for NZ wine" Mrs Crawford added. "We, like almost every Marlborough producer, get daily enquiries from international customers after our Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. It is the wine that opens the door for other styles we make and without it, NZ would have a far harder time selling wine around the world.

That a Sauvignon Blanc has won the Air New Zealand Champion Wine of Show for the first time in the awards nineteen years, is another boost to Sauvignon sales for all of us."

The Champion Wine of Show win means that every Sauvignon Blanc made by Kim Crawford has picked up a gold medal or a trophy at a major NZ wine show, from the lowest priced Diamond range wines sold in supermarkets, to the Small Parcel Beacon Hill and Spitfire.

The wines and their current domestic awards are as follows;

Kim Crawford Wines Small Parcels Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Spitfire 2005 Gold Medal, Trophy Champion Sauvignon Blanc, Trophy Champion Wine of Show Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

Kim Crawford Wines Small Parcels Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Beacon Hill 2005 Gold Medal, Trophy Champion Sauvignon Blanc, Bragato Wine Awards.

Kim Crawford Wines Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2005 Gold Medal New Zealand International Wine Show, Gold Medal Liquorland Top 100. 90 points in Wine Spectator magazine,USA.

Kim Crawford Wines Diamond Range Sauvignon Blanc 2005 Gold Medal Liquorland Top 100.

ENDS

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