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Wine Awards Medal Winners Announced

Air New Zealand Wine Awards Medal Winners Announced

  • Aromatic wines win record number of combined gold medals – Riesling wins nine gold medals

  • Pure gold medals awarded to sustainable wines for the first time

  • Outstanding results for full-bodied red wines including record gold medals awarded to Syrah

  • Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir continue to impress

The range of high quality wines being produced in New Zealand is highlighted by the results of the 2007 Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

New Zealand aromatic wines have taken the spotlight and impressed the judges at this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards with a total of 20 gold medals awarded to the Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Viognier and Pinot Blanc varieties.

Organised by New Zealand Winegrowers, the awards attracted 1,540 entries this year. With a new chair of judges, Steve Smith, Master of Wine (MW), and an increased international judging line-up, the highly-experienced judging panel this year awarded 83 gold medals, 227 silver medals and 364 bronze medals.

A total of six pure gold medals were also awarded in the new sustainability category. These wines will go on to vie for the prestigious Champion Sustainable Wine Trophy. In addition, 19 pure silver and 23 pure bronze medals were awarded in this category.

The Air New Zealand Wine Award elite gold medals and trophies, including Champion Wine of the Show and Champion Sustainable Wine Trophy, will be announced on Saturday, November 24, 2007.

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New Zealand Winegrowers global marketing director, Chris Yorke, said the results from this year’s awards are an endorsement of New Zealand’s winemaking excellence across a range of varietals which are among the best in the world.

“It is exciting to see high-quality aromatic wines such as Riesling and Gewurztraminer continuing to be recognised. The Air New Zealand Wine Awards celebrates outstanding winemaking and the medals awarded to wines from around the country reflect the high quality of New Zealand’s many winegrowing regions.

“New Zealand is setting the standard in sustainable winemaking and to have six pure gold medals awarded in the first year of competition shows the industry’s commitment to this important area,” he said.

International judge, Peter McCombie, MW, said he was impressed by the high standard of wine and the organisation of the judging.

“The processes involved in running the Air New Zealand Wine Awards are impeccable. The new additions to the rules worked extremely well and consumers can be confident when choosing a wine with an Air New Zealand Wine Awards sticker.

“The Air New Zealand Wine Awards is a highly-respected competition internationally and it is great that the organisers are innovative and continue to make enhancement to the awards processes,” he said.

Riesling was a stand-out performer this year with nine medals being awarded to a varietal that chair of judges, Steve Smith, describes as the latest New Zealand wine to watch.

“To have nine gold medals awarded to Riesling is fantastic. This is an exciting wine variety with this year’s winners showing a range in style from the bone dry to the elegant and lower alcohol wines that have an opportunity to be come classics,” he said.

Other aromatic gold medals awarded include Viognier with three gold medals, Gewurztraminer with five gold medals and Pinot Gris with two gold medals and Pinot Blanc with one gold medal. Mr Smith said New Zealand aromatics have the potential to be the best in the world and international judge, Peter McCombie, MW, agreed. “These emerging varietals in New Zealand are starting to produce world class results,” Mr McCombie said.

Syrah wines from the 2006 vintage were awarded a record seven gold medals, up three from last year. Mr Smith believes these results are impressive for a relatively small and emerging class.

International judge, Tom Carson was the leader of this panel and he is a lover and maker of Syrah.

“Seven gold medals is a significant and international endorsement of this varietal,” he said.

Pinot Noir was awarded 16 gold medals, a record in this class. Mr Smith believes New Zealand continues to show strength in this increasingly popular varietal.

“The 2006 vintage was fantastic. The regional diversification of Pinot Noir from across the country is evident with gold medals being awarded to wines from Central Otago, Canterbury/Waipara, Marlborough and the Wairarapa/Wellington regions,” Mr Smith said.

Sauvignon Blanc was a strong class with 16 gold medals awarded. Mr Smith was particularly impressed with the range of different styles that emerged with Sauvignon Blanc.

“Winemakers are showing the confidence to experiment with different styles in the Sauvignon Blanc class, including a trend towards the elegant and mineral influenced wines that show real class,” he said.

Chardonnay had a strong showing and was awarded 11 gold medals. “The wines awarded were not just about strong, fruity and oaked flavours, they were multi-dimensional wines and included an impressive spread across the regions this year,” he said.

Sparkling wine won two gold medals this year.

“Sparkling wine is a very hard wine style to make and the best wines in this class show characteristics that you’d expect to see in some of the world’s best sparkling wines,” Mr Smith said.

New Zealand Winegrowers and Air New Zealand will host 800 guests in Christchurch at the gala dinner on November 24 and guests will experience the trophy wines first-hand, accompanied by a stunning six course dinner designed by Air New Zealand’s executive chefs – Rex Morgan from Citron Restaurant in Wellington and Inspire at The Spire Restaurant in Queenstown, Peter Gordon from dine by Peter Gordon in Auckland and The Providores and Tapa Room in London, Geoff Scott from Vinnies Restaurant in Auckland and Govind Armstrong from Table 8 in Los Angeles and Miami.

The medal results for the 2007 Air New Zealand Wine Awards will be available from today on and and the trophy results will be available from midnight Saturday, November 24, 2007.

Gold Medal Winning Wines

Please find below the gold medal winning wines which will compete for the following Air New Zealand Wine Awards trophies to be announced at midnight on Saturday, November 24, 2007.

GlobalCap New Zealand Champion Sauvignon Blanc Trophy
Boatshed Bay by Goldwater Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Delta Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Distant Land Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Eradus Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Goldwater Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Highfield Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Jules Taylor Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Mansion House Bay Vineyard Select Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Matua Valley Estate Series Paretai Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 1 Foundation Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 11 Cell Block Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Two Rivers Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Vavasour Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2007

O-I New Zealand Champion Chardonnay Trophy
Pure Gold
Cottage Block Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2006

Auntsfield Estate 2006 Cob Cottage Chardonnay 2006
Goldwater Chardonnay 2006
Montana O Ormond Gisborne Chardonnay 2004
Montana Terroir Series Waihirere Chardonnay 2005
Montana Terroir Series Stuart Block Chardonnay 2006
Sacred Hill Riflemans Chardonnay 2006
Sleeping Giant Hill Block Chardonnay 2006

AMPM Marketing Champion Riesling Trophy
Pure Gold
Camshorn Classic Riesling 2007
Seifried Estate Riesling 2007

Drylands Riesling 2007
Forrest Estate The Doctors' Riesling 2006
Foxes Island Marlborough Riesling 2007
Mud House Waipara Riesling 2007
Waipara Hills Waipara Riesling 2007
Waipara Springs Riesling 2006

The Huka Retreats Champion Pinot Gris Trophy
Lake Hayes Pinot Gris 2007
Saint Clair Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007

Label and Litho Champion Gewurztraminer Trophy
Forrest Estate Gewurztraminer 2006
Lawson's Dry Hills Gewurztraminer 2007
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 12 Gewurztraminer 2007
Villa Maria Estate Cellar Selection Gewurztraminer 2007

BDO Spicers Champion Other White Styles Trophy
Coopers Creek Gisborne Viognier 2007
Cooper's Creek Limited Release Gisborne Viognier 2007
Gibbston Valley Wines Gibbston Valley Pinot Blanc 2006
The Millton Vineyards Growers Series Viognier Briant Vineyard 2006

Wineworks Champion Medium Sweet or Sweet Wine Trophy
Forrest Estate Botrytised Riesling 2006
Saints Noble Semillon 2004

Nissan New Zealand Limited Champion Sparkling Wine Trophy
Hawkesbridge Marlborough Methode Traditionnelle NV
Paradox Marlborough Methode Traditionnelle NV

Air Sea Global Champion Pinot Noir Trophy
Pure Gold
Mondillo Pinot Noir 2006

Bishops Head Pinot Noir 2006
Burnt Spur Pinot Noir 2006
De Vine Wines Pinot Noir 2006
Goldfields Pinot Noir 2006
HR Pinot Noir 2006
Julicher Estate 99 Rows Pinot Noir 2006
Kim Crawford SP Rise & Shine Creek Pinot Noir 2006
Montana T Terraces Marlborough Pinot Noir 2006
Rockburn Pinot Noir 2006
Villa Maria Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 2006

Bayleys Realty Group Champion Merlot Trophy
Pure Gold
C J Pask Gimblett Road Merlot 2005
Sileni Estate Selection "The Triangle" Merlot 2005

Mills Reef Reserve Merlot 2006

Carter & Associates Champion Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot/Cabernet Blend Trophy
Church Road Hawke's Bay Merlot Cabernet 2005
Church Road Reserve Cabernet Merlot 2005
Delegat's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2006

Hort Research Champion Other Red Styles Trophy
No Gold Medals awarded in this category

Fruitfed Supplies Champion Syrah Trophy
Coopers Creek SV Chalk Ridge Hawkes Bay Syrah 2006
Trinity Hill HOMAGE Syrah 2006
Villa Maria Estate Cellar Selection Syrah Viognier 2006

The above wines will also compete for the Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Trophy.
The New World Champion Open White Wine Trophy and Fairfax Media Champion Open Red Wine Trophy will be awarded to the top wine in their classes with stock levels declared in excess of 22,500 litres.
The below wines entered into the exhibition category will vie for the following exhibition trophies. The exhibition category is for wines with a minimum of 450 litres.

Corbans Viticulture Champion Exhibition White or Sparkling Wine Trophy
Alana Riesling 2007
Framingham Gewurztraminer 2006
Mud House SWAN Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Tohu Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Vidal Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2005
Vidal Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2006
Villa Maria Estate Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2006

Kapiti Fine Foods Champion Exhibition Red Wine Trophy
Beach House Syrah 2006
Esk Valley Reserve Syrah 2006
John Forrest Collection Syrah 2005
Koura Bay Wines Blue Duck Pinot Noir 2005
Lamont Pinot Noir 2005
Mills Reef Elspeth Cabernet Merlot 2005
Mudbrick Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Saint Clair Rapaura Reserve Merlot 2006
The Crater Rim Omihi Rise Waipara Pinot Noir 2006
Vidal Reserve Syrah 2004
Villa Maria Estate Single Vineyard Rutherford Pinot Noir 2006
Waipara Hills Southern Cross Selection Central Otago Pinot Noir 2006

The following pure gold medal winning wines will compete for the Bell Gully Champion Sustainable Wine Trophy.

C J Pask Gimblett Road Merlot 2005
Camshorn Classic Riesling 2007
Cottage Block Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2006
Mondillo Pinot Noir 2006
Seifried Estate Riesling 2007
Sileni Estate Selection "The Triangle" Merlot


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