Martinborough Pinot Noir Awarded Champion Wine of Show at 2009 Air New Zealand Wine Awards

21 November 2009

  • First time in 20 years that Martinborough wine awarded top trophy
  • 19 trophies and 38 elite gold medals awarded Central Otago Riesling named top sustainable wine
  • Chardonnay most awarded varietal

The Julicher Pinot Noir 2008, produced by Julicher Estate in Martinborough has taken out the top title at the 2009 Air New Zealand Wine Awards, claiming the Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Trophy.

This is the first time in the competition’s almost 30 year history that a Martinborough Pinot Noir has claimed the top trophy. The last time any Martinborough wine was awarded the Champion Wine of Show trophy was in 1989.

A Central Otago Riesling – Olssens Annieburn Riesling 2009 – was named top sustainable wine, taking out the Bell Gully Sustainable Wine Trophy.

Chair of judges Steve Smith, Master of Wine (MW), said Pinot Noir was one of the standout varietals of this year’s competition, and it was fitting that this varietal claimed the top trophy.

“We have had two extremely good vintages in a row of Pinot Noir with over 300 wines entered in the 2009 competition – the most ever entered,” Mr Smith said.

“The Julicher Pinot Noir 2008 is a true example of New Zealand Pinot Noir at its best, featuring a deep brooding black cherry colour, dusty plum and autumn forests on the nose. This is the first time the Pinot Noir pioneers of Martinborough have claimed the top trophy, and it is truly deserved.”

He said the Olssens Annieburn Riesling 2009 is also a world-class wine that left a lasting impression on the judging panel.

“It has a beautifully intense nose of flowers, lime and spearmint leaves and delivers a brilliantly juicy start to the palate.”

Thirty-eight elite gold medals, including two pure elite gold medals (awarded to sustainably-produced wines) were also awarded to wines from eight of New Zealand’s ten key winegrowing regions at this evening’s Awards dinner in Christchurch. Elite gold and pure elite gold medals recognise gold medal-winning wines that are truly outstanding.

The gold, silver and bronze medals were announced on Wednesday 11 November and are available at www.airnzwineawards.co.nz.

“This year we awarded the most elite gold medals ever awarded in the history of the Air New Zealand Wine Awards. All wines are judged against rigorous international standards so this result is a true testament to the quality of New Zealand wine.”

Chardonnay was awarded eight elite gold medals, the most awarded to any single varietal this year.

“Chardonnay was the true star of the white wine classes this year receiving 18 gold medals, including the elite gold medals. These are very exciting world-class wines,” Mr Smith said.

Organised by New Zealand Winegrowers, the Air New Zealand Wine Awards is the country’s most prestigious wine competition. This year’s Awards attracted 1,655 entries from New Zealand’s ten key winegrowing regions.

Air New Zealand is a long-time and proud supporter of the New Zealand wine industry and has been a partner of the Air New Zealand Wine Awards for more than 20 years.

“As the national airline of New Zealand, we are committed to showcasing the very best our country has to offer to the world,” said Air New Zealand Deputy CEO, Norm Thompson.

Each year Air New Zealand serves more than 6.5 million glasses of wine onboard its flights, making the airline the largest single server of wine in the country.

Regional highlights

Wines from Hawke’s Bay were awarded eight of the 19 trophies announced this evening. The winning wines were Church Road Reserve Viognier 2007; Coopers Creek SV Hawke’s Bay Syrah Chalk Ridge 2008; Couper’s Shed Pinot Gris 2009; Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Tempranillo 2008; Villa Maria Reserve Merlot 2007; Mills Reef Elspeth Cabernet Merlot 2007; and Farmgate Noble Harvest Riesling 2007.

Wines from the Marlborough region won six trophies, for Catalina Sounds Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009; Forrest The Doctors’ Riesling 2009; Johanneshof Cellars Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2009; Esk Valley Marlborough Riesling 2009; Deutz Marlborough Cuvee Blanc de Blancs 2006; and Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2006.

Air New Zealand Wine Awards results and dinner

The gold, silver and bronze medals were announced on Wednesday 11 November. All results are available at www.airnzwineawards.co.nz.

The 2009 Air New Zealand Wine Awards were held in Christchurch tonight at the Christchurch Convention Centre, and was attended by 670 guests.

Guests enjoyed the trophy-winning wines accompanied by a six-course dinner designed by Air New Zealand’s team of Consultant Chefs including Rex Morgan from Boulcott Street Bistro in Wellington; Peter Gordon from dine by Peter Gordon and Bellota in Auckland; and The Providores and Tapa Room in London; and Geoff Scott from Vinnies Restaurant in Auckland.   

carboNZero (CertTM) certification

This year the Air New Zealand Wine Awards has successfully achieved carboNZero certification.

This means that the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the event have been measured and reduced, and the remaining unavoidable emissions have been offset by purchasing verified carbon credits from credible New Zealand projects.

AIR NEW ZEALAND WINE AWARDS 2009 TROPHY WINNERS

Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Trophy
Julicher Pinot Noir 2008

Bell Gully Champion Sustainable Wine Trophy
Olssens Annieburn Riesling 2009

JF Hillebrand New Zealand Ltd Champion Pinot Noir Trophy
Julicher Pinot Noir 2008

Label & Litho Champion Chardonnay Trophy
Villa Maria Reserve Barrique Chardonnay 2007

O-I New Zealand Champion Sauvignon Blanc Trophy
Catalina Sounds Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009

BDO Champion Other White Styles & Rosé Trophy
Church Road Reserve Viognier 2007

Fairfax Media Champion Open Red Wine Trophy
Waipara Hills Southern Cross Selection Central Otago Pinot Noir 2008

Fruitfed Supplies Champion Syrah Trophy
Coopers Creek SV Hawkes Bay Syrah Chalk Ridge 2008

LatitudeGT Champion Pinot Gris Trophy
Couper’s Shed Pinot Gris 2009

Newstalk ZB Champion Other Red Styles Trophy
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Tempranillo 2008

New World Champion Open White Wine Trophy
Forrest The Doctors’ Riesling 2009

New Zealand Winegrowers Champion Gewurztraminer Trophy
Johanneshof Cellars Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2009

New Zealand Winegrowers Champion Merlot Trophy
Villa Maria Reserve Merlot 2007

Plant & Food Research Champion Riesling Trophy
Esk Valley Marlborough Riesling 2009

Rabobank Champion Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot/Cabernet Blend Trophy
Mills Reef Elspeth Cabernet Merlot 2007

Stuff.co.nz Champion Sparkling Wine Trophy
Deutz Marlborough Cuvee Blanc de Blancs 2006

Wineworks Champion Dessert Wine Trophy
Farmgate Noble Harvest Riesling 2007

Corbans Viticulture Champion Exhibition White or Sparkling Wine Trophy
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2006

Kapiti Champion Exhibition Red Wine Trophy
Georgetown Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007

PURE ELITE GOLD MEDALS

Olssens Annieburn Riesling 2009
R.S.V.P. Crosse Vineyard Marlborough Riesling 2008

ELITE GOLD MEDALS

Gewurztraminer
Johanneshof Cellars Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2009
Waimea Nelson Gewurztraminer 2008

Riesling
Bouldevines Riesling 2009
Esk Valley Marlborough Riesling 2009
Forrest The Doctors' Riesling 2009
Vic Williams Selection Classic Marlborough Riesling 2008

Sauvignon Blanc
Catalina Sounds Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 19 Bird Block Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 3 43 Degrees Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Waimea Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Wairau River Home Block Sauvignon Blanc 2007

Chardonnay
Coopers Creek Gisborne Chardonnay Unoaked 2008
John Forrest Collection Chardonnay 2004
Mudbrick Vineyard Reserve Chardonnay 2008
Te Awa Chardonnay 2007
Villa Maria Reserve Barrique Chardonnay 2007
Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2008
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2006
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Chardonnay 2006

Viognier
Church Road Reserve Viognier 2007

Dessert Wine Styles
Farmgate Noble Harvest Riesling 2007
Margrain Botrytis Riesling 2009

Pinot Noir
Fairmont Estate Pinot Noir 2008
Georgetown Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007
Greystone Waipara Pinot Noir 2008
Julicher 99 Rows Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2008
Julicher Pinot Noir 2008
Villa Maria Reserve Pinot Noir 2007
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Pinot Noir 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends based on Merlot and/or Cabernet Sauvignon
Mills Reef Elspeth Cabernet Merlot 2007
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels The Gimblett 2007

Syrah
Church Road Reserve Syrah 2008
Coopers Creek SV Hawkes Bay Syrah Chalk Ridge 2008
Corbans Cottage Block Hawke's Bay Syrah 2007
Mills Reef Elspeth Syrah 2007
Vidal Hawkes Bay Syrah 2007