Pinot Noir strikes gold at 2010 Air New Zealand Wine Awards

10 November 2010

  • Record number of gold medals awarded at 2010 Air New Zealand Wine Awards
  • 40 per cent of gold medals are awarded to 100 per cent sustainable wines
  • Pinot Noir receives 32 gold medals and more than twice as many gold medals as any other varietal
  • Quality of wines entered continues to be high standard, Chair of Judges says

107 gold medals have been awarded at this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards – the highest in the Awards’ history and up five from the 102 awarded last year.

Today’s announcement follows last week’s three days of judging and precedes a gala dinner on Saturday 20 November in Auckland, where the sought-after trophies, and elite gold medal winners will be announced.

Pinot Noir received the most gold medals for the third year in a row (32), the most ever awarded for this varietal, followed by Sauvignon Blanc (14) and Chardonnay (14).

New Zealand Winegrowers’ global marketing director Chris Yorke is delighted with the number and quality of gold medal-winning wines this year.

“The quality of Pinot Noir entries is exceptional in this year’s Awards. It’s very exciting to see Pinot Noir going from strength to strength, and growing in its significance and standing – reflected by almost one third of gold medals being Pinot Noir.

“The quality of sustainable wines entered is also very exciting as reflected in the high number of pure gold medals awarded.”

From this year, wines grown and entered from the 2010 vintage onwards had to be 100 per cent sustainably produced in both the vineyard and winery. This only applied to wines entered from the 2010 vintage. The introduction of the new criteria led to an increase of almost 140 per cent in sustainable entries over last year – moving from 261 to 621.

Pure medals were introduced in 2007 to acknowledge medal-winning wines that are 100 per cent sustainably grown and produced.

Of the gold medals awarded this year, almost 40 per cent (39.2) are pure gold medals.

“In addition, 13 of the 14 gold medals in the Sauvignon Blanc class are pure gold medals,” Mr Yorke said.

Organised and owned by New Zealand Winegrowers, the Air New Zealand Wine Awards is the country’s most prestigious wine competition, and regarded as the official competition of the New Zealand wine industry. This year’s competition saw 1,579 wines entered from ten key wine growing regions. In addition to the 107 gold medals, 197 silver medals and 384 bronze medals were also awarded.

“The Air New Zealand Wine Awards medal sticker is a well-established sign of quality and guides wine buying decisions in New Zealand and overseas. When people see the gold medal sticker, they know they’re buying an outstanding wine,” Mr Yorke said.

VARIETAL AND REGIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
For the third year in a row, Pinot Noir was the varietal that received the most gold medals with 32 this year. Pinot Noir also received 50 silver medals and 81 bronze medals.

The Marlborough region received the most medals totalling 304 including 47 gold medals, 85 silver medals and 172 bronze medals. Hawke’s Bay received 151 medals in total with 23 gold medals, 39 silver medals and 89 bronze medals. Otago received 101 medals in total with 17 gold medals, 31 silver medals and 53 bronze medals.

Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling featured prominently in this year’s awards as well as the emerging Syrah and Pinot Gris classes. 

JUDGES' COMMENTS
Chair of judges Steve Smith (MW) said the entries in this year’s competition were of the highest standard across a wide range of varietals.

“We continue to be able to produce wine of exceptional quality and while the Pinot Noir class is the highlight for many, we have a number of wines from other varietals that will turn heads,” Mr Smith said.

AWARDS DINNER
Air New Zealand Wine Awards dinner and results
The trophy results will be available after the Awards dinner on Saturday 20 November 2010. New Zealand Winegrowers and Air New Zealand will host around 750 guests at Auckland’s SKYCITY at a black-tie gala dinner.

Guests will taste the trophy wines accompanied by a six-course menu designed by some of New Zealand’s best chefs. Using local Auckland produce and focusing on Pacific influences, the menu is 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.

RESULTS

2010 Air New Zealand Wine Awards Gold Medals by varietal
Sparkling – 3
Gewürztraminer – 3
Pinot Gris – 7
Riesling – 12
Sauvignon Blanc – 14
Chardonnay – 14
Viognier – 2
Dessert Wine Styles – 5
Rosé – 1
Pinot Noir – 32
Merlot – 3
Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends based on Merlot and/or Cabernet Sauvignon – 3
Syrah – 7
Other Red Varieties, Unspecified or Blended Reds – 1
Total – 107

2010 Air New Zealand Wine Awards Gold Medals by region
Auckland – 3
Gisborne – 2
Hawke's Bay – 23
Wellington / Wairarapa – 5
Nelson – 5
Marlborough – 47
Canterbury – 5
Otago – 17
Total – 107


Pure Medals
Pure medals acknowledge medal-winning wines that are 100 per cent sustainably grown and produced. The medals include Pure Elite Gold, Pure Gold, Pure Silver and Pure Bronze. The Pure Elite Gold and Pure Gold medal winning wines compete for the Champion Sustainable Wine Trophy.

Gold medal-winning wines
The gold medal-winning wines below will compete for 19 Air New Zealand Wine Awards trophies. Pure gold medal winners will also compete for the Champion Sustainable Wine Trophy. All trophy winners and elite gold medal winners will be announced at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards dinner on Saturday 20 November 2010.


Sparkling Wine
Gold
Hawkesbridge Marlborough Méthode Traditionnelle 2007
Margrain La Michelle 2007
The Sounds Marlborough Méthode Traditionnelle 2007

Gewürztraminer
Pure Gold
Forrest The Valleys Wairau Gewürztraminer 2010
Waimea Nelson Gewürztraminer 2010
Gold
West Brook Marlborough Gewürztraminer 2009

Pinot Gris
Pure Gold
Brancott Estate Living Land Series Marlborough Pinot Gris 2010
Distant Land Marlborough Pinot Gris 2010
Domain Road Vineyard Central Otago Pinot Gris 2010
Halo Marlborough Pinot Gris 2009
Mud House Estate The Home Block Vineyard Waipara Valley Pinot Gris 2010
Gold
Golden Hills Estates Nelson Pinot Gris 2009
Tinpot Hut Marlborough Pinot Gris 2009

Riesling
Pure Gold
Johanneshof Cellars Marlborough Riesling 2010
Tupari Awatere Valley Dry Riesling 2010
Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Dry Riesling 2010
Gold
Coopers Creek Marlborough Riesling 2009
Esk Valley Marlborough Riesling 2009
Greystone Waipara Riesling 2009
Julicher Martinborough Riesling 2008
Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Riesling 2007
Peregrine Central Otago Riesling 2008
Sanctuary Marlborough Riesling 2009
Spring Creek Estate Marlborough Riesling 2009
Waimea Nelson Classic Riesling 2009

Sauvignon Blanc
Pure Gold
Boundary Vineyards Rapaura Road Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Brancott Estate Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Clark Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Framingham Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Greystone Waipara Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Highfield Lone Gum Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Jules Taylor Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Lake Chalice Raptor Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Lowlands Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Opawa Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 3 '43' Degrees Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Satellite Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010
SOHO Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Gold
Brancott Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009

Rabobank Champion Chardonnay
Pure Gold
Gibbston Valley Reserve Central Otago Chardonnay 2009
Mission Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2009
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Auckland Chardonnay 2009
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2009
Gold
Clearview Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2009
Corbans Cottage Block Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2009
Mount Riley Seventeen Valley Marlborough Chardonnay 2009Villa Maria Reserve Gisborne Barrique Fermented Chardonnay 2007
Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2008
Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2009
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Auckland Chardonnay 2008
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2007
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Marlborough Chardonnay 2009
West Brook Waimauku Estate Chardonnay 2008

Other White and Rosé Wines
Pure Gold
The Millton Vineyard Riverpoint Vineyard Gisborne Viognier 2009
Tussock Nelson Pinot Rosé 2010
Gold
Waimea Nelson Viognier 2009

Pinot Noir
Pure Gold
Akarua Central Otago Reserve Pinot Noir 2009
Amisfield Central Otago Pinot Noir 2008
Bald Hills Central Otago Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
Bird Pinot Noir Old Schoolhouse Vineyard Marlborough 2009
Gibbston Valley China Terrace Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009
Gibbston Valley Schoolhouse Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009
Mondillo Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009
Nautilus Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009
Olssens Slapjack Creek Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009
Palliser Estate Martinborough Pinot Noir 2008
Thornbury Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009
Waipara Hills Equinox Waipara Pinot Noir 2009
Gold
Allan Scott Family Winemakers Hounds Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009
Allan Scott Family Winemakers Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009
Black Quail Estate Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009
Delegat Reserve Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009
Domain Road Vineyard Central Otago Pinot Noir 2008
Durvillea Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009
Esk Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir 2008
Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Pinot Noir 2008
Growers Mark Anderson Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009
Lowburn Ferry Home Block Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009
Matahiwi Holly Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2008
Pencarrow Martinborough Pinot Noir 2009
Peregrine Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 15 Strip Block Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009
Stoneleigh Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Pinot Noir 2008
Waipara Hills Waipara Pinot Noir 2009
Wild Earth Vineyards Central Otago Pinot Noir 2008

Merlot
Pure Gold
Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Merlot 2008
Gold
Black Barn Vineyards Reserve Hawkes Bay Merlot 2009
Church Road Cuve Hawkes Bay Merlot 2007

Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot/Cabernet Blend
Gold
Coopers Creek SV Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2007
Left Field Hawkes Bay Merlot Malbec 2009
Newton Forrest Cornerstone Hawkes Bay Cabernet Merlot Malbec 2007

Syrah
Gold
Church Road Hawkes Bay Syrah 2009
Esk Valley Winemakers Hawkes Bay Syrah 2007
Mission Estate Hawkes Bay Syrah 2009
Selaks Winemaker's Favourite Hawkes Bay Syrah 2009
Squawking Magpie "The Stoned Crow" Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Syrah 2008
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Syrah 2008
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Syrah 2008

Other Red Styles
Gold
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Tempranillo 2008

Dessert Wine
Gold
Allan Scott Family Winemakers Late Harvest Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008
Elephant Hill Hawkes Bay Rania 2009
Forrest Botrytised Marlborough Riesling 2009
Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Late Harvest Gewürztraminer 2007
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Noble Viognier 2009

For more information on the international judges, please click here