Quality of wine shines through at Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2013

13 November 2013

Quality of wine shines through at Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2013

New Zealand wineries have again impressed judges at this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards with wines of outstanding quality making up the 111 gold medal winners.

Pinot Noir was the strongest performer, winning 22 gold medals, while 20 gold medals were awarded for Sauvignon Blanc and 17 for Chardonnay.

The aromatics classes, consisting of Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Viognier and Albariño, also shone in this year’s competition, bagging a total of 25 gold medals. The judges were impressed by the sparkling class, which was awarded 19 medals, including six gold.

Chair of Judges, Michael Brajkovich MW, said New Zealand winemakers are producing world-class wines across an exciting and diverse range of varieties.

“The bar is always being raised in the Air New Zealand Wine Awards and this year is no exception,” Michael says. “The wines in this competition seem to improve year on year, and this year there were some truly outstanding entries. It's a good reflection of the evolution of the New Zealand wine sector”.

This year's competition saw 1,379 wines entered across 16 different classes. A total of 655 medals were awarded – 111 gold, 196 silver and 348 bronze. New Zealand’s largest wine-producing region, Marlborough, led the way in the gold medal count this year with its wines winning 55 gold medals. One hundred and nine silver and 180 bronze medals were also awarded to Marlborough wines, bringing the region’s total medal tally to 344.

Hawke's Bay also had a strong showing with a total of 117 medals – 22 gold, 39 silver and 56 bronze. Central Otago won 82 medals –18 gold, 21 silver and 43 bronze.

Organised and owned by New Zealand Winegrowers, the Air New Zealand Wine Awards competition is well known for its rigorous judging process. It is considered the country's most prestigious wine competition and is regarded as the official competition of the New Zealand wine industry.

This year the judging panel consisted of 26 judges. They included two international judges, US wine writer Dan Berger and Swedish Master of Wine Madeleine Stenwreth, and 13 senior judges.
“The success of any wine competition really revolves around the quality of the people you have judging, and we are blessed to have the very best people,” Michael says.

The elite gold medal and trophy winners will be announced at an awards dinner on the 23rd of November in Queenstown.

Gold medals by varietal
Sparkling 6
Gewürztraminer 2
Pinot Gris 9
Riesling 12
Sauvignon Blanc 20
Chardonnay 17
Viognier 1
Dessert Wine Styles 6
Rosé 2
Pinot Noir 22
Merlot, Cabernet and Blends 7
Syrah 5
Albariño 1
Malbec 1
Total 111

Gold medals by region
Auckland 1
Gisborne 2
Hawke's Bay 22
Wellington / Wairarapa 2
Nelson 3
Marlborough 55
Canterbury 4
Otago 18
Other 4
Total 111

The following lists gold medal winners and the trophies they are eligible for at the awards dinner on the 23rd of November:

Label and Litho Limited Champion Sauvignon Blanc
Pure Gold
Boundary Vineyards Rapaura Road Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Clark Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Corbans Homestead Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Giesen The Brothers Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Kuru Kuru Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Rossendale Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 2 Swamp Block Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Saint Clair Vicar's Choice Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Stoneleigh Latitude Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Sauvignon Blanc 2013
te Pā Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Wairau River Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Rabobank New Zealand Limited Champion Chardonnay
Pure Gold
Coopers Creek SV Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 'The Limeworks' 2012
Dashwood Chardonnay 2012
Goldwater Chardonnay 2012
HALO Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2012
Nautilus Estate Chardonnay 2012
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 10 Twin Hills Chardonnay 2012
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 11 Cell Block Chardonnay 2012
Vavasour Chardonnay 2012
Vidal Reserve Series Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2012
Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2012

Guala Closures NZ Champion Pinot Gris
Pure Gold
Lake Chalice Marlborough Pinot Gris 2013
Mount Riley Pinot Gris 2013
Mud House South Island Pinot Gris 2012
Sanctuary Pinot Gris 2013
Tohu Pinot Gris 2013
Torea Wines Pinot Gris 2012
Two Tracks Pinot Gris 2012
Wairau River Pinot Gris 2013

Plant & Food Research Champion Riesling
Pure Gold
Corbans Homestead Riesling 2012
Giesen Riesling 2013
Highfield Riesling 2012
Hunter's Marlborough Riesling 2013
Riverby Estate Marlborough Eliza Riesling 2012
Terrace Edge Liquid Geography Riesling 2012
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Dry Riesling 2013
Waimea Classic Riesling 2013

ICIB Gold Medal Insurance Champion Gewürztraminer
No gold medals awarded

BDO Champion Other White Styles and Rosé
Pure Gold
Coopers Creek SV Gisborne Albariño 'Bell-Ringer' 2013
Kate Radburnd Berry Blush Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2013
Julicher Rosé 2013

Wineworks Champion Sparkling Wine
Pure Gold
Akarua Brut NV
Akarua Rosé Brut NV
Gold
Nautilus Cuvée Brut NV
Palliser Méthode Traditionelle 2008

Stuff.co.nz Champion Dessert Wine
Pure Gold
A Sticky End Noble Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Riverby Estate Noble Riesling 2012
Seifried Winemakers Collection Sweet Agnes Riesling 2012
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Noble Semillon Botrytis Selection 2011

JF Hillebrand New Zealand Ltd Champion Pinot Noir
Pure Gold
Akarua Pinot Noir 2011
Archangel Pinot Noir 2012
Davishon Pinot Noir 2011
Domain Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
Gibbston Valley Pinot Noir 2012
Gibbston Valley School House Pinot Noir 2012
Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012
Greystone Waipara Valley Pinot Noir 2012
Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2012
Mount Michael Bessie's Block Pinot Noir 2012
Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012
Mud House Estate Claim 431 Pinot Noir 2012
Ribbonwood Pinot Noir 2012
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 5 Bull Block Pinot Noir 2012
The Ned Pinot Noir 2012
Thistle Ridge Waipara Valley Pinot Noir 2012
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Seddon Pinot Noir 2012
Wither Hills Pinot Noir 2011
Wooing Tree Beetle Juice 2012
Wooing Tree Pinot Noir 2012

Fruitfed Supplies Limited Champion Syrah
Pure Gold
Elephant Hill Syrah 2012
Passage Rock Wines Reserve Syrah 2012

Coast FM Champion Merlot, Cabernet and Blends
Pure Gold
Church Road McDonald Series Merlot 2011
Esk Valley Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2012
Trinity Hill The Gimblett 2012
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2010

Fairfax Media Champion Other Red Styles
No gold medals awarded

New World Champion Open White Wine
Pure Gold
Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Giesen Riesling 2013
Giesen The Brothers Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Hunter's Marlborough Riesling 2013
Lake Chalice Marlborough Pinot Gris 2013
Mount Riley Pinot Gris 2013
Mud House South Island Pinot Gris 2012
Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Rossendale Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Saint Clair Vicar's Choice Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Sanctuary Pinot Gris 2013
Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2013
te Pā Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Liquorland Champion Open Red Wine
Pure Gold
Church Road McDonald Series Merlot 2011
Esk Valley Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2012
Gibbston Valley Pinot Noir 2012
Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012
Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2012
Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012
Trinity Hill The Gimblett 2012
Wither Hills Pinot Noir 2011
Wooing Tree Pinot Noir 2012

Waitoa Free Range Chicken Champion Exhibition White or Sparkling Wine
Pure Gold
17 Valley Chardonnay 2011
Allan Scott Family Winemakers Late Harvest Riesling 2013
Ashwood Estate Gisborne Chardonnay 2010
Askerne Gewürztraminer 2013
Ceres Composition Pinot Gris 2012
Fairhall Downs Hugo Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Kim Crawford Small Parcels Methode 2009
Mount Riley Gewürztraminer 2013
Ponder Olive Grove Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Rockburn Tigermoth Riesling 2012
Spinyback Riesling 2013
Te Awa Chardonnay 2010
The Fuder Single Vineyard Selection Clayvin Chardonnay 2011
The Fuder Single Vineyard Selection Dillons Point Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2011
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Dry Riesling 2010
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2012
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Omahu Gravels Viognier 2010
Wairau River Reserve Botrytised Riesling 2012
West Brook Riesling 2012
Julicher Rosé 2013
Gold
Daniel Le Brun Vintage 2008
Waipara Springs Premo Old Vine Chardonnay 2005

Business World Travel Champion Exhibition Red Wine
Pure Gold
Church Road Grand Reserve Syrah 2011
Crossroads Winemakers Collection Cabernet Merlot 2011
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Hawkes Bay Syrah 2010
Greylands Ridge Pinot Noir 2012
Newton Forrest Syrah 2011
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Malbec 2009
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Merlot 2010
Gold
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Gimblett Gravels Merlot Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 2009