A fantastic weekend of competition featuring some of New Zealand’s strongest wineries took place in Christchurch recently, at the New Zealand Aromatic Wine Competition and Canterbury Wine Competition.
Over 300 wines were judged over two days by a blind panel of international and national wine judges. Spy Valley Envoy Johnson Vineyard Riesling 2012 was named as Supreme Champion Wine in Show & Champion Riesling.
The judges’ tasting notes imply just why this Riesling deserved the top award, and why many will be putting it top of their summer wine list: Youthful and lively with crunchy acidity, aromas and flavours of lime, honey and an intriguing toasty note. This is a wine with presence and a great example of an aged Riesling.
Paul Bouergois, Spy Valley, is over the moon with the results. “We are extremely honoured. We sometimes refer to ourselves as the aromatic fanatics, so it means a lot. These results show the dedication and hard work of the vineyard and winery teams, and back our decision to plant those grapes all those years ago.”
Mr Harre said that the judges were thrilled with the overall standard of wine in both competitions. He said, “We again put together a very high calibre group of judges and from a judging point of view this is a highly anticipated competition, as the range of varieties, vintages and regions is alway outstanding and again exceeded expectation". They were impressed with the high quality of wines on offer in both competitions, awarding 34 golds, 65 silvers and 171 bronzes. “The blind judging process ensures quality wins out and the results list truly deserving acclamations.”
The Macvine Champion Canterbury Wine in Show was awarded to Torlesse Wines’ 2014 Omihi Road Gewürztraminer. Judges noted it as an ‘extremely well made Gewürztraminer with classic aromas of rose petal and Turkish delight this is an exotic and beguiling wine that shows the lush texture of this variety”.
Torlesse Wines pride themselves on the fact that they are 100% Estate grown, made and bottled on site, with the 2014 Omihi Road Gewurztraminer having already taken trophies and gold awards in various competitions.
Kym Rayner, Torlesse Wines, said “Our wine is a full flavoured rich and complex, Gewurztraminer needs some years in bottle to show its full potential so it is no surprise to us to see it gain Champion wine status. It is a wonderful match with stronger cheese, excellent with foie gras or pate and most discerning Asian restaurants have Gewurztraminer on their wine list.”
Also judged on October 14 was the New Zealand Winemaker of the Year. Jen Parr from Valli Vineyards was the overall winner after she impressed the judges with a strong standard across three wines and her choice not to play it safe.
The Valli team were delighted with the win, noting Jen’s continued motivation for top quality produce. They said, “The Valli team are over the moon to see Jen being recognised for her talent, passion, and hard work. She exemplifies everything that we strive for and we are as proud today as we are every day to have her represent us.”
Parr, chose to enter the Valli Gibbston Pinot Noir 2016, Valli “The Real McCoy” Orange Wine Pinot Gris 2017, Valli Waitaki Riesling 2018.
“The wines entered into this competition came from Gibbston and Waitaki, two of the smallest and coldest growing areas in NZ. Winemaking is a team endeavour, from the people who carefully tend our vines to the small team who meticulously care for the wines and the people who ensure our wines give a rewarding experience to our customers. We are inspired by owner, Grant Taylor, who delivers us impeccable grapes even in the most challenging vintages and empowers us to craft great wines that sing of their origins. Receiving this recognition from a team of very experienced judges is both humbling and extremely rewarding.”