2015 Spiegelau International Wine Competition Winners Announced


83 Gold Medal Wines were awarded at the 2015 Spiegelau International Wine Competition.

6.5% of all wines entered were awarded a gold medal at last week’s Spiegelau International Wine Competition, resulting in 83 wines receiving a score of 18.5 or more out of 20. There were 248 silver medals and 519 bronze also awarded.

Commenting on the results, Chair of Judges, Mike DeGaris concluded, “Judging in varietal-specific glasses, which is unique to this show, tends to give a stronger result.” He continued, “The terrific 2013 vintage really shone through especially for Hawkes Bay Syrah, while the Pinot Noirs offered ripe fruit and good structure. The Chardonnays were really well put together and overall, were better balanced.”

Guest International Judge, writer and author Tyson Stelzer of Australia said, “Pinot Noir and
Chardonnay were standout classes. The Pinot Noirs that my panel tasted were strong and the top wines showed finesse and grace”. He continued, “Of the chardonnays, the highlights displayed finesse and character. The sparkling wines displayed a wide disparity of calibre, with the top wines defined by elegance, freshness and bottle-aged complexity”.

The three day event ended with a public auction to sell bottles that had not been required during the judging process. Proceeds, in excess of some $20,000, will be made available through the Cresswell Jackson New Zealand Wine Trust in the form of grants and scholarships designed to enhance the success of the New Zealand wine industry.

Trophies will be announced and presented along with the gold medals at the awards dinner being held in Auckland on Friday 7 August.

For more information visit http://www.spiegelauiwc.co.nz/

The Gabriel Glass – One Glass for all Wines

So you have this great bottle of wine you’ve been saving for ages, for a very special occasion. You go to your wine glass cupboard, but then comes the tough decision – which wine glass should you use to get the most pleasure from that special bottle of wine once opened?

wine-glasses-selectionThere’s a myriad of wine glass styles and shapes, available from glassware manufacturers. Each promotes the special characteristics of their own range of glasses, to enhance the delivery of the bouquet to the nose and the flavours and textures to the palate, but which is best?

It can also be a bit expensive if you wish to have a selection of glasses for each wine – one glass for Pinot Noir, another for Chardonnay, others for Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Syrah, Aromatics… Which brand should I get? How much should I spend?

Gabriel Glass Tasting 1

Is there really any benefit in using ‘grape specific’ glasses? The general consensus is yes, a wine-specific glass can, and does enhance the wine tasting experience. I’ve tried many glasses in my wine lifetime, from a number of great brands and I have to say that although I was skeptical in my early “wine formative” years, I now know from experience that it is true. Try a comparative tasting with different shaped glasses and see what you think! There are tutored tastings from time to time with some of the best wine glass manufacturers which I can recommend you participate in – it’s a great learning experience too!

Any Way – what if there was one all-round glass that delivered a great wine tasting experience with all wines; red or white, sweet or dry? “What’s more important to you – a cupboard full of glasses or a cellar full of wine?

Well, there is a new fine lead-free Austrian crystal wine glass now available in New Zealand; Martinborough’s Schubert Wines have been appointed exclusive importer of The Gabriel Glass© and thanks to Martina at Schubert, I have had a chance to try them out.

gabrielRené Gabriel, a renowned wine writer from Switzerland has designed the ultimate wine experience – for him every little detail counts. “The secret is the Bouquet drive at the bottom of the glass that enhances the development of the aroma. The slightly conical glass design concentrates the bouquet regardless of white, red or sweet wines.”

It’s a fine delicate tulip shaped glass that looks and feels elegant! I grabbed a nice red from the wine rack and tried a comparative tasting with 3 other glasses: an XL5 tasting glass, one of our day-to-day glasses and a Burgundy / Pinot Noir Glass. The wine was a 2012 Calmel & Joseph Cotes de Roussillon Village – Syrah / Grenache / Carignan (Cheers Ray – you know who you are!) Nice wine too thanks!

CompareI went back and forth from glass to glass but kept coming back to the Gabriel Glass; it was a vast improvement on both the XL5 and the day-to-day glass for enhancing the bouquet and delivering the wine to the palate – there was a slight improvement on the Burgundy glass – ever so slight but I do like the lightness, and elegance of the Gabriel Glass – lovely to hold and nice to drink from. I shall try it again with a white wine as well, and I think it may very well be my ‘Go-To’ glass from now on. I would recommend that you grab one or two and try it for yourself – you may be pleasantly surprised.

single_out_of_boxTo find out more about these glasses or order some, feel free to contact Schubert Wines by email: info@gabrielglass.co.nz
or visit their website: www.gabrielglass.co.nz

Schubert Wines Limited
The Official Distributor of -The Gabriel Glass© in New Zealand
57 Cambridge Road
New Zealand
Tel: +64 (0)6 3068505
Fax: +64 (0)6 3068506

Toi Toi Marlborough Awarded Best Sauvignon Blanc


Click Here to find out more...2014 has been recognized as the top of its class, being awarded Best Sauvignon Blanc at the prestigious San Francisco International Wine Competition 2015.

Judged by a respected panel of wine experts, the San Francisco International Wine Competition is the largest, most influential wine competition in America. Over three days last week more than 50 international judges, including two from New Zealand, blind tasted more than 4,900 wines from 1,400 wineries in 26 countries to find the best of the best.

Toi Toi Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 scored the highest points of any Sauvignon Blanc entered in the San Francisco Competition, collecting the title of Best Sauvignon Blanc and being awarded a Double Gold Medal.

Two other Toi Toi wines achieved success in the San Francisco International Wine Competition: Toi Toi Central Otago Clutha Pinot Noir 2014 was awarded a Silver Medal and the company’s innovative new Hidden Treasure Marlborough Pink Sauvignon 2014 won a Silver Medal.

These awards came in the same week Toi Toi collected two awards at the 2015 Selections Mondiales des Vins (SMV) Championship, in Québec. Judges there tasted 2,151 wines, only giving accolades to the top 30% of entries. Toi Toi collected two awards; a Gold Medal for its Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 and a Silver Medal for Toi Toi Marlborough Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2013.

Toi Toi Wines
Toi Toi Wines was established in 2006 by New Zealand couples; Andrew and Julie Bonner and Kevin and Sara Joyce. They create quality, affordable wines which reflect the natural beauty and intensity of New Zealand, particularly Marlborough and Central Otago. The wines are exported around the world including to; Australia, the UK and USA. The Toi Toi collection includes; Sparkling Rosé, Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Late Harvest Dessert wine. This year the company added an innovative new wine Hidden Treasure Pink Sauvignon 2014 – Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with a dash of Pinot Noir.

Toi Toi Wines are widely available throughout New Zealand and Australia.

For further information contact:
Nicola McConnell, Brand Amp, Nicola@brandamp.co.nz or 027 218 8120

Organic Vines Shine in Side-by-Side Trial

Press release: Organic Vines Shine in Side-by-Side Trial
The final results of a groundbreaking three-year national organic grapegrowing trial are in – and the organic vines have come out shining.

About the project

Gibbston Valley Wines – Central Otago

In the Organic Focus Vineyard Project, three vineyards in different wine regions were transitioned to organic production while their wine industry peers watched every move. Scientific technicians and vineyard managers monitored the outcomes, from soil health to grape yields and wine quality. Half of each vineyard was left under conventional management as a comparison.

The three-year trial was funded by the MPI Sustainable Farming Fund and New Zealand Winegrowers, in response to a major upsurge in organic wine production. Organic grapegrowing has been one of the fastest-growing organic industries in the country in recent years, as leading wineries seek to eliminate toxic chemical use and improve wine quality.

Mission Estate – Hawke’s Bay

The participating vineyards were chosen to represent a cross-section of different growing scenarios across New Zealand: Wither Hills in Marlborough, Mission Estate in Hawkes Bay and Gibbston Valley Wines in Central Otago.

The project was initiated by grower organisation Organic Winegrowers New Zealand. “We’ve seen so many vineyards go organic in recent years, but all of the information and learning was anecdotal,” said project coordinator Rebecca Reider. “We undertook this project to blaze a trail for others to follow, and to give everyone in the industry a closer look at the true costs and benefits involved.”

Throughout the trial, local winegrowers in each region attended field days to witness and discuss the progress of the organic vineyards. A website shared organic practices and outcomes in real time.

The Results

The organic vineyards generally succeeded across the board. Once the trial was over, all of the involved wineries chose to maintain or expand their organic growing areas.

Wither Hills – Marlborough

Mission Estate had the most straightforward transition. Vineyard managers there discovered that they could grow organic grapes for less than it cost them to grow conventional grapes – with hardly any loss in yields, and no pest and disease problems.

Some blocks at the other vineyards needed more support through the organic transition, particularly to help compacted soils recover from years of agrichemical use. Still, participating vineyard managers and winemakers were highly satisfied with the results, on the vine and in the bottle.

“The project provided valuable practical recommendations on the organic conversion process,” said Jonathan Hamlet, chair of Organic Winegrowers New Zealand. “The monitoring results showed that excellent disease control was possible with organic management. A number of the blocks showed it was possible once organic management was established to have equivalent production costs. The trial showed that there can be challenges in achieving high yield targets, so a very proactive approach to nutrition and vigour management is needed. The feedback from the winemakers involved in the project was very positive about the quality of the organic wines.”

The final report from the project has just been released. A summary of results, and a downloadable PDF of the full report, are posted at http://www.organicfocusvineyard.com/2015/06/22/final-results/

For more information:
Rebecca Reider, Project manager
+64 27 359 4522

2015 Mission Estate Light Pinot Gris Released


Mission Estate is one of the first New Zealand wineries to kick off the 2015 vintage – with the release of its 2015 Mission Estate Light Pinot Gris.

Mission Estate 2015 Light Pinot Gris (Medium)This delicious wine that bursts with flavor contains 25% less alcohol than the standard Mission Estate Pinot Gris.

Since launching in 2014, the organically grown, naturally crafted, lighter in alcohol Mission Estate Pinot Gris has enjoyed rapid growth.

Winemaker, Paul Mooney, from Mission Estate, says: “There has been a booming trend for lifestyle wines as well as a greater consumer demand for lower alcohol varieties following the new alcohol laws – these factors have helped create a strong niche in the market place.”

“When we took the decision to create a lower alcohol wine, we weren’t prepared to compromise on the quality of the product – and wanted to create something that would still deliver on taste.”

“The grapes for our 2015 Mission Estate Light Pinot Gris are therefore harvested early and ferment naturally – creating a wine that is lighter in alcohol, yet still a crisp, beautifully balanced example of a classic Pinot Gris.”

Mission Estate Light Pinot Gris is available in selected supermarkets and liquor stores across New Zealand – RRP $15.99.

Prepared on behalf of Mission Estate Winery by the pr shop. For further information, please contact Lindsay Stanley, (09) 360 0385 or Lindsay@theprshop.co.nz.