Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc named Top Drop

A Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc was named the Supreme Champion Wine in Show at the International Aromatic Wine Competition recently.

Judging Glasses_LoThe Marlborough Sounds Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015 beat 340 other entries to take the top spot. The Competition, now in its thirteenth year is run in conjunction with the Canterbury A&P Show.

The winemaker, Jeremy McKenzie is the chief winemaker for Pinnacle NZ and Isabel Estate in Marlborough. Mr McKenzie said that the wine will be available in market around Christmas time in New Zealand and Australia. The wine is described as a powerful Wairau Valley Sauvignon Blanc made in a distinctive Marlborough style with aromas of passionfruit skin, boxwood and gooseberry with a lovely salty edge.

Mr McKenzie has worked extensively as a winemaker around the world and was an award-winning Senior Marlborough Winemaker for Villa Maria Estate. He was delighted with the win in a hotly contested category:

“It’s always an honour to win a sauvignon blanc trophy as the varietal is such a focal point in New Zealand winemaking and then to take out the Supreme Award on top of that was just fantastic.”

Terry Copeland_Lo

Terry Copeland

Chairman of Judges Terry Copeland was impressed with the quality of wine entered in the 2015 competition.

“The winning wine displayed such elegance and concentration, both hallmarks of the 2015 Sauvignon Blanc vintage from Marlborough, and a worthy winner that should do well in other shows to come.

“2015 is shaping up to be a very good vintage for aromatic wines – there is really good structure and finesse. It’s very positive to see wines of one to two years of age also showing strongly which sends a message to consumers that you don’t just have to drink wine from the current year.

“Compared to other years, the judges saw wine made at the highest level across more styles per grape variety which shows how the New Zealand wine industry is maturing.”

Mr Copeland said that rose wines were accepted for the first time this year.

“It was fantastic to have the aromatic rose classes in the Competition this year. The wine showed a lot of serious grape growing and winemaking for this style, giving consumers a real choice this summer.”

He also noted that a lighter alcohol wine received a gold medal – a relatively rare occurrence.

“Often light alcohol wines are not well rewarded in wine competitions so it’s really pleasing to see the quality of the Clark Estate Riesling Block 8 2015 coming through.”

Jack Glover Back_Jim Harre Front_Lo

L to R – Jack Glover & Jim Harre

Mr Copeland led a panel of experienced judges for the rigorous testing process: Jack Glover (Accolade Wines), Kate Radburnd (CJ Pask Wines), Jim Harre (Senior Wine Judge and Consultant), Petter Evans (Sherwood Estate), Michael Bann (Spring Creek Winery Winemaker), Jane Boyle (Wine Consultant and judging panellist Cuisine Magazine).

Judges awarded seven trophies:

Supreme Champion Wine in Show and Champion Sauvignon Blanc
Marlborough Sounds Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Champion Riesling – Zephyr Riesling 2014

Champion Pinot Gris – Starborough Family Estate Pinot Gris 2015

Champion Gewurztraminer – Mud House Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2015

Champion Other Aromatic – Left Field Gisborne Albarino 2015

Champion Rose – Soho White Collection Pinot Noir Rose 2015.

Full results are available at

Judges also judged entries from the entrants for the New Zealand Young Winemaker of the Year Competition. Six young winemakers entered and the winner will be announced during the Canterbury A&P Show.

All medal winning wines will be on display at the 2015 Canterbury A&P Show in the Food & Wine NZ Pavilion. The Canterbury A&P Show will be held Wednesday 11 to Friday 13 November at Canterbury Agricultural Park in Christchurch. It is the largest A&P Show in the country attracting over 100,000 people and over 6000 livestock, equestrian and feature competition entries.

For more information:
Nicola Henderson
Marketing Manager
TDM Events for the Canterbury A&P Show
03 343 2013 | 0274609230

New World Wine Awards Reveal Reasons To Take Another Look At Riesling

Among the record number of medals awarded at this year’s New World Wine Awards, the unsung hero varietal this year is Riesling. Of the 47 Rieslings entered, 38 won a medal with 35 of these coming from New Zealand vineyards.

“Riesling is a varietal that is often considered unfashionable and is one that people tend to ignore. But it’s the wine that winemakers drink and deserves more attention especially given the relative quality for the price per bottle and the cellaring potential as a wine that ages very well,” says Jim Harré, chair of the judging panel.

A full range of varietals were entered in the awards, with 1,309 wines entered overall. The 13-strong independent panel of wine experts who judged the wines, using the same internationally recognised points system as all other major wine shows, awarded 805 medals overall, including 86 Gold, 236 Silver and 483 Bronze medals. The best wines in each category were then re-tasted to determine the Champion wine of each key varietal, and the overall Champion Red and Champion White.

NWWA - 2015 Champion Wines

Champion Chardonnay and Champion White Wine
Wolf Blass Gold Label Chardonnay 2013

Champion Shiraz & Syrah and Champion Red Wine
Kirrihill Regional Range Clare Valley Shiraz 2014

Champion Sparkling Wine
Hunter’s MiruMiruTM NV (Marlborough)

Champion Sauvignon Blanc
Rapaura Springs Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Champion Pinot Noir
Peter Yealands Reserve Marlborough Pinot Noir 2014

Champion Pinot Gris
The Luminary Martinborough Pinot Gris 2014

Champion Aromatic Wine
Cicada Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2014

Champion Rosé
Arrogant Frog Ribet Pink Syrah Rosé 2014

Champion Single Varietal Reds & Blends
Coopers Creek SV Hawkes Bay Merlot/Malbec ‘Metals and Gravels’ 2013

“The quality of wines entered overall was outstanding, and it was great to see New Zealand wines continue to perform so well, including winning six out of the nine varietal Champion awards. This further reinforces the local wine industry’s growing recognition of the credibility and value of the New World Wine Awards, which is unique in its focus on wines that are both affordable and widely available,” says Mr Harré.

In order to be eligible for entry to the New World Wine Awards the wines entered must retail for $25 or less and there must be at least 5,000 bottles available for sale through New World’s 137 supermarkets nationwide. This ensures the award-winning wines are more accessible than is often the case for other wine awards.

The awards results are eagerly anticipated by consumers as is reflected by sales of the New World Wine Awards medal-winning wines. In the first six weeks of the 2014 results being announced, 282,000 bottles of the ‘Top 50’ wines with a retail value of $4.2 million flew off New World supermarket shelves.

“Shopping habits are changing and more people are choosing to purchase their wine as part of their weekly grocery shop. Customers can have confidence that in choosing a wine that has won gold at the New World Wine Awards it is of the same quality as other gold medal wines, but is guaranteed to cost them less than $25. This gives people a great chance to try varieties they wouldn’t normally choose, such as Riesling,” says Mr Harré.

Video clips of the judging process, food and wine matches, and the full results of the New World Wine Awards 2015 are available at:

For further information, interviews or images, please contact:
Louise Nolan on 022 6922 752 or

Tongue in Groove Wines from Waipara (Tasting Notes)

Three fabulous wines from the innovative team of six friends at Tongue in Groove Wines in Waipara, Canterbury… Forgot I had these until recently finding the box in the garage, and it’s  proved to be worth the wait – tasted the Riesling a while back and now the Pinots have passed my lips too. Very impressed.

Tongue in Groove

Tongue in Groove

Tongue in Groove Riesling Waipara 2011
Bright gold, wonderful nose of citrus and honey, succulent intense flavours of citrus, grapefruit and stone-fruit, soft acidity balanced with very moreish fruit finish.

Tongue in Groove Pinot Noir Waipara 2011
Deep crimson red in the glass, complex nose of cherries and spice –  red berries and plum on the palate – beautifully textured with balance and elegance – a rich and powerful wine.

Tongue in Groove Pinot Noir Waipara 2012
Plummy and herbal / forest notes on the nose / huge dark fruit, savoury spice, very fine tannins with subtle oak and a long and warming finish – far too young though!

I recommend that if you haven’t yet tried these, you ‘jolly well should’ – stunning wines – check out their cool website, the wee bios of each of the 6 friends – and buy some wine!

Follow them on  Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

For more information contact
Managing Director

Five Rieslings and Five Gold Medals for Forrest Wines

Five Rieslings’ and Five Gold Medals for Forrest Wines

Forrest Wines in Marlborough, New Zealand picked up five (5) gold medals at the recent New Zealand International Wine Show. One of New Zealand’s most recognised Riesling producers, and home to the most awarded Riesling in The Doctors’ Riesling, Forrest received gold medals for three vintages of its The Valleys Brancott Riesling; the 2007, 2009 and 2010 vintages, as well as a gold medal for the Forrest Dry Riesling 2007 and its John Forrest Collection Wairau Riesling 2007.

Winemaker and owner John Forrest says his enthusiasm for Riesling stems from his time in South Australia. Returning to New Zealand in 1988 he established vineyards in Marlborough and focused on Riesling. He produced his first Riesling in 1992, and now has Riesling planted in five vineyards around Marlborough, each with a differing terroir that produce five distinctively different styles from the bone dry to the super sweet Botrytised.

Always the innovator, John produced his first low-cropped, dry style Riesling in the early 90’s, when Riesling was still very much sweet and bag-in-the-box, and more recently has helped popularise the lower alcohol “Kabinett” style with his “The Doctors’ Riesling.

When asked why he has a fascination with Riesling John comments “I find Riesling the most satisfying wine to make; it expresses the terroir in which it grows more than any other grape, can be made successfully in a diversity of styles, drinks well when youthful then develops a whole new personality in adulthood”.

For further information please contact: Samantha Forrest on 027 9029328

Aromatic Wine Competition now accepting Reds and Rosés

Aromatic Wine Competition now accepting reds and rosés

The Canterbury A&P Show’s International Aromatic Wine Competition will accept red and rosé wines for the first time in 2015.

Entries are open for the competition which is now in its thirteenth year. The competition annually attracts around 400 entries across a variety of classes.

Chairman of Judges Terry Copeland said that the competition is open to all wines made in an aromatic style and the decision was made to accept red and rosé wines in 2015 to better reflect consumer demand.

“By extending the competition classes, we’re able to recognise that more and more consumers want aromatic styles and this has extended itself into the red and rosé spectrum. Winemakers are now making styles that are less encumbered with oak and are more concentrated on expressions of fruit character.

“It will be great to see how these reds in particular come through the competition and to see how the wine industry is responding to the challenges of meeting consumer demand.”

2014 Wine Judging - Petter Evans, Jim Harre, Sam Kim, Olly Masters

2014 Wine Judging – Petter Evans, Jim Harre, Sam Kim, Olly Masters

Marlborough vineyard Lawson’s Dry Hills took out the top spot in 2014, winning the Supreme Champion Wine in Show award with their 2013 Gewürztraminer.

All wines are judged on 26 and 27 September in Christchurch by Chairman of Judges Terry Copeland and a panel of internationally experienced judges: Jack Glover (Accolade Wines), Kate Radburnd (CJ Pask Wines), Jim Harre (Senior Wine Judge and Consultant), Petter Evans (Sherwood Estate), Sarah Burton (Brennan Wines), Jane Boyle (Wine Consultant and judging panellist Cuisine Magazine).

Winning wines will be announced in early October and will be on display at the 2015 Canterbury A&P Show in the Food and Wine NZ Pavillion from Wednesday 11 to Friday 13 November.

Also returning in 2015 is the New Zealand Young Winemaker of the Year Competition. The Competition ran for the first time in 2014 and Patrick Newtown from Mudbrick Winery on Waiheke Island took out the top spot. The Young Winemaker of the Year will be announced during a function at the Canterbury A&P Show.

Entries for both competitions close on 23 September 2015. To find out more about the competition go to

For more information:

Nicola Henderson
Marketing Manager
Canterbury A&P Show
03 343 2013 | 0274609230