Friday, 02 October 2015 16:30

Sauvignon Blanc named top drop

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

Jeremy McKenzie's 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.

McKenzie is the chief winemaker for Pinnacle NZ and Isabel Estate in Marlborough. He says 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.

McKenzie has worked extensively as a winemaker around the world and is an award-winning Senior Marlborough Winemaker for Villa Maria Estate. He is 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."

Chair 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."

Copeland says it is very positive to see wines of one to two years of age. They send a message to consumers that you don't have to just drink wine from the current year.

Copeland says 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."

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.

All medal winning wines will be on display at the 2015 Canterbury A&P Show in the Food & Wine NZ Pavilion from Wednesday 11 to Friday 13 November at Canterbury Agricultural Park in Christchurch.

Full results are available at

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