The Royal Easter Show is NZ’s oldest national wine competition in existance since 1953 so it holds a huge amount of kudos to wine a medal & even more to win a trophy.
This year 1003 wines judged and only 71 a mere (7.1%) won gold medals. In order to be considered for a trophy, you have to win a gold medal - so already you can see that the winning a trophy really isn't easy. In addition, 221 silver medals and a further 389 bronze medals were awarded, Interestingly enough the most gold medals were awarded to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, followed by Sauvignon Blanc which goes to show that the might doesn't always equal right.
As you all know I'm super passionate about aromatics so I was stoked to see Riesling winning 7 medals - though that may not sound like much when you put it into the context of how many Rieslings were entered it actually makes it the most highly awarded varietal - whoop! Hurrah for Riesling!
My other great love, Rosé only won 3 golds, which makes me a bit sad but one that did is one of my favs and that the Ned Pinot Rosé 2017 and it is also the Rosé that won a trophy! The Auckland Agricultural & Pastoral Association Trophy for Champion Rosé in fact. You just cannot go wrong with this Rosé from Marisco, it's typical NZ Rosé made from Pinot Noir & I mean that in a good way, a stunning salmon colour, it oozes Strawberries and Cream & it's without question one of my go-to recommend Rosés as it's widely available and a steal at $18. This Rosé was one of the first to see the desire for great quality Rosé when few other were producing it & though now it seems like everyone is producing the pink stuff this has lost none of its momentum & is consistently one of NZ's best-selling Rosés.
The big winner on the night was a Chardonnay (oh be still my beating heart), specifically, the Te Awa Single Estate Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2016. This stunner won New World Trophy for Champion Chardonnay, as well as the top award of the night the Guala Closures NZ Champion Wine. Not only (all of) that, but the man who makes this wine, Richard Painter, won the Trophy for winemaker of the year. Not too shabby for a wine you can pick up all over for $27, and you should, this Chardy has flavours of citrus blossom & stone fruit & is deliciously full-bodied with a just the right amount of creaminess we come to expect from a great Chardonnay. Congrats Te Awa!
I've talked about Saint Clair a bit, but rarely about a Merlot, however, the Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Merlot 2016 from Hawkes Bay is definitely worth talking about. Winning the Generator Rental Services Trophy for Champion Merlot this wine is dense & dark to look at put teams with flavours of black plums & blackberry, it's silky smooth to drink & super moreish available widely for $38. This is definitely one to treat yourself to and I didn't find it too heavy and I tend to find a lot of Merlot quite heavy and one dimensional. This beauty really surprised me & I shared this with a Pinot Noir disciple who was also suitably impressed.
For the full list of winners from the 2018 Easter Show click here or click the link below to hear my chat with Wendyl Nissan on the RadioLIVE Long Lunch