Yealands sauvignon blanc best in class in Hong Kong contest
A sauvignon blanc rated as "outstanding" by a wine expert has won first prize at the Hong Kong international wine and spirit competition.
Yealands Wine Group won the best sauvignon blanc and best New Zealand wine at the awards for its 2015 Yealands Estate single vineyard sauvignon blanc.
The chances of getting hold of a bottle at fine wine stores are good, a marketing spokesman said, and it will be definitely available in supermarkets in the next few weeks, although production was quite limited.
Wine writer Michael Cooper said it was a "terrific and outstanding" wine which he has included in his latest Buyer's Guide, giving it a rave review.
In its seventh year, the awards have been described as Asia's "original and most well-respected wine and spirit competition".
Another New Zealand winner was US-owned Cobblestone Vineyards "Te Muna" pinot noir 2014, which picked up the best pinot noir.
The Yealands sauvignon blanc comes from the company's Seaview vineyard, in the Awatere Valley, south of Blenheim.
Yealands chief winemaker, Tamra Kelly-Washington, said the win was "wonderful recognition".
She said one of the unique attributes of the vineyard's location was its harsh growing conditions.
"High sunshine and wind, cool nights and little rainfall produce smaller berries with thicker skins and more intense fruit flavours. The sauvignon blanc is a blend of four specific, hand selected blocks on the vineyard, two warmer, sheltered inland blocks and two coastal blocks," Kelly-Washington said.
The warmer sites were more expressive in aromatics and the cooler sites offered more minerality, backbone and length. The vines were between eight and 12 years old.
Yealands was founded by rich lister Peter Yealands who several years ago sold an 80 per cent share to electricity lines company Marlborough Lines for $89 million.
Yealands remains a shareholder and continues to be involved in the company's operations, which controls 1200ha of vines and exports more than one million cases a year.