Pinot noir makes a big bang internationally

SUE FEA IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 05:00 26/07/2013
Brennan Wines
SUE FEA/ Fairfax NZ
IN THE RED: Champion Gibbston pinot noir winemaker Sean Brennan, of Brennan Wines.

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A Gibbston boutique winemaker has scooped the world's most coveted wine prize - world champion red wine at the London International Wine Challenge.

Sean Brennan, of Brennan Wines, currently holidaying with his family in New York, was not even going to fly to London to collect the prestigious prize, won for Brennan Wines' B2 Pinot Noir 2011.

Brennan Wines marketing manager Mathew Abbey said Mr Brennan was encouraged to attend the awards dinner last Thursday night (UK time) by his father, Murray Brennan, a New York surgeon.

"Sean and his dad went up to collect the prize together. I got a text at 9.30am on Friday (New Zealand time) from Sean that simply said ‘champion'," Mr Abbey said.

Mr Brennan also picked up the International Pinot Noir Trophy, the New Zealand Red Trophy and New Zealand Pinot Noir Trophy for the B2, as well as the Central Otago and Gibbston sub-region trophies.

"It's a fantastic achievement for Sean."

"Gill (staff member) and I were doing Dry July, but we cracked open a B2 2011 Pinot Noir on Friday. It just had to be done," Mr Abbey said.

Mr Brennan's remarkable champion of show achievement follows on from Valli Wines winemaker Grant Taylor's success last year at the IWSC (International Wine & Spirits Competition) in London, where he won the champion pinot noir trophy for his Valli Gibbston Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010.

In a first for Central Otago pinot noir, Mr Taylor scooped the champion pinot noir prize for his 2000 Reserve Pinot Noir in 2001 and for his 2005 pinot noir produced under the Bald Hills label.

Now Mr Brennan has won the best in show champion prize, selected during a blind tasting of the top international winners by the chairman of the IWC.

It's not Brennan Wines' first foray into international stardom. The company's pinot gris and gewurztraminer have both played cameo roles on on hit television show, The Big Bang Theory.

New York-born Mr Brennan's brother T. Ryan Brennan is an assistant director on the show.

And naturally being Sean's brother he's up for a few samples on the set.

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- The Southland Times

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