Sparkling night for Lindauer

Cheap and cheerful Lindauer Sparkling NV Rose won the top award for sparkling wine at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards at the TSB Arena in Wellington on Saturday night.

Matua Valley Single Vineyard Marlborough Chardonnay 2011 was the reserve champion and scored the Rabobank New Zealand Limited Champion Chardonnay trophy. The wine was among five from Marlborough which won trophies at the show.

The winning rose is sold at Countdown in Blenheim for $10.

Wine awards senior judge Sarah Burton said judges' blind-selection of the large-production Lindauer was a testament to the high quality of New Zealand fruit. This bubbly won against sparkling wines selling for up to $30, said Miss Burton, a winemaker at Cloudy Bay Vineyards Limited.

Cloudy Bay communication manger Stephanie McIntyre said it was good an affordable wine won the sparkling trophy as more people might try the style. She was looking forward to tasting the rose, which was recently included in a top 10 wine list in Dish magazine, along with a Pelorus sparkling from Cloudy Bay.

Wine judge Michael Brajkovich said the Lindauer Rose was a good wine with richness on the palette and nuttiness and texture that came with bottle fermentation.

Mrs McIntyre said: "I hope Michael can get out a bit more and try some of the amazing sparklings which are coming out of Marlborough."

These included Nautilus, Twin Island, No 1 Family Estate and Le Brun wines as well as her company's Pelorus.

"Possibly we are not promoting ourselves enough but that will change," Mrs McIntyre said.

Daniel Le Brun of No 1 Family Estate said Lindauer was not a true methode champenoise because it was made in the bottle with no traditional riddling or disgorging. Top Marlborough sparkling styles stood among the best in the world, he said. His family's No 8 had just won a gold medal and trophy at the International Wine Challenge in London.

The Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Earnscleugh Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 was awarded the Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show trophy and the JF Hillebrand New Zealand Ltd Champion Pinot Noir trophy.

Wither Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 won both New World Champion Open White and Label and Litho Limited Champion Sauvignon Blanc. Other Marlborough wines to win were Eradus Awatere Valley Marlborough Pinot Gris 2012 which won Guala Closures NZ Champion Pinot Gris, and Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2010 which won Coast FM Champion Gewurztraminer.

In its 26th year, the awards attracted 1367 entries in 17 classes. Nineteen trophies, 97 gold medals, 183 silver medals and 364 bronze medals were awarded.

The Marlborough Express