Win puts syrah in spotlight

18:13, Mar 24 2014
 Andrew Blake
Syrah hurrah: Giesen Wines chief winemaker Andrew Blake was excited to hear their first syrah had won the Champion Syrah trophy at the 2014 Easter Wine Show on Saturday

Giesen Wines' first attempt at a syrah tickled the tastebuds of the judges at the Easter Wine Show, resulting in a trophy win.

Giesen's The Brothers Marlborough Syrah 2011 was named Champion Syrah at the awards dinner at SkyCity in Auckland on Saturday.

Giesen's chief winemaker Andrew Blake was unable to attend the show but said it was great to be awarded for their their first syrah in Giesen's 30-year history.

"The thing for us is it's a Marlborough syrah and it's doing really well at this stage."

It had taken a long time to get from the vines to the shelves, but the wait has been worth it. "It's pretty exciting," he said.

The hand-picked fruit for the syrah came from 19-year-old vines at their leased Clayvin vineyard on Wrekin Rd in the Brancott Valley.


Their syrah matured in oak for two winters, 18 months in total, he said, adding that the success of the wine came down to the right cropping level.

"It's all about getting the crop down ... There is a lot of effort that has gone into the viticulture."

The Giesen brothers, Marcel, Theo and Alex, also planted a small block of syrah at their Marlborough Ridge vineyard in 2010. The first pick from these vines was planned for mid-April, Mr Blake said.

"It's looking really good. It's been a good season," Mr Blake said.

They were a few weeks out from releasing their 2012 syrah, he added.

Giesen Wines joined Villa Maria Estate, Deutz Marlborough Cuvee, Wairau River Wines, Vavasour, Tohu and Saint Clair Family Estate, who also took home trophies from the show. Villa Maria Estate's chief winemaker George Geris was awarded winemaker of the year.

Marlborough wines won 52 of the 79 gold medals at the Easter Wine Show.


Easter Show Wine Awards 2014

Trophy Winners:

Champion Wine of the Show – Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Chardonnay 2012

Winemaker of the Year – George Geris of Villa Maria Estate Marlborough

Champion Sparkling – Deutz Marlborough Cuvée Blanc de Blancs 2009

Champion Gewürztraminer – Grove Mill Wairau Valley Gewurztraminer 2013

Champion Pinot Gris – Wairau River Pinot Gris 2013

Champion Sauvignon Blanc – Vavasour Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Champion Chardonnay – Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Chardonnay 2012

Champion Sweet Wine – Tohu Raiha Reserve Limited Release Noble Riesling 2013

Champion Pinot Noir – Saint Clair Pioneer Block 22 Barn Block Pinot Noir 2012

Champion Syrah – Giesen The Brothers Marlborough Syrah 2011

Champion Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot – Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2012 

The Marlborough Express