Marlborough wines win big at New World Wine Awards 2017

The colour, taste and smell of 1250 wines were assessed for the New World Wine Awards.
SUPPLIED/Simeon Patience

The colour, taste and smell of 1250 wines were assessed for the New World Wine Awards.

Wines from the Marlborough region were awarded the highest number of medals at this year's New World Wine Awards.

The winning wines, announced on Monday, were judged at the 15th New World Wine Awards with Marlborough wines collectively winning 294 medals, making it the highest medal-winning region nationwide, even higher than their last year's stellar effort.

The panel of 16 wine experts completed a three-day blind tasting of the wines in August, working in five panels of three to evaluate the colour, taste and smell of each wine, scoring them on an internationally recognised 100-point system.

Award judges Jim Harre and Sarah-Kate Dineen during the blind wine tasting from July 31 to August 2.
SUPPLIED

Award judges Jim Harre and Sarah-Kate Dineen during the blind wine tasting from July 31 to August 2.

New Zealand wines won eight out of 10 varietal champion awards, five of which came from Marlborough.

Rose, a standout performer in the awards, won winemakers twice as many gold medals this year compared with last.

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A wine steward at the New World Wine Awards 2017.
SUPPLIED

A wine steward at the New World Wine Awards 2017.

"Wineries are making great quality rose in response to growing demand from wine lovers who really enjoy it," said Jim Harre, chair of the awards independent judges panel.

Marlborough-based winemaker Beth Forrest of Forrest Wines was named the winner of Champion Rose with their Forrest Marlborough Rose 2017.

She said the company was delighted to win the prestigious award for the wine they started out making.

 
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"Rose was the first ever wine we produced in 1990, so it's wonderful to be recognised in this way for a wine style that we are so passionate about," she said.

"Our rose is a blend of pinot noir and malbec grapes, which we blend to create a luscious rose, creamy through the mid-palate with the classic crisp minerality of Marlborough.

"It's perfect for drinking with an antipasto platter on a summer day, or with a pancetta and mozzarella pizza by a fire in winter."

Fellow Marlborough region varietal champion winning wines included Dashwood Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017, Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Chardonnay 2016, The Doctors' Marlborough Riesling 2015 and Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Pinot Noir 2015.

The coveted overall red and white award winners went to Marlborough winery Saint Clair Family Estate.

With more than 1200 wines entered in the awards, the 16-strong judging panel awarded a total of 826 medals, 82 gold, 242 silver and 502 bronze awards.

Wines eligible for judging had to have a retail price of $25 or less and had to have at least 5000 bottles available for sale (or 3500 for niche varietals).

 - Stuff

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