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Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2007  Add/Read Comments

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Air New Zealand Wine AwardsThe results from New Zealand's premier wine competition, The Air New Zealand Wine Awards, have just been released.

Entries are restricted to the native producers (rather than being open to all from around the world) and are viewed as a benchmark for the nations wine output. This year there were more than 1,500 entries.

Each variety is awarded various medals and trophy's (as is the norm with these competitions world wide). Such awards have their detractors but as a huge fan of New Zealand wines what they do, in addition to highlighting the very best, is show which varieties and producers are currently top form. It is interesting to see the success that grapes such as Pinot Gris have. There is more to New Zealand than Sauvignon Blanc!

The Forrest Estate Gewürztraminer was awarded a trophy for its "Beguilingly scented and sweetish tasting with delicate spices, flowers, lychees and lemon honey" for example, as did the Saint Clair Pinot Gris 2007 for its "Dry and warm with delicate scents, pears and apple flavours, citrussy verve and strudel spices".

Forrest Estate is a producer to watch - their sweet Botrytised Riesling 2006 was also awarded a trophy "Delectable aromas and luscious nectar-like flavours with toffee, apricot and orange honey. Simply Irresistible".

With the festive season approaching sparkling wine maybe at the forefront of you wine needs - you could do worse then to hunt down the Hawkesbridge Marlborough Methode Traditionnelle another trophy winner, or the Paradox Marlborough Methode Traditionnelle, that won a Gold Medal. Sadly many of these have such small production quantities that they don't get exported in huge quantities if at all. Still, the fun is often in the hunt!

On the red front a new producer to me walked away with a trophy, Rockburn Pinot Noir 2006, alongside stalwart producer Kim Crawford with their SP Rise & Shine Creek Pinot Noir 2006. Both of these are produced in Central Otago. Interestingly no trophies were awarded in the two other Pinot Noir categories (both for older wines 2005 and 2004 & older).

The full list of awards from the 2007 Air New Zealand Wine Awards are available on-line.

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The Rockburn 2006 PN is truly excellent.

Interestingly the Champion Wine of the Show went to neither Sauvignon Blanc, nor Pinot Noir (or even Riesling or Pinot Gris) but to a Syrah -- Trinity Hill Homage Syrah 2006, another superb wine, and one of the more expensive NZ wines at NZ$120 (or about 43GBP)

Have tasted an excellent HB Zepelin Syrah blend 2003 recently direct from the cellar door.
liqourice and rye with good length.

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