The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

First look at new vintage wines reveals outstanding quality

new-world-wine-awards-theshoutThe results of the New World Wine Awards released today highlight the quality of the 2016 vintage.  New vintage wines won 137 of 779 medals in this year’s New World Wine Awards, including taking out 15 Gold Medals and three varietal Champion awards.  The judging for the New World Wine Awards takes place mid-year, making this the first major wine show of the year to evaluate new vintage wines. There were twice as many new vintage wines entered this year, as well as a record number of entries overall, reflecting the value winemakers see in entering these awards.

Jim Harré, Chair of the Judging Panel, said, “The quality of the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc entries, predominantly from New Zealand vineyards, exceeded the judging panel’s expectations.  “This is a real testament to the skill of winemakers, who’ve produced medal-winning Sauvignon Blanc wines that are restrained and elegant with a lovely balance of acidity and fruit. Other new vintage varietals that stood out were Pinot Gris and Rosé, with 2016 vintage wines in each of these classes taking out Champion awards.”

The 13-strong independent panel of wine experts who judged the 1,319 wines entered, according to the same internationally recognised points system as all other major wine shows, awarded 779 medals overall, including 88 Gold, 192 Silver and 499 Bronze medals. The best wines in each category were then re-tasted to determine the Champion wines, eight out of ten of which are from New Zealand vineyards.

new-world-wine-1New to the judging panel this year were guest international judge Sue Hodder, one of Australia’s most well-known winemakers and one of the country’s leading wine judges, Alastair Maling who is one of the elite group of experts globally to hold the Master of Wine qualification, and Simon Fell. They joined returning judges Jane Boyle, Terry Copeland, Simon Nunns, Jack Glover, Sam Kim, Dr Alastair Leggat, Olly Masters, James Rowan, and Barry Riwai.

“The calibre of the judging panel and integrity of the judging process are essential elements for any serious wine show, and we are fortunate to have such an eminent and experienced panel of judges for the New World Wine Awards. The panel includes some judges who have winemaking backgrounds, providing a technical perspective, combined with others that bring a more consumer oriented perspective.

“The New World Wine Awards attracts such high quality judges and ever-increasing numbers of high quality entries because of the robustness and credibility of the awards, and the unique focus of this wine show on affordability and availability of wines to consumers,” said Jim Harré.  In order to be eligible for entry to the New World Wine Awards the wines entered must retail for $25 or less and there must be at least 5,000 bottles available for sale. This ensures the award-winning wines are more accessible for wine lovers than is often the case for other wine awards.

“Wine lovers are increasingly recognising the value of these awards for taking the guesswork out of choosing quality wine and eagerly anticipate the results of the New World Wine Awards each year, as reflected by how quickly some of the winning wines are snapped up,” said Mr Harré.

Following the announcement of the 2015 New World Wine Awards results last year, 323,000 bottles of wine, with a retail value in excess of $4.6m, sold in the first six weeks of the promotion. Some Champion wines were so popular that they sold-out within the first 10 days.

A video clip of the judging process, wine and food matches, wine finder guide and the full results of the New World Wine Awards 2016 are available here:

The Top 50 Gold Medal-winning wines are available nationwide at New World stores.