Central Otago Pinot Noir takes top spot at 30th Air New Zealand Wine Awards

12 November 2016

A Central Otago Pinot Noir won the top prize at the 30th Air New Zealand Wine Awards at Auckland’s Viaduct Events Centre last night.

The Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014 won the prestigious Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Trophy, as well as the JF Hillebrand New Zealand Champion Pinot Noir.

Chair of Judges and Master of Wine Michael Brajkovich said the Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014 was one of the more complex Pinot Noir wines in this year’s competition.

“This wine has lovely ripe wild cherry aromas with earthy herbal and truffle-like undertones,” said Mr Brajkovich. “The palate is full-bodied with a seductively silky texture and is showing the benefit of bottle maturation.”

“Pinot Noir was undoubtedly the strongest class of wine this year, showing very high quality across a range of styles. All of the Gold Medal winning wines are outstanding, but this older example had that ‘something special’ to attract the judges’ attention in the trophy tasting.”

“When we are deciding between the Elite Gold Medal winners in contention for a trophy, the argument is no longer about quality because we already know that the wines are all outstanding. The trophies are determined by the stylistic preferences of the senior judges who vote accordingly,” Mr Brajkovich said.

The second highest accolade of the evening, the O-I New Zealand Reserve Wine of the Show Trophy, went to the Brancott Estate Letter Series "O" Chardonnay Marlborough 2015. This exceptional Chardonnay also won the Rabobank New Zealand Champion Chardonnay Trophy.

Air New Zealand Chief Operating Officer Bruce Parton says the airline is proud to have sponsored the Wine Awards for 30 years. “We have worked hard over the past three decades to champion the success of New Zealand’s wine industry right around the globe.”

“It’s been great to see entries from wineries across the country this year and we’d like to congratulate all the medal and trophy winners.”

As well as the 18 trophies awarded, 39 Elite Gold Medals were announced at the dinner, which was emceed by Samantha Hayes and Jessie Mulligan. This year's competition saw over 1,400 wines entered.

NOTES TO EDITOR

The Air New Zealand Wine Awards celebrate excellence in New Zealand winemaking and are widely considered to be the country’s most prestigious wine competition. New Zealand Winegrowers, the national organisation for the country's 1,600 grape growers and winemakers, has owned and organised the competition for over 40 years.

AIR NEW ZEALAND WINE AWARDS 2016 – TROPHY WINNERS

Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show
Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014

O-I New Zealand Reserve Wine of the Show
Brancott Estate Letter Series "O" Chardonnay Marlborough 2015

JF Hillebrand New Zealand Champion Pinot Noir
Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014

Rabobank New Zealand Champion Chardonnay
Brancott Estate Letter Series "O" Chardonnay Marlborough 2015

Label and Litho Champion Sauvignon Blanc
Babydoll Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016

QuayConnect Champion Other White Styles
Nautilus Albariño Marlborough 2016

Fruitfed Supplies Champion Syrah
Mission Reserve Syrah Hawke's Bay 2015

Guala Closures New Zealand Ltd Champion Pinot Gris
Wairau River Pinot Gris Marlborough 2016

Plumm Glassware Champion Gewürztraminer
Lawson's Dry Hills Gewürztraminer Marlborough 2015

Coast FM Champion Merlot, Cabernet and Blends
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Hawke’s Bay 2014

Plant & Food Research Champion Riesling
Giesen Riesling New Zealand 2015

WineWorks Limited Champion Sparkling Wine
Deutz Cuvee Blanc De Blancs Methode Traditionnelle Marlborough 2013

Wine-Searcher Champion Sweet White Wine
Giesen The Brothers Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014

Liquorland Champion Rosé
Whitehaven Pinot Rosé Marlborough 2016

New World Champion Open White Wine
Giesen Riesling New Zealand 2015

Dish Magazine Champion Open Red Wine
Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Noir Marlborough 2015

Rangitikei Chicken Champion Exhibition White or Sparkling Wine
Maude Mt Maude Vineyard Dry Riesling Central Otago 2016

New Zealand Winegrowers Champion Exhibition Red Wine
Mission Reserve Cabernet Franc Hawke's Bay 2014

Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2016 – Elite Gold Medal Winners

Sparkling
Deutz Cuvee Blanc De Blancs Methode Traditionnelle Marlborough 2013

Gewürztraminer
Lawson's Dry Hills Gewürztraminer Marlborough 2015

Pinot Gris
Stoneleigh Pinot Gris Marlborough 2016
Tinpot Hut Pinot Gris Marlborough 2016
Wairau River Pinot Gris Marlborough 2016
Wairau River Pinot Gris Marlborough 2015

Riesling
Giesen Riesling New Zealand 2015
Maude Mt Maude Vineyard Dry Riesling Central Otago 2016
Vidal Estate Dry Riesling Marlborough 2015

Sauvignon Blanc
Babydoll Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Fairhall Downs Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Giesen The August Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014
Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015
Leefield Station Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 1 Foundation Block Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016

Chardonnay
Archangel Chardonnay Central Otago 2015
Brancott Estate Letter Series "O" Chardonnay Marlborough 2015
Clearview Estate Coastal Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2015
Coopers Creek SV 'Limeworks' Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2015
Giesen The Fuder Clayvin Chardonnay Marlborough 2014
Villa Maria Reserve Barrique Fermented Chardonnay Gisborne 2015
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay Hawke's Bay 2014

Sweet White Wine
Giesen The Brothers Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014

Rosé
Whitehaven Pinot Rosé Marlborough 2016

Pinot Noir
Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014
Marisco The Craft Series The Journey Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013
Scott Base Pinot Noir Central Otago 2015
Thornbury Pinot Noir Central Otago 2015
Tohu Awatere Valley Pinot Noir Marlborough 2015
Villa Maria Reserve Pinot Noir Marlborough 2014
Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Noir Marlborough 2015

Merlot, Cabernet and Blends
Crossroads Winemakers Collection Cabernet Merlot Hawke’s Bay 2013
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Merlot Hawke’s Bay 2015
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Hawke’s Bay 2014

Syrah
Mission Reserve Syrah Hawke's Bay 2015
Te Awa Single Estate Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2014
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Syrah Hawke's Bay 2013

Other Varieties – Single
Mission Reserve Cabernet Franc Hawke's Bay 2014
Nautilus Albariño Marlborough 2016