A wealth of 1,319 wines were entered in the New World Wine Awards this year. Judges awarded 779 medals (88 Gold, 192 Silver and 499 Bronze medals), and the best wines were re-tasted to identify the varietal Champions.
New vintage wines took out a total of 137 medals, including 15 Gold medals and three varietal Champion awards.
“The quality of the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc entries, predominantly from New Zealand vineyards, exceeded the judging panel’s expectations,” said Jim Harré, chair of the judging panel. “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.”
This year, Australian wine judge Sue Hodder, global expert and Master of Wine Alastair Maling, and Simon Fell joined the 13-strong judging panel.
“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,” said Harré. “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.”
Eligible wines must retail for $25 or less, and there must be at least 5,000 bottles available for sale. In the past, the event has driven sales growth across the New World's network of stores. Following the announcement of the 2015 results last year, for example, 323,000 bottles of wine sold in the first six weeks of the promotion, with some Champion wines selling out within the first ten days. Now the Top 50 gold medal-winning wines are on New World's shelves nationwide.
2016 VARIETAL CHAMPIONS
Champion Sauvignon Blanc: Mount Vernon Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Champion Chardonnay: Clearview Estate Beachhead Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2015
Champion Pinot Gris: Thornbury Waipara Pinot Gris 2016
Champion Riesling: Giesen Riesling 2015
Champion Rosé: Villa Maria Private Bin Hawkes Bay Rosé 2016
Champion Bubbles: Brancott Estate Brut Cuvée NV
Champion Pinot Noir: Esk Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015
Champion Shiraz & Syrah: Mission Estate Reserve Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2015
Champion Single Varietal Red: Sandalford Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Champion Red Blend: Robert Oatley GSM 2015