The highest number of medals ever was awarded at the New World Wine Awards 2017 across a full range of varietals, with the Rosé category being a standout performer this year. Of the 82 Rosé wines entered, 49 won medals, and there were more than twice as many Gold Medals awarded to Rosé wines this year on last year.
Chair of the New World Wine Awards independent panel of expert wine judges, Jim Harré, says the judges were impressed by the quality of the Rosé wines entered this year, which reflects wider industry developments in respect of Rosé.
“Wineries are making great quality Rosé in response to growing demand from wine lovers who really enjoy it. They are diversifying into using different grapes – not just Pinot Noir – and balancing the acidity and sweetness to create some really interesting, complex wines to suit wine lovers’ different preferences,” said Mr Harré.
Beth Forrest, winemaker at her family vineyard Forrest Wines in Marlborough, winner of Champion Rosé in this year’s competition for their Forrest Marlborough Rosé 2017, said they are delighted to have won this prestigious award for the wine they started out making.
“Rosé 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. Our Rosé is a blend of Pinot Noir and Malbec grapes, which we blend to create a luscious Rosé, 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,” said Beth Forrest.
In total, the 16-strong judging panel awarded 826 medals: 82 Gold, 242 Silver and 502 Bronze, with Sauvignon Blanc winning the highest number of medals overall (129), and significant increases in the number of medals won by lesser known wine varietals such as Tempranillo. New Zealand wines won eight of the ten Champion Awards.
“The quality of wines entered overall was outstanding. I think this reflects the value the wine industry places in success at the New World Wine Awards, which are judged using the same internationally recognised system as all other major wine shows but are focused on wines that are affordable and widely available,” says Mr Harré.
All wines entered in the New World Wine Awards must retail for $25 or less and there must be at least 5,000 bottles (or 3,500 for niche varietals) available for sale, ensuring award-winning wines are more accessible for wine lovers than is often the case for other wine shows.
“The beauty of the New World Wine Awards’ focus on accessible wines is that it gives wine lovers a chance to try varietals they don’t usually choose and have confidence that the wine is of a high quality. It takes the guesswork out of choosing quality wine, and that’s something wine lovers obviously value judging by how quickly medal-winning wines are snapped up each year,” said Mr Harré.
Following the announcement of the 2016 New World Wine Awards results last year, nearly 400,000 bottles of the Top 50 wines, with a retail value in excess of $5.3m, sold within the first six weeks. Some of the Champion and Gold Medal-winning wines sold-out across New World stores in less than ten days.
The full results of the New World Wine Awards can be viewed at newworld.co.nz/wineawards and wine lovers can purchase the Top 50 Gold-medal winning wines in New World stores nationwide from today. Other medal-winning wines will be available at selected stores.