Matt Connell Wines was honoured to receive the trophies for the Nissan New Zealand Champion Wine of Show and the Negociants New Zealand Champion Pinot Noir for their 2017 Rendition Central Otago Pinot Noir at the awards ceremony held on Saturday the 13th October in Auckland.
The show judges commented; “Evocatively scented with a floral allure and intensely flavoured with lovely spicy anise tones, succulent black and red cherry fruit, refreshing acidity and harmonious savoury oak in the background. Seductive and velvety all the way through.”
The New Zealand International Wine Show is one of NZ’s most prestigious wine competitions. This year it attracted over 2000 entries, with 29 Gold medals being awarded to Pinot Noir wines. Bob Campbell MW chaired the 2018 judging panel which included wine industry luminaries Larry McKenna, Peter Cowley and John Hancock.
This outstanding result for Matt Connell Wines has been achieved for its second vintage release and follows similar Pinot Noir trophy successes for Matt in 2014, 2015 and 2016 in this competition; or wines made whilst he was winemaker and general manager for Akarua Wines.
Matt is thrilled by the news saying, “We are absolutely delighted to win such a prestigious trophy for our second vintage release. Huge thanks go to our growers, my wife and business partner Beth, family and everyone that has supported us so early on!”
While noted as a perfectionist with exacting standards in winemaking practice, Matt readily admits that the essence of his winemaking has been about collaboration. “From sourcing the finest grapes to working with and being inspired by winemaking peers, growers, artists, chefs, brewers, designers and outdoors people; people who genuinely care about people and the desire to add enjoyment though expression of their creativity and efforts.”
Hence, the launch of Matt Connell Wines arose out of Matt’s quest to explore new vineyards and new collaborations. “Wine is a liquid expression of my joy, hope and dreams – a capsule of a moment in time – each new vintage is filled with adventure and challenge.”
It is therefore fitting that this trophy-winning wine is called Rendition Central Otago Pinot Noir. The label has succinctly captured the important elements of Matt’s “my meaningful things” in its design.
The 2017 release is sourced from premium vineyards in Bendigo and Lowburn, and each future release will be Matt’s rendition of quintessential Central Otago Pinot Noir from that particular vintage.
Matt’s other 2017 vintage wines, the Bendigo Single Vineyard Pinot Noir and the Lowburn Single Vineyard Chardonnay, were released concurrently and have already achieved 5-star reviews from both Bob Campbell MW and Sam Kim.