Thoughtful wine-making a highlight of the Marlborough Wine Show with more than 400 medals awarded – Refined and thoughtful wine-making techniques have been celebrated by judges at the 2023 Marlborough Wine Show, sponsored by QuayConnect.
A panel of 17 judges tasted more than 550 entries last week, awarding 46 gold medals to wines of all varieties, from right across Marlborough’s subregions for the Marlborough Wine Show 2023.
Guest judge Emma Jenkins MW was impressed by the ability of winemakers to produce quality wines across the board, particularly following a few tricky vintages from 2021 – 2023.
“What I really liked about some of the wines from those vintages was that winemakers had been really sensitive in the way they handled the fruit,” she says.
“I tasted some stunning aromatic wines … as well as the usual suspects like Pinot, Sauvignon [Blanc] and Chardonnay.”
For fellow guest judge Stephen Wong MW, Chardonnay was a ‘super standout’ of the show, with Pinot Noir entries also piquing his palate.
The quality of Chardonnay he tasted last week was on par with the level serious winemakers are trying to achieve across the world, he says.
“There’s just something about the kind of Chardonnays that Marlborough is making, which is right on point with where the world’s palates are converging. It’s a great opportunity if we can make the most of that,” he says.
“There’s that combination of freshness, vibrancy, very, very careful winemaking, everything is very sensitively handled. It feels like the winemakers in Marlborough have their finger on the pulse of what people want to drink with Chardonnay right now.”
The pair thought this year’s entries further confirmed Marlborough’s ability to produce world-class wines of all varieties.
“Marlborough is obviously really known for its Sauvignon [Blanc], and rightly so, but I’m just consistently amazed by the range, and the quality of Marlborough. It’s a special place to grow grapes and make wine,” Emma says.
Chief Judge Stu Marfell was very pleased with the quality of entries for 2023, and felt it was a true showcase of wine excellence in Marlborough.
“It was a thrilling line up of wines that we tasted. The level of quality and thoughtful winemaking that we have here in Marlborough is impressive. Our wines have a true sense of place, they are uniquely Marlborough but they’re also worthy of international praise.”
“It was wonderful to see the calibre of entries right across the board, showcasing our diversity not only of style and variety, but also the diversity of our soils and sites – their T?rangawaewae was very evident,” he says.
More than 400 medals were awarded in total, with 37 of the 46 gold medal winning wines also eligible for a subregional trophy.
Eighty-four wines, making up 28 entries in the NZ Wine Centre Legacy Award category of the show, sponsored by Marlborough Research Centre, are yet to be tasted.
The Legacy Trophy is designed to celebrate wines with pedigree and is awarded to the wine producer with the highest scores from three vintages within a 10-year period and a minimum gap of two years between each vintage.
Guest judge Oz Clarke will be joining Stu Marfell and Ben Glover to assess the category entries on November 6.
Trophy winners for all categories will be announced at the Marlborough Wine Show Celebration Evening, which is also a celebration of 50 years of Marlborough wine, taking place on November 17, 2023.
2023 Medals Awarded
Gold – 46
Silver – 142
Bronze – 236
A total of 424 Medals were awarded.
2023 Gold Medals by varietal class
Sparkling – 2
Sauvignon Blanc – Current Vintage – 11
Sauvignon Blanc – 2022 & Older – 1
Sauvignon Blanc – Alternative Style – 1
Riesling – 3
Pinot Gris – 3
Gewürztraminer – 2
Other White Wines – 2
Sweet Wines – 2
Chardonnay – Current Vintage – 4
Chardonnay – 2020 & Older – 3
Rosé – 3
Other Red Wine – 0
Pinot Noir – Current Vintage – 7
Pinot Noir – 2020 & older – 2
A Total of 46 Gold Medals
For the Full Results Visit https://www.marlboroughwineshow.com/awards
Wine Marlborough Ltd is the trading name of the Marlborough Winegrowers Association, representing the Marlborough wine region. While all due care and attention has been exercised in the preparation of the information contained herein, neither Wine Marlborough Limited nor Marlborough Winegrowers Association Inc accepts any liability of any kind for any loss and/or damage that may arise from reliance on the information presented.