On 13 March 2017, Bob Campbell MW spent the afternoon in Hawke’s Bay, blind tasting his way through a sea of 2014 vintage Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay, Syrah and Merlot Cabernet blends concealed in brown paper bags. Mr Campbell then selected the top 12 2014 vintage wines to represent Hawke’s Bay, only finding out himself on Wednesday which wines he had selected.
Bob Campbell was the second New Zealander, and is one of just over 300 people in the world to hold the Master of Wine qualification. Mr Campbell is an internationally acclaimed wine judge and is widely regarded as the New Zealand’s foremost wine educator.
Melisa Beight, Executive Officer of Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers Association Inc. said that the boards and members were thrilled that Bob Campbell MW had agreed to judge the 2014 Hawke’s Bay Vintage Collection. “This is the first year we have produced a Hawke’s Bay Vintage Collection and it marks a real milestone for the region. The Hawke’s Bay Vintage Collection will be judged by Bob Campbell every year from now on, with the top 12 wines representing the best of Hawke’s Bay being sent out to global key opinion leaders, so that they can make their own assessment.”
“The overall standard was very high indeed” declared Bob Campbell MW. “Clearly 2014 was a truly top vintage. A range of different Chardonnay styles added extra interest, and a degree of difficulty in choosing the ultimate winners. Syrah was stylistically more consistent as well as being the highest performer of the three classes. Blended reds were a pleasure to judge – all of the entries merited selection.”
The 2014 Hawke’s Bay Vintage Collection (in no particular order):
Vidal Legacy Chardonnay 2014
Te Awa Single Estate Chardonnay 2014
Bilancia Chardonnay 2014
Church Road Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2014
Villa Maria Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2014
Te Awa Single Estate Merlot Cabernet 2014
Craggy Range Te Kahu, Gimblett Gravels Vineyard, Hawke’s Bay 2014
Church Road McDonald Series Merlot 2014
Vidal Legacy Syrah 2014
Church Road Grand Reserve Syrah 2014
Sacred Hill Deerstalkers Syrah 2014
Craggy Range Syrah, Gimblett Gravels Vineyard, Hawke’s Bay 2014
About Hawke’s Bay Wine: Founded in 2006, Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers Association Inc. represents all wineries and growers in the region and its mission is to achieve international recognition as one of the great wine regions of the world.
An Auckland Chardonnay and a Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot both shone at this year’s Romeo Bragato Wine Awards.
Grown by Brett Donaldson, the Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2014 won the coveted Bragato Champion Wine of the Show Trophy – Champion Single Vineyard and the Bill Irwin Trophy for Champion Chardonnay.
“This Chardonnay demonstrated exceptional respect to the variety and is a shining example of what hard graft in the vineyard and soft touch in the winery can achieve. It shows wonderful expression and captures the essence of the Ihumatao vineyard. Simply stunning!,” said Chairman of Judges Ben Glover.
The Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2014, made from grapes grown on the Vidal vineyard by Phil Holden, won the Richard Smart Trophy – Champion Domaine Wine.
“High quality, perfectly ripened fruit was allowed to shine through in this expertly crafted wine. It had superb balance and respect for the fruit, providing seamless delicacy, acidity and palate weight,” said Mr Glover.
The Bragato Wine Awards are held each year as part of the New Zealand Winegrowers Romeo Bragato National Conference, and recognise the grower for viticultural excellence. The competition acknowledges that growing excellent grapes is the foundation of making wines of true quality. The Trophies were presented at the Bragato Dinner in Marlborough last night.
To be awarded the Bragato Champion Wine of the Show Trophy – Champion Single Vineyard Wine, a minimum of 95% of the grape juice content must come from a single vineyard.
To be awarded the Richard Smart Trophy – Champion Domaine Wine, a minimum of 85% of the grape juice content must come from a single vineyard.
Bragato Champion Wine of the Show Trophy and Champion Single Vineyard Wine
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2014 Ihumatao Vineyard, Auckland Brett Donaldson
Richard Smart Trophy and Champion Domaine Wine
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2014 Vidal Vineyard, Hawke’s Bay Phil Holden
Friedrich Wohnsiedler Trophy Winner and Champion Riesling
Maude, Mt Maude Vineyard East Block Riesling Central Otago 2016 Mt Maude Vineyard, Central Otago Dawn and Terry Wilson
Brother Cyprian Trophy Winner and Champion Pinot Gris
Aronui Pinot Gris Single Vineyard Nelson 2016 Whenua Matua Vineyard, Nelson Jonny Hiscox
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Gewürztraminer 2014 Ihumatao Vineyard, Auckland Brett Donaldson
Champion Other Red Wine
Coopers Creek SV Hawke’s Bay Malbec ‘Saint John’ 2013 Saint John Vineyard, Hawke’s Bay Wayne Morrow
Champion Sweet Wine
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Noble Riesling Botrytis Selection 2015 Rocenvin Vineyard, Marlborough Chris Fletcher
New Zealand Wine Cellars Spence Brothers Trophy Winner and Champion Sauvignon Blanc
Tohu Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016 Tohu Awatere Vineyard, Marlborough Mondo Kopua
Bill Irwin Trophy Winner and Champion Chardonnay
Brett Donaldson Ihumatao Vineyard, Auckland Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2014
Wooing Tree Rosé Central Otago 2016 Wooing Tree Vineyard, Central Otago Geoff Bews
Mike Wolter Memorial Trophy Winner and Champion Pinot Noir
Black Quail Estate Pinot Noir Central Otago 2013 Keillor Vineyard, Central Otago Rod and Mirani Kellior
Tom McDonald Memorial Trophy Winner and Champion Classical Red Wine
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2014 Vidal Vineyard, Hawke’s Bay Phil Holden
Alan Limmer Trophy Winner and Champion Syrah
Falcon Ridge Estate Syrah Nelson 2015 Falcon Ridge Estate, Nelson Alan J Eggers
Judges gearing up for Bragato Wine Awards 2016
(9 August 2016)
A 13 strong judging team, including international judges Andrea Frost and Nick Ryan, is gearing up to judge over 600 entries for this year’s Bragato Wine Awards in Auckland on 16 and 17 August.
Andrea Frost is an award-winning wine writer, columnist and author based in Melbourne, Australia. In 2013, Andrea was named Wine Communicator of the Year and her first book, ‘Through a Sparkling Glass, an A-Z of the Wonderland of Wine’, was awarded Best Wine Publication. In 2012 and 2013, Andrea was named Wine Business Monthly’s ‘50 Stars’ of the year.
Fellow countryman Nick Ryan is a wine writer, judge and educator based in Adelaide. Nick used the knowledge he had gained from raiding his father’s wine cellar to land a job with one of Sydney’s leading wine merchants. Realising that writing about it was easier than lifting it has led him to where he is now. Nick is a regular contributor to Men’s Style Australia and Gourmet Traveller Wine and has judged in many Australian and international wine shows.
Leading the Bragato Wine Awards team is Chair of Judges Ben Glover, Group Winemaker for Accolade Wines New Zealand.
“This is always a wonderful opportunity and privilege to view, assess and reward our industry peers’ wines”, said Mr Glover. “The Bragato Wine Awards is a unique forum on the wine industry calendar that champions the grape grower, recognises the vineyard and awards viticultural excellence.”
The Bragato Wine Awards, held each year as part of the New Zealand Winegrowers Romeo Bragato National Conference, recognises that exceptional grape growing is the foundation of making wines that express true quality of place. Judging takes place on 16 and 17 August at AUT in Auckland City. The trophy winning wines will be revealed at the Bragato Dinner at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre in Marlborough on 25 August.
Judging Team: Chair of Judges – Ben Glover Judges – Rod Easthope, Helen Masters, James Millton, Helen Morrison, Simon Nunns, Barry Riwai, John Saker International Judges – Andrea Frost (Australia), Nick Ryan (Australia) Associate Judges – Lauren Swift, Liz Wheadon, Stephen Wong MW
Emirates has unveiled details of its more than half a billion dollar “liquor investment” programme.
The airline says that on any given day, more than 60 different wines, champagnes and ports, sourced from vineyards in 11 countries, including New Zealand, are served onboard Emirates to passengers throughout their planes.
It has more than 1.2 million bottles aging in its own cellar in Burgundy, France, some only ready for drinking in a decade or more.
Champagne is the most popular drink in first and business class and by volume 51.5 per cent of Champagne aboard is drunk in the economy section.
New Zealand wines served inflight with Emirates over the past two years include; Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc, Yacht Club sauvignon blanc, Metis sauvignon blanc, Amisfield sauvignon blanc, Spy Valley sauvignon blanc, Isabel Estate sauvignon blanc, Felton Road pinot noir, Rippon pinot noir, Craggy Range pinot noir, Peregrine pinot gris, Mills Reef Gimblett Gravels Reserve syrah.
New Zealand wines have featured in first, business and economy class on Emirates flights.
Emirates, which flies four times daily from New Zealand to Dubai and beyond via Australia, has a dynamic strategy of buying wines, and an intensive programme to secure the best vintages for future consumption by buying “en primeur” often before the wines are bottled and released to the market.
The airline’s experts hand pick and secure the wines served onboard.
President Emirates Airline Sir Tim Clark said that over a decade ago the airline moved away from the usual corporate procurement process and decided to take control of its own destiny.
“We could have taken the easy way out – just do the maths for how many bottles we’d need in each cabin class over a year, then put it up for tender. But with the scale of our operations, this would limit our choices as not many producers can offer the quantities we’d need, at the quality standards that we’d want.”
The airline has spent more than US$500 million on wine and spirits to date.
“Sure, it is a big investment. But wine and champagne will always be an important aspect of our onboard product therefore we take a long term view. It is simply part of our rigorous planning process.”
Besides wines, the airline serves 43 different spirits and 12 different cocktails.
The 30-year-old airline is one of the biggest in the world and has the largest fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft.
NZ Herald, Thursday Dec 4, 2014 – Grant Bradley – Aviation, tourism and energy writer for the Business Herald.
(With Villa Maria coming next month this item might be timely)
It was a successful evening for Villa Maria at last week’s New Zealand Winegrowers Romeo Bragato Wine Awards held in Marlborough, winning six gold medals with Villa Maria’s Hawkes Bay Assistant Vineyard Manager Paul Robinson collecting the trophy for New Zealand’s Young Viticulturist of the Year. One of five finalists, Paul was thrilled with his award, “This is my fourth attempt at the title and it feels great to be the winner.”
Placing strong emphasis on viticulture, this is the second time Villa Maria has had a winner take the title. Paul made special thanks to Villa Maria for the opportunities that have been presented during his seven years with the company.
The Young Viticulturist of the Year competition was founded in 2006 and attracts a high calibre of entrants from throughout the country and is recognised within the wine industry as the leading accomplishment for young viticulturists to aspire to and achieve, celebrating the young talent in each wine region.
The contestants showcased their practical skills throughout the competition with the final challenge, a topical speech. Fronting a crowd of 400, Paul confidently spoke about water management in Hawkes Bay’s famous Gimblett Gravels Wine Growing District, and he goes onto compete in the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition in November.
Emma Taylor, National Coordinator for the Young Viticulturist Competition said, “This year’s event was particularly tough with a very high standard of competitors.”
The annual Bragato Wine Awards celebrate the effort and passion from viticulturists and vineyard management throughout New Zealand. The six gold medals Villa Maria collected are the result of a true culmination between viticulture and winemaking to consistently produce quality wines.
GOLD MEDALS AWARDED
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Chardonnay Keltern 2013
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Chardonnay Taylors Pass 2013
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Noble Riesling 2012
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Noble Semillon 2011
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Seddon Pinot Noir 2012
Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2012
Wednesday 10 April 2013, 7.45 for 8pm start. Johnsonville Community Centre Hall, 3 Frankmoore Avenue, Johnsonville Members: $16, Guests: $20 Item 1 – Special Annual General Meeting Item 2 – Gold Medal Wines from the Easter Show presented by your committee.
Your committee has looked at the Gold medal wines from the Easter and is organizing the following list for the tasting. There may be late changes due to availability, please bear with us. The quaffer will be a Trinity Hill Chardonnay Viognier from the Club’s Cellar followed by:
Desert Heart Magic Moments Rosé 2012 (Anne)
Coopers Creek SV Gisborne Albariño ‘Bell-Ringer’ 2012 (Cecilia)
Brancott Estate Special Reserve Pinot Gris 2012 (Murray)
The Kings Bastard Chardonnay 2011 (Wayne)
Wooing Tree Beetle Juice Pinot Noir 2011 (Robin)
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Merlot 2010 (Jenny)
Te Awanga Estate Syrah 2011 (Steve)
We expect that most of the wines will be available through James Cupit, The Cellar Room, Johnsonville.
Clearly we will not be able to offer special deals on the night but remember to present your membership card and receive 0-20% on items not already reduced.
“Welcome to Stonecroft Wines, boutique producer of Hawke’s Bay wine”
“Stonecroft was the first winery to be established in the Gimblett Gravels, Hawke’s Bay. We also have the oldest Syrah vines in New Zealand. At Stonecroft, we continue to make a small quantity of wine, using traditional methods. Stonecroft is well known for its Syrah, Zinfandel, Gewürztraminer and Chardonnay wines. Only organic practices are used in the vineyard and Stonecroft is now officially ‘in conversion’ to organic certification.”
The above paragraph gives an indication of the Stonecroft philosophy. We look forward to yet another interesting presentation and tasting. More detail next month.