Category: Events | Post by: Andrea Wong
(I didn't decide on the angle of this post until I got back from the tasting. I now realise that the photos here aren't of wines under $22 - I'll hunt some down and take some photos.)
Last night I was lucky enough to attend the Air New Zealand Wine Awards' media wine tasting of the gold medal winners for this year.
Almost 1600 wines were entered and 107 (6.7%) of them were awarded a gold medal. Pure medals (pure gold, pure silver, pure bronze) were introduced in 2007 to acknowledge medal-winning wines that are 100 per cent sustainably grown and produced. From 2010 vintage onwards, wines must be 100% sustainably produced - what a great move!
I felt a bit overwhelmed walking in to the room faced with 107 bottles
of award-winning New Zealand wine. Where to start? How am I meant to get
through all of these and still be able to drive home?
I saw fellow twitterer Jasyon Bryant from Wine Vault TV (@Jayson_Bryant) who was busy tasting and making notes. We tried the Domain Road Vineyard Central Otago Pinot Gris 2010 together which was surprisingly slightly spritzy or sparkly, but without the bubbles. It's quite unlike a typical pinot gris and it would be a great wine to go with a fruity summer salad. It goes for $25 which is a bit more than the $22 threshold that I'm giving in this post, but it's worth a mention.
Pinot noirs stole the show this year with a third of the medals (32) being awarded to a wine in this varietal. I have found myself liking pinots more and more over the past couple of years, perhaps that has been directly influenced by my trips to Central Otago!
International judge Eric Arnold said "It was my first Air New Zealand Wine Awards and I was extremely pleased to be involved in the judging for 2010."
"I thought the New Zealand Pinot Noir class was fantastic."
I tried 8 gold medal pinot noirs (don't worry they were just little tastes, mere sips). Many of my fellow tasters were talking up the Pencarrow Martinborough Pinot Noir 2009 ($22), which I would have agreed with them except for the dry aftertaste it gave me. I instead preferred the Bird Pinot Noir Old Schoolhouse Vineyard Marlborough 2009 ($38) and the Saint Clair Pioneer Block 15 Strip Block Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 ($33).
The wines were thoughtfully matched with some canapes. Any of these would go down a treat at a party:
Sparkling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Riesling
- Coconut cream, line and chilli chicken breast skewers, with a Kaffir lime coconut sauce
- Asian fish cakes topped with avocado butter and crispy leeks
- Homemade cheese biscuit topped with French goats cheese and crushed, roasted pistachio nuts
- Prawn and scallop kebab served with fresh lime mayo
Chardonnay, Viognier, Rose
- Pastry case filled with a basil mousse, topped with a prawn and black caviar
- Sake cured salmon, with Japanese guacamole
- Chinese pancake filled with Peking duck, spring onion, cucumber, and served it hoisin mayo
- Baked mascarpone and onion marmalade tartlet topped with slow roasted cherry tomato
Reds and Dessert Wine
- Potato herbed rosti topped with Stilton and rare eyed-fillet
- Mediterranean spiced lamb, herb feta, mint and cherry tomato skewers, served with a yoghurt dipping sauce
There were wines from a wide range of price points, so you can pick up gold medal wines for under $22! Here's a list of the gold medal winners that are $22 and under. Some varieties like chardonnay and pinot noir tend to be more expensive, so their mention here may be very short or non-existent. Check out Air New Zealand Wine Awards for a full list of gold medal winners.
And for those of you that were wondering, even though I sampled around 15 wines, I was fine to drive. I think in total I had a little over 1 glass of wine in two hours. I would have been well within the 2 Drinks Max.
Air New Zealand Wine Award gold and pure gold medal winners for $22 and under
View this list separately for easy printing
(handy for when you go to the wine shop!)
Waimea Nelson Gewürztraminer 2010 ($21.90)
Brancott Estate Living Land Series Marlborough Pinot Gris 2010 ($20)
Distant Land Marlborough Pinot Gris 2010 ($20)
Golden Hills Estates Nelson Pinot Gris 2009 ($20)
Tinpot Hut Marlborough Pinot Gris 2009 ($22)
Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Dry Riesling 2010 ($20.59)
Coopers Creek Marlborough Riesling 2009 ($17.00)
Julicher Martinborough Riesling 2008 ($20)
Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Riesling 2007 ($20)
Peregrine Central Otago Riesling 2008 ($20)
Sanctuary Marlborough Riesling 2009 ($18)
Spring Creek Estate Marlborough Riesling 2009 ($16)
Waimea Nelson Classic Riesling 2009 ($18.50)
Boundary Vineyards Rapaura Road Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 ($20)
Clark Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 ($20.50)
Framingham Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 ($22)
Jules Taylor Wines Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 ($22)
Lowlands Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 ($18)
Opawa Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 ($21)
Satellite Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 ($17)
SOHO Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 ($22)
No chardonnays came in at under $22, so here's a list of the under $30.
Mission Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2009 ($25)
West Brook Waimauku Estate Chardonnay 2008 ($28)
Other White and Rosé Wines
Tussock Nelson Rosé 2010 ($16)
Waimea Nelson Viognier 2009 ($22)
Durvillea Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 ($20)
Pencarrow Martinborough Pinot Noir 2009 ($22)
Waipara Hills Waipara Pinot Noir 2009 ($21)
Mission Estate Hawkes Bay Syrah 2009 ($16)
Selaks Winemaker's Favourite Hawkes Bay Syrah 2009 ($21)