New Zealand pinot wins top wine award
10 Sep 2010
A small relatively young New Zealand winery has won a top international pinot noir award, beating 19 other countries including many of the world’s most famous wine producers.
Schubert Wines from Martinborough, in New Zealand’s boutique Wairarapa wine region, took the International Pinot Noir Trophy at the world’s biggest and most prestigious wine show, the Decanter World Wine Awards in London.
The New Zealand 2008 pinot noir triumphed over wines from France, Italy, Australia, the USA, Chile and Germany.
The same wine has also just won the Sustainable Trophy at the International Wine Challenge Planet Earth Awards in London.
Decanter Wine Awards
The Decanter World Wine Awards attracted 10,983 entries. New Zealand came in at seventh in the medal rankings, winning 341 medals - including two international trophies, 15 gold and 88 silver medals.
Just 0.25% of entries won an international trophy, and the Schubert Wines Block B Pinot Noir 2008 survived four rounds of judging to join an elite band of winners in what is considered the world’s toughest wine competition.
Schubert’s 2008 Marion’s Vineyard Pinot Noir also made it to the overall Top 10 list of all pinot noir wines entered.
Proprietors and winemakers Kai Schubert and Marion Deimling, who moved from Germany to New Zealand via the USA and Australia in their quest for perfect pinot territory, said they were delighted by the award.
"It is a great honour receiving this huge accolade. There were pinot noirs from 19 other countries which makes this international trophy not only a fantastic success for us at Schubert Wines, but also for the Wairarapa region and the whole of New Zealand."
Forceful and vibrant
Judges described the winning Schubert pinot noir as "forceful, vibrant and succulent fruits, with sweet strawberry and loganberry flavour. Fine concentration and a fresh splash of acidity. Very long and sleek".
The Schubert 2008 Pinot Noir Block B was initially awarded the Decanter Trophy for Best New Zealand Pinot Noir.
It then went into the international arena where all pinot noir trophies from around the world were judged again, with Schubert receiving the best result and consequently the coveted international award.
IWC Planet Earth
The 2008 Schubert Pinot Noir Block B continued its winning streak in London, going on to take the International Wine Challenge 2010 Sustainable Trophy in the same week.
The sustainability award was a "fantastic accomplishment," Schubert said.
"Not only the quality of our wine but also our efforts for organic practice in our vineyards and the winery were awarded. After last week’s huge success at the Decanter World Wine Awards and now the IWC trophy, we feel overjoyed."
The IWC says the sustainability awards were introduced to reflect an important trend in consumer demand, as well as rewarding those who not only excel but also put the planet at the heart of their wine-making activity.
Schubert was not the only New Zealand winner at the Decanter Awards, as Nelson’s Seifried Sweet Agnes Riesling 2009 won the sweet wine award, completing a hat-trick of awards.
The Seifried riesling has won a regional trophy or international trophy every year since 2007.
Decanter’s judges described Seifried’s second consecutive international trophy-winning vintage as "very honeyed and waxy on the nose with loads of floral character. Aromatic, luscious, juicy and intense with a racy but balanced acidity with excellent length."
Schubert Wines, Martinborough
Schubert Wines is a small 12-hectare vineyard that was planted in 1999.
Owners and winemakers Kai Schubert and Marion Deimling - both graduates in viticulture and oenology from Geisenheim University - moved to New Zealand to establish their dream pinot noir vineyard after travelling and working in wineries in Germany, Oregon, California and Australia.
The winemakers explored some 100 properties in New Zealand before settling in the Wairarapa - a boutique wine-growing region in the southern North Island - in 1998.
With one small vineyard already planted, they developed a second site - closely planted in the traditional European style - in 1999 / 2000.
The unique Wairarapa climate produces low yields, and internationally award-winning wines with intense and complex character.
Schubert Wines are exported to 25 countries.
Seifried Brightwater Vineyard, Nelson
Brightwater Vineyard, Nelson, is run by the Seifried family who have been making what they call "food-friendly wine" since 1976.
The Seifried estate includes chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir and riesling - which they began growing in 1999.
The riesling vines grow in an extremely stony area of the vineyard where water and nutrient levels are low.
The winemakers say year-round sun and blue skies, nearby snowcapped mountains, lakes, forests and beaches make Nelson the most beautiful winemaking region in New Zealand.
"Pristine conditions, along with specially selected north-facing vineyard sites, offer a range of soils from free draining gravels to heavy alluvial clays and a climate tailor-made for growing richly varietal, elegant wines.
"Still, frosty winters, long dry summers, cool autumn nights combined with the highest sunshine hours in New Zealand - this is Nelson."
The winery has become a family-run operation with Austrian-born Hermann and Agnes Seifried’s three children all working in the business.
Seifried’s 2010 wine awards have included a gold and two silver medals at the 2010 Japan Wine Challenge, a silver at the San Francisco International Wine Competition, and a gold medal at both the 2010 Sommelier Wine Awards and Royal Easter Show.
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