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.
Wine experts have settled on a list of close to 50 wines, some costing more than $100 a bottle, for Air New Zealand to select from for its business class passengers.
Six of the nation’s leading independent wine experts have selected “The Fine Wines of New Zealand” – to serve in planes from September.
A selection panel comprising Masters of Wine Alastair Maling, Michael Brajkovich, Sam Harrop, Simon Nash and Steve Smith along with Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas has agreed on the list for 2016 which includes 47 wines representing seven varietals.
One of the key criteria was consistency, with a wine having had to have been produced to an ”exceptional standard” for a minimum of five consecutive years.
Air New Zealand chief operations officer Bruce Parton says the airline had been a longstanding supporter of New Zealand’s wine industry.
It spends about $6 million a year on wine for passengers throughout aircraft.
“We believe we can help further build awareness and appreciation of these world class wines with international travellers and propel leading New Zealand wineries to even greater commercial success,” Parton said.
The wines would be promoted through its inflight entertainment system, at offshore events and using contacts internationally to help open up key export markets for the wineries should they need this support.
The airline’s specialist inflight wine consultants, who are based in New Zealand, China and the United States, will select wines from the list for serving in business premier cabins. Not all on the list of 47 would make it on board as some do not react well to high altitudes or are available in sufficient quantities.
Parton said it was important that the wines were selected independently of its existing wine programme.
”We look forward to working closely with the wine masters in the coming years to compile this list annually.”
In 2014 Air New Zealand moved to a three-year deal with a single supplier, Villa Maria, in its economy section which upset some in the wine industry, but which the airline said had been part of simplifying the supply chain.
The Fine Wines of New Zealand for 2016:
Aromatics Felton Road Dry Riesling 2014 Felton Road Block 1 Riesling 2015 Framingham F series Riesling Kabinett 2015 Johanneshof Cellars Gewürztraminer 2014 Stonecroft Gewürztraminer 2015 Te Whare Ra Toru SV5182 2014 Millton Vineyards Clos de Ste Anne Chenin Blanc 2014 Prophet’s Rock Pinot Gris 2014 Dry River Pinot Gris 2014
Pinot Noir Felton Road Block 3 2013 Burn Cottage 2014 Valli Bannockburn 2014 Rippon Vineyards Tinkers Field 2012 Bell Hill 2012 Ata Rangi 2013 Dry River 2013 Craggy Range Aroha 2013 Kusuda 2013
Bordeaux style Te Mata Coleraine 2014 Craggy Range Sophia 2013 Villa Maria Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013 Esk Valley The Terraces 2013 Stonyridge Vineyard Larose 2014 Church Road Tom 2013
Sauvignon Blanc Cloudy Bay Te Koko 2011 Astrolabe Province 2015 Dog Point 2015 Greywacke 2015 Saint Clair Reserve Wairau 2015 Vavasour 2015
Chardonnay Kumeu River Mate’s Vineyard 2014 Neudorf Moutere 2011 Sacred Hill Riflemans 2014 Dog Point 2013 Felton Road Block 2 2010 Villa Maria Keltern Vineyard 2014
A Hawke’s Bay Syrah has won the top prize at the 2015 Air New Zealand Wine Awards, presented last night at Nelson’s Saxton Stadium.
The Church Road McDonald Series Syrah 2013 won the prestigious Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Trophy, as well as the Fruitfed Supplies Champion Syrah Trophy. Chair of Judges and Master of Wine Michael Brajkovich said the Church Road McDonald Series Syrah 2013 was one of the fuller-bodied Syrahs in this year’s competition.
“It’s a wine with lovely ripe black fruit and floral Syrah characters, and very well-handled subtle oak influence,” said Mr Brajkovich. “The palate is full-bodied, with rich berry fruit and firm tannins to fill out the finish and ensure a long maturation potential.
“Syrah provided a quality class of wine, displaying a diversity of styles from fresh, vibrant peppery and herbal, to full-bodied rich and ripe black-fruit styles, with significant oak impact and earthy tannins.”
There were strong trophy contenders across the 16 classes, but the winners prevailed by having that “extra something special”, Mr Brajkovich said.
The second highest accolade of the evening, the O-I New Zealand Reserve Wine of the Show Trophy, went to the Lake Chalice The Raptor Chardonnay Marlborough 2014. This exceptional Chardonnay also won the Rabobank New Zealand Champion Chardonnay Trophy.
Air New Zealand Chief Operating Officer Bruce Parton said the airline was a longstanding partner of the New Zealand wine industry, which continued to produce some of the world’s best wines.
“We’ve been a proud sponsor of the awards for 29 years, and are passionate about promoting home-grown wines and showcasing New Zealand as a destination for wine tourism.”
“It’s been fantastic to see such a large number of entries in this year’s competition from wineries across the country. We wish to congratulate all medal and trophy winners.”
As well as the 18 trophies awarded, 36 Pure Elite Gold Medals and one Elite Gold Medal were announced at the dinner, which was emceed by TV3’s Hilary Barry and Mike McRoberts. This year’s competition saw 1,407 wines entered, 99 percent of which were accredited as being sustainably produced.
The Air New Zealand Wine Awards celebrate excellence in New Zealand winemaking and are widely considered to be the country’s most prestigious wine competition. New Zealand Winegrowers, the national organisation for the country’s 1,600 grape growers and winemakers, has owned and organised the competition for 40 years.
Air NZ wine awards 2015 – Trophy winners
Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Church Road McDonald Series Syrah 2013
O-I New Zealand Reserve Wine of the Show Lake Chalice The Raptor Chardonnay Marlborough 2014
JF Hillebrand New Zealand Champion Pinot Noir Brightwater Vineyards Pinot Noir Nelson 2014
Label and Litho Ltd Champion Sauvignon Blanc Delta Hatters Hill Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014
Rabobank New Zealand Champion Chardonnay Lake Chalice The Raptor Chardonnay Marlborough 2014
Pinot Gris Greystone Pinot Gris Waipara Valley 2015 Isabel Pinot Gris Marlborough 2015 Saint Clair Premium Pinot Gris Marlborough 2014 Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Gris Awatere Valley, Marlborough 2015
Riesling Ceres Black Rabbit Vineyard Riesling Central Otago 2015 Peter Yealands Riesling Marlborough 2015 Spy Valley Envoy Riesling Marlborough 2010
Sauvignon Blanc Delta Hatters Hill Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014 Rapaura Springs Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015 Saint Clair Premium Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015 The Ned Waihopai River Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015 Vidal Estate Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015
Chardonnay Church Road Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2013 Lake Chalice The Raptor Chardonnay Marlborough 2014 Mission Estate Jewelstone Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2014 Nautilus Chardonnay Marlborough 2014 Villa Maria Library Release Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2010 Villa Maria Reserve Chardonnay Hawke’s Bay 2014 Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Chardonnay Marlborough 2014
Sweet Wine Giesen The Brothers Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014 Seifried Winemakers Collection Sweet Agnes Riesling Nelson 2015
Rosé Aspiring Flats Rosé Central Otago 2015
Pinot Noir Akitu A2 Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014 Brightwater Vineyards Pinot Noir Nelson 2014 Coal Pit Tiwha Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014 Giesen Single Vineyard Selection Ridge Block Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013 Kuru Kuru Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014 Spy Valley Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013
Merlot, Cabernet and Blends Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Merlot Hawke’s Bay 2014 Vidal Reserve Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Syrah Church Road McDonald Series Syrah 2013 Matua Single Vineyard Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2014
Other Varieties – Single Waimea Family Estate Albariño Nelson 2015
Elite Gold Medals
Sparkling Daniel Le Brun Méthode Traditionnelle Blanc De Blancs Marlborough 2009
Church Road Winemaker Chris Scott named New Zealand Winemaker of the Year
Hawke’s Bay winemaker Chris Scott has today been named New Zealand Winemaker of the Year 2013 by Winestate Magazine.
With a passion for Chardonnay and red blend winemaking, and the support of an outstanding viticulture and winemaking team, Chris has been crafting award-winning Hawke’s Bay wines for thirteen years.
“Winemaking at Church Road is a team effort,” says Chris, on receiving his award today. “Our vineyard team have an outstanding knowledge of the region and the individual vineyards, and deliver outstanding fruit year after year. Our cellar team has a dedication to wine quality that far exceeds what anyone could hope for. I know everyone at Church Road is extremely proud of the wines we make and this win reflects the passion and commitment of the entire team.”
Chris began working during his summer holidays in the vineyards and cellar door, before joining Church Road as a cellar hand in 1998 and working his way to Senior Winemaker in 2005. Since then, Chris has been the driving force behind Church Road TOM Chardonnay and Church Road TOM Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, which are widely regarded as two of New Zealand’s most iconic wines.
The Winestate New Zealand Winemaker of the Year award is given to the individual who achieves the highest score from the top 10 different wines judged throughout the year.
Our President and Secretary, (with a nominated driver, ie Mr Secretary) embarked on a journey fraught with danger over the recent holiday weekend. The following is Anne’s account of the trip. I don’t know how they coped.
Easter in Hawke’s Bay, or……..The Intrepid Trios’ Travels
To experience as many wineries (and other delights), in the Hawke’s Bay area as possible in 4 ½ days over the Easter period.
The manager – Jenny Jebson The driver – Richard Jebson The navigator – Anne Megget
The trio set out from Grenada Village in the morning, following State highway 1 over the Rimutaka Hill. A slight detour to Parkvale mushrooms and then the first stop – Gladstone, where a sticky was purchased to be consumed with Hot cross buns.
Arrived safely in Napier, found the information center, supermarket and accommodation and settled in; had a lovely meal at an Italian restaurant, and an early night.
Good Friday – Slight hitch – most of the Christian world was shut for today. We have a good cooked breakfast, just in case we can’t find anywhere open, and go for a drive anyway, to find Unison Winery open for lunch but not tastings. Discovered they have a very nice sparkling rose, and a most substantial platter. Drove to the top of Te Mata Peak, saw from there that Craggy Range was open so dropped in.
Slight deviation from wine-ing to visit a Book Fair, as Richard has managed to leave all his reading material at home and has already finished one of Anne’s chick lit books. Went to Crab Farm, Esk Valley, Eskdale, had tastings and a lovely lunch at Linden Estate, Visited Mission Estate for a look around, Church Road. Wonderful dinner at Mission Estate.
Easter Day – Hastings Farmers Market, fruit, olive oil, sausages, all very good; Vidals, The Beach House, tiny place, very rustic, very nice riesling, and late harvest riesling, Te Awanga, Elephant Hill, lovely statue, restaurant very up market, but not much appealed in the wine department . Lunch at Clearview table in the vineyard, exceptional afternoon, good, good food, good wine, a perfect lazy Sunday afternoon among the vines.
April Fools Day – not that any of us remembered ! Off to the Gimlet Gravels – went to Unison vineyard for a tasting this time, Te Awa Farm, Sileni – wonderful merlot infused chocolate, Abbey Cellars, Alpha Domus, Trinity Hill was closed – for the whole of Easter, lunch at Ash Ridge, wine and olive oil tasting at Salvare Estate, and way out on the Taihape Road, De La Terre
Up bright and early (ok it was about 8.30am), and engaged in a combined house cleaning and car packing exercise; then off to Havelock North. Called into Advintage and said hello to ‘Mac’ and then went Te Mata and Black Barn and then headed home.
Chris Scott, Church Road Winemaker, will take you on a journey through this year’s vintage, including tastings directly from the winery. Focused around wine destined for Church Road McDonald Series and Church Road Reserve ranges, learn more about Church Road’s winemaking philosophy and what it takes to craft premium wines.
Your tour will conclude in the Church Road Cellar Door where you’ll have the opportunity to taste finished wines from previous vintages.
6.30pm – Wednesday 22 May
Church Road Cellar Door
The 2013 vintage in Hawke’s Bay is being described by many as the vintage of a lifetime. Weather conditions have certainly been as close to ideal as Mother Nature is ever likely to deliver and we would have to go back at least as far as 1998 to find a comparable year. Of course much has been learnt about viticulture and winemaking in Hawke’s Bay since 1998 and I expect that 2013 will yield the best wines to ever come out of the region. Many of these top wines will not be hitting shelves for between 18 months and three years, which seems an excruciatingly long time away! So, in the meantime, here is your chance to get a sneak preview of the vintage that is about to set a new benchmark for Hawke’s Bay.
Chris Scott, Church Road Winemaker
UP CLOSE AND PERSONA L – Vintage 2013
Includes light nibbles. Take advantage of special offers available on the night only.
Tickets strictly limited $25 per person.
150 Church Road, Taradale, Napier, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand – Directions