Gisborne Regional Wine Show awards (23 May 2015)


Another “stunning” local chardonnay has triumphed at the 2015 Gisborne Regional Wine Awards, edging out 115 other wines to take the supreme trophy at the black tie dinner last night.
The Corbans 1902 Chardonnay 2013 scooped the pool, winning the GisVin Ltd Supreme Wine of Show, as well as the trophy for overall top wine and the chardonnay class. Lion, who own the Corbans label, were also the highest awarded wine company.

John Clarke was honoured for his outstanding contribution to the local wine industry, while Denis Irwin won the Bill Irwin Trophy for his efforts.
Matawhero Wines had a successful competition too, winning the overall top red and red and other blends class with their Pinot Noir 2013, which was also named in the Gisborne selection along with Matawhero Wines Chardonnay 2014. The chardonnay also won the unoaked chardonnay class. The Matawhero Church House Malbec 2013 won the malbec and blends class, while the Matawhero Church Road Chenin Blanc 2014 took out the other whites class.
Chair of judges, Simon Nunns, said the Corbans 1902 Chardonnay 2013 was a clear overall winner.
“It’s a big rich, opulent style of chardonnay,” he said. “It is one that has a lot going on, but still a place for everything and everything in its place. Corbans has been making good wines in this district for decades, so it a fitting win.”
The Corbans wine halted a record-breaking five in a row supreme wins from the Villa Maria Reserve Barrique Fermented Gisborne Chardonnay.
The team at Corbans were ecstatic with the win from a chardonnay described as capturing the regional essence of Gisborne and the fantastic 2013 vintage.
The barrel-fermented wine offers a complex medley of ripe fleshy stone fruit, a fine citrus line with layers of smoky toasty lingering oak.
Geoff Matthews, Lion Beer, Spirits and Wine New Zealand national operations director, said it was great, especially for the brand that was launched in October 2014.
The chardonnay comprises clone 15 from the Whitmore Vineyard in Ormond and mendoza from the Indevin Patutahi Vineyard. The grapes were machine picked in mid-March at 22.5 brix.
Fermentation was started in stainless steel tanks before being moved to a variety of French-oaked barrels for 18 months. It has about 30% new oak, with the balance a combination of one and two-year-old barrels. The wine was aged on lees for about 12 months.
Loin’s North Island operations winemaker Jane De Witt says she felt the wine was a winner from the start.
“It is just awesome to win this,” she said. “Gisborne does such a great chardonnay and this one is quite special. We wanted something that was a really punch chardonnay with lots of fruit, that was concentrated and balanced for the 1902 label. We wanted something that was a little bit different with that wow factor.”
Nine thousands litres has so far been bottled, with more in the tanks. While the wine is only available at selected restaurants and wine bars, that is expected to change in the future.
The award-winning wine is part of a special new label for Corbans, and pays homage to the company’s long-standing place in New Zealand winemaking.
1902 is when Corbans’ founder Assid Corban bought four hectares of land in Henderson . . . and so began a piece of viticultural history.
“If you take Corbans as a brand, it speaks for itself,” said Mr Matthews. “It has pioneered the New Zealand wine industry, and as the leader of the team for our business, I am proud to be able to continue the name.”
Although Marlborough based, Mr Matthews has strong links with the Gisborne region, having grown up in the region.
In all five gold medals were awarded, with Mr Nunns describing them all as “quite exquisite”.
“Those five wines were just beautiful and represent five different cultivars and styles of wine – a beautiful chardonnay (Corbans 1902 Chardonnay 2013) , a great sparkling (Lindauer Special Reserve Blanc de Blanc NV), a divine chenin (Matawhero Church Road Chenin Blanc 2014) a very exciting gewürztraminer (Huntaway Reserve Gewürztraminer 2013) and a vivacious viognier (Honorary Viognier 2013),” said Mr Nunns.
He was particularly pleased to see the chenin blanc receive a gold.
“It’s a variety that has been grown in Gisborne for a long time and in many cases used and abused. The gewürztraminer was a delight, as was the viognier – these are two varieties that can do very well in Gisborne. It is great to see people keep their eye on the ball and come up with a great result.”
Mr Nunns said he expected to see more gold medals awarded in the chardonnay class – the biggest single one of the competition.
“Overall, I feel we had slightly less quality than what we expected. In general the 2013/2014 vintages were both pretty solid, so we (the judges) expected a few more highlights.”
Last night’s black tie GisVin Gisborne Regional Wine Awards Dinner, held at the Quality Hotel Emerald and attended by 200 guests, was a true celebration of the district’s food and wine. Martin Bosley, one of New Zealand’s most celebrated chefs, put together a menu that matched the winning wines from the fifth annual competition.


Supreme Wine of Show                   Corbans 1902 Chardonnay 2013
Trophy                                                 Sponsored by GisVin Limited         
Highest Awarded Wine                       LION
Company Trophy                               Sponsored by Chrisp & Davidson             

Best Value Wine Under $15   Honorary Viognier 2013          
Trophy                                     Sponsored by Indevin                                 
Best Label                                           The Prospect Chardonnay Ormond Valley 2011
                                                            Sponsored by Rapid Labels
Bill Irwin Trophy                                   Denis Irwin
                                                            Sponsored by Villa Maria Estate

Lead Viticulturist Trophy                     Indevin Viticultural Team 
                                                            Sponsored by FruitFed Supplies

Outstanding Contribution                   John Clarke     
to the Gisborne Industry                       Sponsored by L W Bonney & Sons

Overall Top White                               Corbans 1902 Chardonnay 2013
Sponsored by Bayer NZ

Overall Top Red                                   Matawhero Wines Pinot Noir 2013
                                                            Sponsored by Riedel - the Wine Glass Company

Overall Gisborne Selection     Lindauer Special Reserve Blanc de Blanc NV
                                                            Matawhero Wines Pinot Noir 2013
                                                            Benson Block Pinot Gris 2013

                                                            Huntaway Reserve Gewürztraminer 2013
Matawhero Wines Chardonnay 2014
                                                            The Family Company Viognier 2013
                                                            Sponsored by Quality Hotel Emerald

Class Category
Sparkling                                         Lindauer Special Reserve Blanc de Blanc NV
                                                        Grower :  Indevin
                                                        Sponsored by Lion 

Rose                                               Jules Taylor Wines Rose 2014
                                                        Grower :  Peter & Robyn Briant
                                                        Sponsored by Eastland Group

Unoaked Chardonnay                       Matawhero Wines Chardonnay 2014
                                                          Grower :   Paul and Jenny Tietjen 66% and Leaderbrand 33%
                                                         Sponsored by NZ Crown Sheetmetal

Merlot & Blends                                 The Family Company Merlot 2013
                                                          Grower : Roy Johnson from Tolaga Bay Vineyard
                                                          Sponsored by Emerre & Hathaway

Viognier                                             Honorary Viognier 2013
                                                          Grower :   Indevin Viticultural team
                                                          Sponsored by EIT Tairawhiti

Pinot Gris                                           Benson Block Pinot Gris 2013
                                                            Grower :    Indevin               
                                                            Sponsored by Vintech Pacific

Malbec & Blends                               Matawhero Church House Malbec 2013
                                                          Grower: Paul & Jenny Tietjen
                                                          Sponsored by O-I New Zealand

Other Whites                                       Matawhero Church Road Chenin Blanc 2014
                                                            Grower :  Peter & Robyn Briant
                                                            Sponsored by Riversun 

Chardonnay                                       Corbans 1902 Chardonnay 2013
                                                            Grower :  Indevin
                                                            Sponsored by Pak n Save

Red  & Other Blends                         Matawhero Wines Pinot Noir 2013
                                                          Grower :  Pete and Robyn Briant 42%, Leaderbrand 35% and Paul and Jenny Tietjen 23%
                                                            Sponsored by NZME

Gewurztraminer                                 Huntaway Reserve Gewurztraminer 2013
                                                            Grower :    Indevin
                                                            Sponsored by Weatherell Transport 

Dessert & Fortified Wines                   Stone Bridge Port NV
                                                            Grower :  David & Mairead Hart
                                                            Sponsored by Universal Engineering


For more information on the awards, head to or contact competition director Prue Younger on 021 276 5484.

More information on entry to the competition can be viewed on: 

Sponsors : GisVin Limited, Indevin, LION, Crown Sheetmetals, Chrisp & Davidson,  L.W. Bonney and Sons Ltd., FruitFed Supplies, Universal Engineering, Bayer Crop Science, VintechPacific, Villa Maria, O-I New Zealand, Riedel, Quality Hotel Emerald, Pak n Save, Eastland Group, EIT Tairawhiti, Weatherell Transport, Emerre & Hathaway, NZME, Bay Grape Harvesters, Riversun, Rapid Labels.

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