Queenstown wine takes top international award


A boutique Gibbston winery has won a raft of awards at a prestigious international wine show.

Brennan Wines’ B2 Pinot Noir 2011 was judged the 2013 Champion Red Wine at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) in London last week.

The IWC is regarded as the most respected wine competition in the world.

Winemaker Sean Brennan also collected the International Pinot Noir Trophy, the New Zealand Red Trophy and New Zealand Pinot Noir Trophy for the B2.

“Truly a fantastic result for Gibbston, Central Otago and New Zealand Pinot Noir,” Brennan says.  

“The number and variety of regional trophies awarded at the challenge highlights the ability of New Zealand’s producers to capture the unique characters and finest qualities of the sub-regions.

“A big thank you to my small, dedicated team who work so hard to make great Pinot. The team and I are honoured to receive such a prestigious award. Not bad for a little shed in Gibbston!”

Sean Brennan flew to London with his father Murray to collect the trophy at the awards dinner and ball on Thursday.

The IWC tasting notes describe the wine as: stylish raspberry, sour cherry aroma. Ripe tangy and succulent red fruit with light smoky dark char beans and good structure. Developing complexity.

The winery, with its 10-hectare vineyard, has only been producing wines since 2006. It made 950 cases of the B2 2011 which retails at $29 per bottle. So far 150 cases have been sold.

Last year’s champion red winner was a Grand Cru Pinot Noir from Burgundy retailing for around $200.

Meanwhile, Gibbston’s Amisfield Wine Company is expanding its Asian market presence after securing an exclusive distribution deal with high-end Chinese wine distributor Kerry Wines.

“This is an important step in our strategic goal of becoming a globally-recognised brand and making our wines available to the broader international market,” Amisfield boss Craig Erasmus says.

Amisfield will be sold in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau through E-commerce channels, luxury hotels, restaurants and corporations as well as to private individuals and selected fine wine retailers.