Pinot Noir again No. 1 in New Zealand

AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- A 2009 Pinot Noir has been  named "Champion Wine of the Show" in New Zealand's premier competition, the Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

Peregrine Wines' Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 joined its 2008 Riesling -- a winner announced earlier -- among gold medal wines. The facility itself also won the trophy for Champion Open Red Wine.

Steve Smith, chair of judges, said the Peregrine pinot noir was "the finest example of the finest red wine variety in this country" with "wild flowers, thyme and black fruits on the nose."

The question about such awards from many consumers usually is, can I actually find it at my wine merchant? In this case, chances apparently are good.

Grey Hay, co-owner and marketing director of Peregrine, said winning the trophy in the open red wine category was equally important as it meant the pinot noir was produced in a volume that made it available to the public in a reasonable quantity.

"It's not a small volume selection." he said. "That is our standard pinot noir that has been made to that quality. It's a wine that the public can get access to quite easily."

This is the second consecutive year a pinot noir has claimed top honors at the awards, which are organized by New Zealand Winegrowers. You can access the full list of winner here.

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