New Zealand cleans up at Six Nations Wine Challenge

Elephant Hill Wines (Photo: Elephant Hill Wines)

This is the 15th year that the Six Nations Wine Challenge (originally Tri-Nations Wine Competition) has been held in Sydney. It’s my favourite wine competition for lots of rather obvious reasons.

The concept is a simple one. A representative from each of six countries (New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, USA, Chile and Canada) chooses the best 100 wines from their country to enter in up to 16 classes with a maximum of 10 wines in any class.

The wines are divided into classes and we taste them blind, choose our top 13 to 15 wines (depending on class size) and rank them in order of preference. The numbers are counted to find the top wine in each class (which wins a trophy for that class), the top country in each class, the top white wine of the show, the top red wine of the show and the top country of the show.

Class 1 – Sparkling South Africa 2014 Deutz Prestige Cuvee, Marlborough
Class 2 – Riesling New Zealand Canada
Class 3 – Other Whites (Aromatic Style) New Zealand 2015 Johanneshof Gewürztraminer, Marlborough
Class 4 – Sauvignon Blanc New Zealand 2016 Astrolabe Awatere Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough
Class 5 – Chardonnay Australia Australia
Class 6 – White Blends Canada USA
Class 7 – Other Whites (Non-Aromatic) Split – South Africa / USA South Africa
Class 8 – Pinot Noir New Zealand 2014 Villa Maria Taylors Pass Pinot Noir, Marlborough
Class 9 – Merlot & Carmenere Chile 2013 Villa Maria Organic Braided Gravels, Hawke’s Bay
Class 10 – Syrah/Shiraz New Zealand 2014 Elephant Hill Reserve Syrah, Hawke’s Bay
Class 11 – Cabernet Sauvignon USA USA
Class 12 – Other Reds (Medium-Bodied) Canada USA
Class 13 – Other Reds (Full-Bodied) USA USA
Class 14 – Bordeaux Blends New Zealand South Africa
Class 15 – Red Blends (Non-Bordeaux) Australia Australia
Class 16 – Dessert Wine New Zealand Canada

Top Red Wine of the Show

2014 Elephant Hill Reserve Syrah, Hawke’s Bay

Country of Show

New Zealand

Ranking by country

1st New Zealand 617 points
2nd USA 383 points
3rd Australia 358 points
4th South Africa 279 points
5th Canada 265 points
6th Chile 145 points

This is a resounding victory for New Zealand. I chose to enter wines in 12 of the 16 classes and New Zealand was the class winner in eight of those. We also fielded top wine in six of the 12 classes entered.

New Zealand has (I believe) earned a place as the top country in the past four years. Australia was top in the other 11 years. I had a sneaking suspicion that we might come top this year and feel immensely proud that we earned top place by such a considerable margin.

One thought on “New Zealand cleans up at Six Nations Wine Challenge”

  1. Garry Barron says:

    Go KIWI’s, surprised NZ won shiraz category. Bob when are the 2017 results going to be published on the website?

    Regards Garry

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