2015 looks set to be an award-winning vintage for Marlborough wine brand Stoneleigh, after it walked away with three top gongs at the Sydney International Wine Competition 2016 – including the prestigious Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc.
Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015 fought off fierce competition to be awarded the joint Perpetual Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc Wine by the competition’s international team of judges.
Jamie Marfell, Stoneleigh Winemaker, said: “We’ve had high expectations for our 2015 wines, and Sauvignon Blanc is our flagship varietal – so it is immensely rewarding to pick up the top honour in Sydney. 2015 was the driest year in Marlborough for 85 years. We were working with conditions we had never dealt with before, but the weather meant we could pick all of our fruit at optimum ripeness – and as a result our 2015 wines are showing exceptional quality and outstanding flavour concentration.”
Described as a ‘classy, intense and textural wine with great fruit weight, sweetness and length’, the single vineyard Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015 combines the best quality fruit from low-cropping vines with delicate winemaking expertise, to craft wines that reflect the unique terroir of the signature Stoneleigh vineyard.
Also taking home medals were Stoneleigh Latitude Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015, which won a Top 100 award, placing it amongst the highest-rated 5% of wines in the competition; and Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015, which won Gold.
Stoneleigh wines credit their unique flavour to the stone-studded vineyards of the Rapaura sub-region in the north side of the Wairau valley in Marlborough. These ‘sunstones’ capture the heat of the sun during the day, and reflect it back into the grapes during the night, helping the grapes to develop rich, intense, award-winning flavours.
Now in its 35th year, the Sydney International Wine Competition is principally aimed at helping wine consumers make more pleasing wine choices for their dining table. As such, judges are expected to look beyond the technical aspects of the wine to envisage how well it will complement appropriate food.