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Another solid-gold wine served up on plate

Gavin Yortt has the number plates to show his syrahs are indeed No1. The awards continue to flow like fine wine for the man who steers the Squawking Magpie winery. BUMPER RESULT: Gavin Yortt has the number plates to show his syrahs are indeed No1. The awards continue to flow like fine wine for the man who steers the Squawking Magpie winery.

Six years ago Gavin Yortt, who steers the Squawking Magpie winery in Hastings, was so delighted he won a gold medal for one of his syrahs at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards he bought some number plates.

“I checked it out and found it was available,” he said of the personalised plates which now reside on his jeep. They read “Syrah 1”.

It was a good call, because he has picked up further golds as well as a trophy at the Air New Zealand awards, and this week learned his Stoned Crow Syrah 2013 won gold at the 2015 Easter Show Wine Awards in Auckland.

Alongside the other gold-medal winners announced, he is in the running for a prestigious trophy at the big awards evening next month.

“It was a nice way to start the day – to arrive at work and get the call to say we’d got a gold,” Mr Yortt said.

With the 2013 vintage having been so spectacular he was always confident the Stoned Crow would do well.

It had only recently been bottled after good barrel time and he was equally confident it would strike again in years to come.

“These wines will age and they will age well.”

He said the latest gold was a pat on the back for winemaker Jenny Dobson who had put everything together: “I did a bit of the blend work but she steered it.”

The high standard of the 2013 vintage in the syrah and chardonnay varieties was reinforced by the award results. Nineteen Hawke’s Bay wines took gold, compared to eight last year.

In the syrah section, the Bay took six of the seven golds, while six of the 12 gold chardonnays were from the Bay.

Church Road bagged three chardonnay golds for its Grand Reserve 2013, McDonald Series 2013 and the Chardonnay 2014.

Vidals picked up two for the Legacy Hawke’s Bay 2013 and Legacy Hawke’s Bay 2010, while Villa Maria took a gold for its Cellar Selection Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2014.

Crossroads won gold for its Milestone Series Gewuztraminer 2014; Babich for its Family Estates Fernhill Viognier 2014; Ngatarawa for its Proprietors Reserve Noble Riesling 2014, Mission Estate for its Reserve Cabernet Merlot 2013 and Reserve Syrah 2013; Pask for the Declaration Cabernet Merlot 2013; Elephant Hill for its Merlot Malbec Cabernet Franc 2013; Crossroads for the Winemakers Collection Syrah 2013, Morton Estate for the Black Label Syrah 2010; Sacred Hill for the HALO Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2013 and Esk Valley for its Hawke’s Bay Rose 2014. Kumeu-based Cooper’s Creek also took gold for its SV Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Malbec “Metals and Gravels” 2013.

– Hawkes Bay Today