Biodynamics, hand-based viticulture, low yields, natural winemaking – these are some of the means we’ve adopted better to record and transmit this voice. Here you can find the most recent Top 10 lists in detail, with photos, videos and complete reviews—ratings, prices, tasting notes and when the wines are best to drink. An orangey, marmalade, zesty nose; a real textural, chewy depth to the palate; and a long, energetic finish. We believe that hand picking optimally ripe fruit and then gently guiding it through vinification with as little intervention as possible allows us to produce elegant wines with flavour and structure that authentically reflect the special place they come from - wines that really are "Handmade from Central Otago" Nice oak notes, juicy fruit with hints of black pepper and blueberries, it also rounds off on a refined finish. Churton is a small Marlborough winery, owned and operated by Sam and Mandy Weaver. Ma Maison boutique winery is the expression of that passion, born out of the Leungs’ desire to share their love of Pinot Noir with others. Colleague and patron of In 2006 we began searching out great vineyard sites that would eventually supply grapes to make the great wines of our future. Warning: Do not give this to people who drink only mass-produced pinot gris.$49, This wine is centred on sémillion, with chardonnay, muscat and gewürztraminer added to the mix. We believe in traditional sustainable viticultural management, low crop levels, minimal handling of fruit during processing and gentle pressing. We manage our land using sustainable winegrowing practices and additionally, we are currently in conversion to organics in both regions. This is a blend of chardonnay and pinot noir and a limited edition from Lindauer, apparently. Ulrike studied Food Technology and has worked in the hospitality industry. There’s also a definite lees component and a touch of reduction, likely due to the “full solids” nature of the ferment (i.e. “Perfectly balanced,” as one taster noted. Ranging from grassy to tropical fruit flavors, it's one of our favorite wines to drink in the summer. Life isn’t always fair. The estate breathes the soul of Hans and Therese Herzog – the very passionate, hardworking and hands-on owners who embrace a holistic approach. In 1961, at just 21 years of age, George leased five acres of land from his father in Mangere, Auckland and started off with just an acre of vines. Winemaker Strat Canning came to them for their second production year and in 2016 worked his 21st vintage. An impressive wine from a sometimes challenging vintage, this shows some nice, sweet fruit intensity and peppery notes, with an integrated, solidly structured palate. Gold & Double Gold Winners 2020 Chardonnay. These shallow, fast draining, low fertility soils reduce vine vigour and help produce a lush, aromatic ripe wine. Advised by legendary Central Otago viticulturist Robin Dicey, planting of our first vines commenced in late 2003. This Waipara wine from top producer Greystone shows sauvignon’s trademark acidity but combines fruit and grassy notes and leesy characters (giving it some impression of age and added complexity) with a soft, complex, delectable palate.$28, Everyone effused about this wine. The wine is super dry and crisp, with racy acidity and an almost powdery texture. In 1973 Austrian-born Hermann Seifried and his New Zealand wife Agnes first grafted vines in Nelson. The classic pairing of tempranillo in the winery is to age the wine in American oak (as is traditional in Rioja), and there are definite vanilla hints associated with the type of oak in this wine. As one of the pioneers of the Waiheke wine movement, the family’s vision Each year, Wine Spectator editors select the most exciting wines we've reviewed for our Top 100 Wines—based on quality, value, availability and excitement. The vines are spur pruned in the winter and we use a vertical shoot positioning canopy system. We have an enduring purpose. The wine was made with no additions bar some sulphur at bottling and is 100% whole-bunch pinot noir, so the berries are not removed from the stems prior to fermentation. Simon Waghorn is a winemaker. The first record of a Le Brun planting vines in Champagne is in 1684. At Alpha Domus our philosophy is to produce premium wines from Hawke's Bay, fully representative of their terroir. In 2005 he and his partner Ulrike Kurenbach established the Hawkshead Vineyard Partnership. At Cable Bay Vineyards, our vision is to hand-craft wines from the highest quality fruit grown in small lot, premium sites. This is the red version with a predominance, obviously, of pinot noir. LIME ROCK is a stunning vineyard situated on limestone hills in sunny Central Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, 40km SW of Hastings and 6km west of Waipawa. We are a small vineyard just five minutes from the Village of Havelock North in Hawkes Bay Wine Country. The portfolio includes Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Rosé. Under Rudi’s custodianship Pinot Noir becomes the essence of Central Otago whilst Pinot Gris takes on a rich textured dry style. Both subregions are well known for their red wines but the whites are equally great. Detailed vintage reports. The Te Motu Vineyard story began in 1988 when the Dunleavy family procured Decanter Retailer Awards 2020 Results Australia Specialist of the Year: The Vinorium. The Historic gold town on Bendigo was mined from 1862. The Austrians drink grüner with pork and this will fit the bill from aperitif to sausage to a rolled loin.$19 VALUE! Wine to us is a genie, genius loci; our job is to coax it from its rock to bottle. He grew up in the Rangitikei where he farmed for many years before entering Parliament in 1984. Ostler Vineyards is a boutique producer of wines of distinction in the South Island’s Waitaki Valley. The focus is on careful land use and soil management, with minimum interference with nature. This huge potential was something that was recognised back in 1979 by Jane Hunter and her late husband Ernie when they planted their first vineyard in the picturesque Wairau Valley. Our elevated north facing site on the lower slopes of the Te Mata hills is not only an excellent location for grape growing it also provides us with stunning views, a warm sheltered micro-climate and a perfect situation for the visitor to spend an hour or two, a night or two or even a week or two. They found that place at the top of New Zealand’s South Island, under the cool gaze of Mount Tapuae-O-Uenuku (the footprint of the rainbow) in Marlborough’s spectacular Awatere Valley. It really doesn’t get much better than this.$45 TOP 10, An unusual red blend from this Hawke’s Bay producer, the Ruber is a mix of cabernet franc, merlot and syrah, all from the Bridge Pa region. If you’re looking for a more classic New Zealand sauvignon blanc, this is probably as close as you might get in this list (alongside the Ward Valley that follows). A real summer wine with notes of apricot and lemon iced tea, it has decent, rounded palate weight and good length, helped along by albariño’s unshakeable acidity.$30. It had nine months in oak with full malolactic fermentation, and is unfined and unfiltered, with no added sulphites. These are the best boxed wine brands and grape varieties to sip on. 10: New wine bar Candela, food happenings, Metro Eats No. We are open seven days and we welcome a call or a visit some time soon. This has everything you want in a chardonnay: a big, floral, almost aromatic nose with buttery, toasty oak hints; it’s zesty on the palate, with great length and freshness. For example, all of our wines are fermented with their own yeast starters, cultured every year, from the vineyard itself. Now, Kelly Washington is a joint project with husband Simon Kelly, and their wines shone at the Metro tasting; all three they submitted comfortably made the cut. URLAR is a Gaelic word that means "The Earth”. All Fromm wines have an uncompromising emphasis on texture and drinkability. Vineyards are primarily situated on sites with moderate to low fertility with stony, sandy loam top soil overlaying deep layers of free-draining shingle. (If you find yourself with a different batch, enter it in the Untitled Wines website and you’ll get a full run-down of the makeup of the wine.) When it burst on the scene in the 1980s, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc shocked the world. It is made in Roquemaure, where the Leperchois family has been making wine for centuries. Clark Estate wines are also exported to limited export markets. All Simon’s skill and experience combine to capture the essence of Marlborough in wines of purity, focus and elegance. This is a lovely aromatic, with citrus, honeysuckle, orange and some almost-smoky notes. Home Destinations Interests Top 2020 by Month. The 2017 Bel Canto is a steely number, showcasing the North Canterbury region’s textbook acidity. Our wines seek to express the uniqueness of the land. Over 20,000 reviews and wine tasting notes from the 2012–2020 editions of “New Zealand Wines Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide”. This is not your run-of-the-mill Kiwi sauvignon blanc, and if you want to blow people’s perceptions of... RICH WHITES. The name ‘Prophet’s Rock’ is taken from a local landmark at the claim of pioneering goldminer Bob Prophet. The palate is soft, rounded and plush. From an organic vineyard in Bannockburn, it gets no filtration and no fining, going straight from barrel to bottle. Or, as one taster noted simply, “exciting”.$32, The Loire is one of the darlings of the wine world at the moment and chenin blanc — one of its signature grapes — is feeling the love. Elegance, balance and length are a feature of our wines. The largest Quartz Reef deposit in New Zealand lies beneath the vines at Bendigo Station. Cooler nights here provide our vines with the conditions they need to produce fragrant, complex and concentrated wines. This is made by one of Australia’s leading organic producers, Angove Family Winemakers, with fruit sourced from their own Nanya vineyard and other organic growers in McLaren Vale and harvested at night to keep fruit temperature low and to enable a couple of days’ maceration before ferment. Though New Zealand is best known for world-class Sauvignon Blanc, an array of styles, new and old, are on the rise. Over 40 years later, and the Seifried family now farm over 200 hectares across eight sustainably accredited vineyards in the Nelson region. The judges have swirled, sniffed, sipped, tasted and debated more than a thousand wines to find the Top 50 drops under $25, and now New World has made them available for you to share and enjoy. Holly is Matahiwi Estate’s flagship range and the pinot noir is made from a selection of parcels and clones in the estate’s vineyard. The grapes for Mt Beautiful wines are grown on our own vineyard and crafted by renowned winemaker Sam Weaver. In her memory, the Bostock wine savours all that she loved about the land and the beautiful bounty it can produce. The climate and the exposed stony sub-soils make the area ideal for growing grapes! URLAR Gladstone utilises some biodynamic practices in the vineyard and winery. Naturally well balanced these distinctive wines from Hawke's Bay display good varietal characters and are powerful without forsaking the qualities that make a wine enjoyable right through to the last drop. But there is far more to the Pacific island nation than its trademark grassy, sweat-scented Sauvignon. This is a delicate pinot, although the oak at times seems quite prominent. Fancy a bottle of something interesting? Sign In. And this is no exception. Hopefully, they’ll move it into a regular slot in the range as this wine showed some lovely autolysis (yeasty, biscuity, brioche) notes on the nose. In order to pursue that dream, I immigrated to New Zealand with my family in May 2001, where I believe has one of the greatest potentials to grow Pinot Noir. Read wine news and competitions or browse profiles on hundreds of NZ wineries so you can plan your next trip around our wonderful wine country. In past years we have also produced Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinotage, Merlot, Merlot-Malbec, Chenin Blanc and Methode Champenoise. One of the few rosés to make the final cut, this is an easy-drinking, perfect summer-day wine. It’s aged in oak and it shows, with some real toasty, nutty notes in evidence. If you’re a wine pedant, you should probably stop reading now, because this is not your run-of-the-mill list of the top 50 wines in New Zealand. Under her expertise, the original vineyard area has increased by 2.5 times its original size and the company’s annual output has grown to around 75,000 cases of wine, nearly 65% of which is exported. Made from grapes sourced predominantly from the Wairau Valley — original Kiwi sauvignon blanc territory — this is a herbal, refreshing, juicy sav with a lovely, fresh finish. Inground water monitoring allows us to precisely meet the vines' irrigation requirements. Vicki was committed to protecting the soils here for future generations. Johanneshof Cellars was established in 1991 and is jointly owned and operated by Edel Everling a fifth generation winemaker from Ruedesheim, Rheingau, Germany and Warwick Foley from Marlborough. Yes, we all care about a good drop — but increasingly, that means different things to different people at different times. Everything we do reflects the love we have for ‘our place’ – Hawke’s Bay, and our enduring ambition to make world class wines. Now the sun-drenched north facing slopes are becoming famous again... Named after New Zealand’s largest quartz deposit that lies beneath our vineyards at Bendigo Station, Quartz Reef has become the vessel for what winemaker Rudi Bauer calls - his search to make wines which exhibit “a symphony of flavours” that “capture attention and entertain so that you forget everything else”. Sauvignon Blanc may be New Zealand’s calling card, but a slew of red wines add to the diversity this pair of sea swept islands has to offer.. After Edward completed his degree the couple moved to Hong Kong for four years, but returned to New Zealand in 1972. 30 acres of prime “vineyard valley” and nourished it into a haven of In 2009 Te Mata launched its Estate Vineyards wines, selected from their own vineyards to represent the finest expression of their Hawke’s Bay varietals. Takeaways? Since then we’ve grown a reputation for producing premium wine in a range of varieties, winning awards for our Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Méthode Traditionnelle. Clark Estate showcases the best of Marlborough wines with an emphasis on the Upper Awatere Valley. The winery has a few rows of syrah on the edge of the Martinborough Terrace, on a north-facing slope that drops down to the Huangarua Stream. Maps of New Zealand’s wine regions. For our top 10, click here. This is 100% sauvignon blanc from the cooler Awatere Valley, and spent 4-6 hours on skins before being whole-bunch pressed in a basket press. One of Hawke’s Bays greatest strengths is its geographical and climatic diversity and that’s why we love making wine here. Two separate sites have been established in this way since 2000 adding a further eight hectares of vineyards. This chardonnay has North Canterbury’s signature acid line with a good, well-balanced level of oak. Peregrine is a boutique, artisan producer of a premium range of wines, with a focus on Pinot Noir, and an outstanding range of white varietals. This doesn’t have the mineral edge of many modern-trend chards, but what it lacks in modernity, it makes up for in seductiveness. Family-owned Batch Winery produces wines which are crafted in small lots without compromise. The palate, though, is reasonably light, refreshing, and smooth.$25, This is a Nelson (Moutere) pinot noir from the once-embattled Mahana vineyard (one of New Zealand’s few gravity-fed wineries), now owned by KiwiSaver provider Booster (whose portfolio includes Hawke’s Bay’s Sileni Estates). With Wilco Lam as Chief winemaker since 2013, Dry River continues to build on its reputation as one of New Zealand’s most iconic pioneering wineries. Focusing on length, structure and complexity, Awatere River produces exceptional Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Biodiversity is encouraged in a largely monoculture by growing plants in the vineyard to attract beneficial insects and developing native plantings around the property. Matahiwi is one of those estates in the wider Wairarapa that tends to fly in the shadow cast by the more high-profile wineries in and around Martinborough. In the last 30 years the province of Marlborough has moved from virtual obscurity to become New Zealand’s largest and best-known wine region with a reputation for producing some of the world’s finest Sauvignon Blanc. After taking over in 2010, the current owners converted the two original vineyards and winery to organic production and these are now fully certified organic with AsureQuality. Which is a shame, because as this wine shows, they both have something to say. Owned and run by Jules and her husband George, Jules Taylor Wines is the successful result of big dreams, hard work and a dedicated team. The Peregrine Winery and its vineyards are located in the southernmost grape growing region in the world at latitude 45 South, in Central Otago, the heart of New Zealand’s South Island. We carefully regulate crop size, follow organic principles and are committed to sustainable viticulture. Saint Clair Family Estate is owned by Neal and Judy Ibbotson, viticulture pioneers in Marlborough since 1978. The Man O’ War story begins with a special piece of land which has a rich history. Subsequent successful topgrafting has increased our Pinot Gris and Malbec, reducing our Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. As a varietal specialist, Hans is one of the country’s most respected winemakers with over 40 vintages of winegrowing under his belt. This is the ultimate barbecue red, with a bunch of complexity to boot. All wines are available at the Cellar Door - in a remodified container "bringing the Awatere to town", as well as a few selected outlets around New Zealand. A nose of brown-pear skin, intense, with a concentrated palate, this is another textural white wine that flirts with a phenolic edge, so it might not be everyone’s cup of tea (give them some dumplings or a bit of crayfish to have with it). South Africa, too, is cementing itself as a producer of top-end chenin. We allow wines to go through natural malolactic fermentation and clarify by settling. Located in the Gladstone sub-region of the Wairarapa, URLAR is the largest single organic vineyard (75 acres) in the region producing award-winning Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Riesling wines. To ensure the Domaine remains the best possible custodian of the land, biodynamic land practices are deployed - the result is pure and perfumed wines expressive of the Central Otago terroir, renowned as one of the finest in NZ. With vines planted on the northern boundary of the Martinborough township, Dry River aptly describes the very arid, gravely and free-draining site. It also has a nice, pretty berry-fruit/dark- fruit nose with smoky notes. Modern New Zealand chardonnays follow global fashions and interests in the more mineral, zippy styles of the variety, as evidenced by Chablis’ current popularity. They all cost less than $50, and many of them cost a great deal less. Some of New Zealand’s most premium red blends, including Bordeaux and Merlot, can be sourced from this region. Metro Eats No. At our highest and most inland vineyard, closer to the mountains, we grow Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Established in 1896, Te Mata Estate remains family owned, producing internationally recognised wines exclusively from its Hawkes Bay vineyards. Grapes were originally supplied to local wine companies; however a desire to extend the quality achieved in the vineyard through to the finished wine led to the establishment of Saint Clair Family Estate in 1994. Our iconic crest reflects this. Cool it down in the fridge for 30 minutes before you open it or enjoy it as it is.$34 TOP 10, Coteaux Bourguignons is a recently enshrined, catch-all appellation that covers anything grown in the wider Burgundy area, from Chablis in the northwest to Beaujolais in the south. The Two Sisters vineyard grows quietly on a steep north facing slope and is managed with minimal intervention. Denis and Ulrike are fully immersed in all aspects of the vineyard and oversee the viticultural operations. The Saint Clair name originates from the vineyard property, first settled by the Sinclair family. That often translates to a bit of “texture” on the palate but this delivers on so many levels. Search wines by variety, star rating, price & region or find the perfect recipe to match a great bottle of wine. The emphasis is on fruit definition, mid-palate fullness, subtlety, complexity and elegance ensuring that the wines will age gracefully; a hallmark of Alpha Domus. Regional vintage charts. Alpha Domus vineyard and winery are accredited members of Sustainable Wine Growing New Zealand, an environmentally conscious group dedicated to ensuring an industry standard for sustainable winegrowing. This may be a touch broad for some palates but for lovers of luxuriant chardonnay, it is hard to go past.$24, Fresh from a recent takeover by Kiwi wine pioneer and industry stalwart Steve Smith MW and US business partner Brian Sheth, this is the start of a new era for Pyramid Valley. Nonetheless, this ticks more than its fair share of boxes.$25 VALUE! From 1994 when wines from the first vintage all won medals including gold, the name Saint Clair has been synonymous with quality and its award-winning record continues today. The predominant varieties produced in Aotearoa are Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, although there are wineries producing basically every other common varietal. Typically our yields are between 3.5 and 4.5 tonnes / hectare and we believe that cropping at this very low level is a key contributor to the concentration of our wines. All our wines are Estate Grown and the fruit is hand picked. It was Vicki’s passion for this land and her desire for safe, natural food that provided the inspiration for this wine. The scenery is spectacular. This arrangement has provided access to varied and interesting sites together with a large measure of control in terms of the choice of planting material, vineyard layout and on-going seasonal management. Ulrike appreciated wine from an early age. This environment is home to the Peregrine falcon and home to Peregrine Wines. All rights reserved. A real peppery, fruit-forward number with a decent structure but with soft tannins and a lovely, lingering juicy finish.$14 VALUE! In 2003 a new 1 hectare block was established with more Pinot Gris and Petit Verdot, giving us a total of 5 hectares planted. A wicked line of acidity with a long finish, this has a bit of texture too.$30, Quite the blend, this. With just over 25 acres many of our wines are available only through the cellar door and this website. Established by Marcel Giesen and Sherwyn Veldhuizen in 1997. Captain James Cook, Palliser was a brave visionary and distinguished leader. Read on, and go seeking. When we visit Queenstown, we like to include one wine tasting session every day or two. We believe a continued focus on good environmental management is positive not only from a sustainability and good business point of view but will also help us create better wines. Trilliant was the result. Flinty, stoney, almost sémillon-like, this is lean, fresh, driven, and thoroughly likeable.$27, Another sauvignon blanc that has obviously seen the inside of a barrel. Central Otago is New Zealand’s only inland and elevated wine growing region, with vineyards nestled in breathtaking river valleys, clinging to snow capped mountainsides or perched gently on the shores of crystal clear lakes. The Wairarapa offers a unique blend of topography, ancient geolgy and climate to produce world class Burgundian style Pinot Noir. To this end our winemaking philosophy is one of minimal intervention. Free-draining soils, hot summers and long, dry autumns make Martinborough the perfect region for growing traditional cool-climate wines. Vicki’s Vineyard runs alongside the Bostock family home at Ngatarawa, positioned centrally within the Bridge Pa Triangle. Located within a lime quarry in the Weka Pass, North Canterbury, the Bell Hill vineyard is divided into the following blocks – the Quarry, the Shelf, the Limeworks, the Steps, the Roadblock, the Slope and the Westbank – and is modelled on the high density plantings of vineyards in Burgundy, France. 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