Best New Zealand Wines

See Also

Best Cheeses

Best Wines in New Zealand

New Zealand's top styles of wine have again been highlighted by the awarding of gold medals for whites Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnary and the ever-improving Pinot Noir red.

Judges at the 2014 Air New Zealand Wine Awards awarded 111 gold medals to recognise the wines they considered to be the best in the country.

Pinot Noir was the strongest performer, winning 22 gold medals, while 20 gold medals were awarded for Sauvignon Blanc and 17 for Chardonnay.

The aromatics classes, consisting of Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Viognier and Albariño, also shone, bagging a total of 25 gold medals. The judges were impressed by the sparkling class, which was awarded 19 medals, including six gold.

Chair of Judges, Michael Brajkovich MW, said New Zealand winemakers were producing world-class wines across an exciting and diverse range of varieties.

"The bar is always being raised in the Air New Zealand Wine Awards and this year is no exception," Michael says. "The wines in this competition seem to improve year on year, and this year there were some truly outstanding entries. It's a good reflection of the evolution of the New Zealand wine sector."

The annual competition saw 1,379 wines entered across 16 different classes. A total of 655 medals were awarded - 111 gold, 196 silver and 348 bronze. New Zealand's largest wine-producing region, Marlborough, led the way in the gold medal count with its wines winning 55 gold medals. One hundred and nine silver and 180 bronze medals were also awarded to Marlborough wines, bringing the region's total medal tally to 344.

Hawke's Bay also had a strong showing with a total of 117 medals - 22 gold, 39 silver and 56 bronze. Central Otago won 82 medals -18 gold, 21 silver and 43 bronze.

Organised and owned by New Zealand Winegrowers, the Air New Zealand Wine Awards competition is well known for its rigorous judging process. It is considered the country's most prestigious wine competition and is regarded as the official competition of the New Zealand wine industry.

The judging panel consisted of 26 judges. They included two international judges, US wine writer Dan Berger and Swedish Master of Wine Madeleine Stenwreth, and 13 senior judges.

Medal winners

Champion Sauvignon Blanc

Boundary Vineyards Rapaura Road Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Clark Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Corbans Homestead Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Giesen The Brothers Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Kuru Kuru Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Rossendale Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 2 Swamp Block Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Saint Clair Vicar's Choice Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Stoneleigh Latitude Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Sauvignon Blanc 2013
te Pā Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Wairau River Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Champion Chardonnay

Coopers Creek SV Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 'The Limeworks' 2012
Dashwood Chardonnay 2012
Goldwater Chardonnay 2012
HALO Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2012
Nautilus Estate Chardonnay 2012
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 10 Twin Hills Chardonnay 2012
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 11 Cell Block Chardonnay 2012
Vavasour Chardonnay 2012
Vidal Reserve Series Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2012
Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2012

Champion Pinot Gris

Lake Chalice Marlborough Pinot Gris 2013
Mount Riley Pinot Gris 2013
Mud House South Island Pinot Gris 2012
Sanctuary Pinot Gris 2013
Tohu Pinot Gris 2013
Torea Wines Pinot Gris 2012
Two Tracks Pinot Gris 2012
Wairau River Pinot Gris 2013

Champion Riesling

Corbans Homestead Riesling 2012
Giesen Riesling 2013
Highfield Riesling 2012
Hunter's Marlborough Riesling 2013
Riverby Estate Marlborough Eliza Riesling 2012
Terrace Edge Liquid Geography Riesling 2012
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Dry Riesling 2013
Waimea Classic Riesling 2013

Champion Gewürztraminer

No gold medals awarded

Champion Other White Styles and Rosé

Coopers Creek SV Gisborne Albariño 'Bell-Ringer' 2013
Kate Radburnd Berry Blush Hawke's Bay Rosé 2013

Champion Sparkling Wine

Akarua Brut NV
Akarua Rosé Brut NV

Nautilus Cuvée Brut NV
Palliser Méthode Traditionelle 2008

Champion Dessert Wine

A Sticky End Noble Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Riverby Estate Noble Riesling 2012
Seifried Winemakers Collection Sweet Agnes Riesling 2012
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Noble Semillon Botrytis Selection 2011

Champion Pinot Noir

Akarua Pinot Noir 2011
Archangel Pinot Noir 2012
Davishon Pinot Noir 2011
Domain Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
Gibbston Valley Pinot Noir 2012
Gibbston Valley School House Pinot Noir 2012
Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012
Greystone Waipara Valley Pinot Noir 2012
Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2012
Mount Michael Bessie's Block Pinot Noir 2012
Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012
Mud House Estate Claim 431 Pinot Noir 2012
Ribbonwood Pinot Noir 2012
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 5 Bull Block Pinot Noir 2012
The Ned Pinot Noir 2012
Thistle Ridge Waipara Valley Pinot Noir 2012
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Seddon Pinot Noir 2012
Wither Hills Pinot Noir 2011
Wooing Tree Beetle Juice 2012
Wooing Tree Pinot Noir 2012

Champion Syrah

Elephant Hill Syrah 2012
Passage Rock Wines Reserve Syrah 2012

Champion Merlot, Cabernet and Blends

Church Road McDonald Series Merlot 2011
Esk Valley Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2012
Trinity Hill The Gimblett 2012
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2010

Champion Other Red Styles

No gold medals awarded

Champion Open White Wine

Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Giesen Riesling 2013
Giesen The Brothers Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Hunter's Marlborough Riesling 2013
Lake Chalice Marlborough Pinot Gris 2013
Mount Riley Pinot Gris 2013
Mud House South Island Pinot Gris 2012
Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Rossendale Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Saint Clair Vicar's Choice Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Sanctuary Pinot Gris 2013
Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2013
te Pā Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Champion Open Red Wine

Church Road McDonald Series Merlot 2011
Esk Valley Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2012
Gibbston Valley Pinot Noir 2012
Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012
Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2012
Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012
Trinity Hill The Gimblett 2012
Wither Hills Pinot Noir 2011
Wooing Tree Pinot Noir 2012

Champion Exhibition White or Sparkling Wine

17 Valley Chardonnay 2011
Allan Scott Family Winemakers Late Harvest Riesling 2013
Ashwood Estate Gisborne Chardonnay 2010
Askerne Gewürztraminer 2013
Ceres Composition Pinot Gris 2012
Fairhall Downs Hugo Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Kim Crawford Small Parcels Methode 2009
Mount Riley Gewürztraminer 2013
Ponder Olive Grove Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Rockburn Tigermoth Riesling 2012
Spinyback Riesling 2013
Te Awa Chardonnay 2010
The Fuder Single Vineyard Selection Clayvin Chardonnay 2011
The Fuder Single Vineyard Selection Dillons Point Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2011
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Dry Riesling 2010
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2012
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Omahu Gravels Viognier 2010
Wairau River Reserve Botrytised Riesling 2012
West Brook Riesling 2012

Daniel Le Brun Vintage 2008
Waipara Springs Premo Old Vine Chardonnay 2005

Champion Exhibition Red Wine

Church Road Grand Reserve Syrah 2011
Crossroads Winemakers Collection Cabernet Merlot 2011
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Hawkes Bay Syrah 2010
Greylands Ridge Pinot Noir 2012
Newton Forrest Syrah 2011
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Malbec 2009
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Merlot 2010

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Gimblett Gravels Merlot Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 200

 

Best Wines of New Zealand 2013

New Zealand's top wines for 2013 have been named by the judges in the country's premier wine competition.

The overall winner of the Air New Zealand-sponsored wine awards was Nautilus Cuvee Brut NV.

All the awards winners

Air New Zealand champion wine of the show
Nautilus Cuvée Brut NV

Air New Zealand Reserve win of the show
Villa Maria Reserve Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2012

Label and Litho Limited Champion Sauvignon Blanc
Boundary Vineyards Rapaura Road Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Rabobank New Zealand Limited Champion Chardonnay
Villa Maria Reserve Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2012

Guala Closures NZ Champion Pinot Gris
Lake Chalice Marlborough Pinot Gris 2013

Plant & Food Research Champion Riesling
Highfield Riesling 2012

BDO Champion Other White Styles and Rosé
Coopers Creek SV Gisborne Albariño ‘Bell-Ringer' 2013

Wineworks Champion Sparkling Wine
Nautilus Cuvée Brut NV

Stuff.co.nz Champion Dessert Wine
Riverby Estate Noble Riesling 2012

JF Hillebrand New Zealand Ltd Champion Pinot Noir
Greystone Waipara Valley Pinot Noir 2012

Fruitfed Supplies Limited Champion Syrah
Elephant Hill Syrah 2012

Coast FM Champion Merlot, Cabernet and Blends
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2010

New World Champion Open White Wine
Lake Chalice Marlborough Pinot Gris 2013

Liquorland Champion Open Red Wine
Church Road McDonald Series Merlot 2011

Waitoa Free Range Chicken Champion Exhibition White or Sparkling Wine
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2012

Business World Travel Champion Exhibition Red Wine
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Hawke's Bay Syrah 2010

 

Best Wines of New Zealand 2012

New Zealand's best wine for 2012 was a pinot noir from Central Otago, according to judges at the country's premier annual wine awards.

A full list of award winners:

Champion Wine of the Show
Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Earnscleugh Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010

Reserve Wine of the Show
Matua Valley Single Vineyard Marlborough Chardonnay 2011

Champion Sauvignon Blanc
Wither Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Champion Chardonnay
Matua Valley Single Vineyard Marlborough Chardonnay 2011

Champion Pinot Gris
Eradus Awatere Valley Marlborough Pinot Gris 2012

Champion Riesling
Aspiring Flats Bendigo Central Otago Riesling 2012

Gewürztraminer
Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Gewürztraminer 2010

Other White and Rosé Wine
Coopers Creek SV Gisborne Albariño ‘Bell-Ringer' 2012

Champion Sparkling Wine
Lindauer Classic Rosé NV

Champion Dessert Wine
Greystone Waipara Valley Basket Star Riesling 2011

Champion Pinot Noir
Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Earnscleugh Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010

Champion Syrah
Passage Rock Reserve Waiheke Island Syrah 2010

Champion Merlot
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay Merlot 2010

Champion Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot/Cabernet Blend
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Hawke's Bay Merlot Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Champion Other Red Wine
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay Tempranillo 2010

Champion Open White Wine
Wither Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Champion Open Red Wine
Rockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011

Champion Exhibition White or Sparkling Wine
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Auckland Chardonnay 2011

Champion Exhibition Red Wine
Vidal Legacy Series Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay Syrah 2009

 

Best Wines of New Zealand 2011

New Zealand's top wine for 2011 was a Hawke's Bay Chardonnay, according to the judges in the country's premier wine competition.

The overall winner of the Air New Zealand-sponsored wine awards was Villa Maria's Keltern Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2010.

All the awards winners

Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2010

Champion Sustainable Wine
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2010

Champion Sauvignon Blanc
Dashwood Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Champion Pinot Noir
Pencarrow Martinborough Pinot Noir 2010

Champion Chardonnay
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2010

Champion Sparkling Wine
The Sounds Marlborough Méthode Traditionnelle 2008

Champion Gewürztraminer
Corbans Private Bin Hawke's Bay Gewürztraminer 2008

Champion Pinot Gris
Spy Valley Marlborough Pinot Gris 2011

Champion Riesling
Martinborough Vineyard Manu Martinborough Riesling 2011

Champion Other White and Rosé
WineWaimea Nelson Viognier 2010

Champion Merlot
Villa Maria Reserve Hawke's Bay Merlot 2009

Champion Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot/Cabernet Blend
Mudbrick Vineyard Waiheke Island Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Champion Syrah
Bilancia Hawke's Bay Syrah 2010

Champion Other Red Styles
Not Awarded

Champion Dessert Wine
Charles Wiffen Late Harvest Marlborough Riesling 2009

Champion Open White Wine
Dashwood Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Champion Open Red Wine
Pencarrow Martinborough Pinot Noir 2010

Champion Exhibition White or Sparkling Wine
Lawson's Dry Hills The Pioneer Marlborough Gewürztraminer 2010

Champion Exhibition Red Wine
Charcoal Gully Estate Sallys Pinch Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010

 

Best Wines of New Zealand 2010

New Zealand's top wine for 2010 was a Central Otago pinot noir, according to the judges in the country's premier wine competition.

The overall winner of the Air New Zealand-sponsored wine awards Peregrine's Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009.

All the awards winners

Champion Wine of the Show
Peregrine Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009

Champion Sustainable Wine
Gibbston Valley China Terrace Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009

Champion Sauvignon Blanc
Jules Taylor Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Champion Pinot Noir
Peregrine Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009

Champion Chardonnay
Villa Maria Reserve Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2009

Champion Sparkling Wine
The Sounds Marlborough Méthode Traditionnelle 2007

Champion Gewürztraminer
Waimea Nelson Gewürztraminer 2010

Champion Pinot Gris
Mud House Estate The Home Block Vineyard Waipara Valley Pinot Gris 2010

Champion Riesling
Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Dry Riesling 2010

Champion Other White and Rosé
WinesThe Millton Vineyard Riverpoint Vineyard Gisborne Viognier 2009

Champion Merlot
Church Road Cuve Hawkes Bay Merlot 2007

Champion Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot/Cabernet Blend
Left Field Hawkes Bay Merlot Malbec 2009

Champion Syrah
Squawking Magpie "The Stoned Crow" Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay Syrah 2008

Other Red Styles
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay Tempranillo 2008

Champion Dessert Wine
Allan Scott Family Winemakers Late Harvest Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008

Champion Open White Wine
Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Dry Riesling 2010

Champion Open Red Wine
Peregrine Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009

Champion Exhibition White or Sparkling Wine
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2007

Exhibition Red Wine
Olssens Slapjack Creek Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009

 

Best Wines of New Zealand 2009


New Zealand's best wines in 2009 included world class examples of pinot noir, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay. The 2009 Air New Zealand Wine Awards awarded gold medals to more than 100 wines, with pinot noir varietals making up almost 20% of the top placings.

List of all winners

Champion Wine of the Show Trophy
Julicher Pinot Noir 2008

Champion Sustainable Wine Trophy
Olssens Annieburn Riesling 2009

Champion Pinot Noir Trophy
Julicher Pinot Noir 2008

Champion Chardonnay Trophy
Villa Maria Reserve Barrique Chardonnay 2007

Champion Sauvignon Blanc Trophy
Catalina Sounds Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009

Champion Other White Styles & Rosé Trophy
Church Road Reserve Viognier 2007

Champion Open Red Wine Trophy
Waipara Hills Southern Cross Selection Central Otago Pinot Noir 2008

Champion Syrah Trophy
Coopers Creek SV Hawkes Bay Syrah Chalk Ridge 2008

Champion Pinot Gris Trophy
Couper's Shed Pinot Gris 2009

Champion Other Red Styles Trophy
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Tempranillo 2008

Champion Open White Wine Trophy
Forrest The Doctors' Riesling 2009

Champion Gewurztraminer Trophy
Johanneshof Cellars Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2009

Champion Merlot Trophy
Villa Maria Reserve Merlot 2007

Champion Riesling Trophy
Esk Valley Marlborough Riesling 2009

Champion Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot/Cabernet Blend Trophy
Mills Reef Elspeth Cabernet Merlot 2007

Champion Sparkling Wine Trophy
Deutz Marlborough Cuvee Blanc de Blancs 2006

Champion Dessert Wine Trophy
Farmgate Noble Harvest Riesling 2007

Champion Exhibition White or Sparkling Wine Trophy
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2006

Champion Exhibition Red Wine Trophy
Georgetown Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007