The resulting wines are broad and rich, lush in texture but rarely fat. Canterbury: Opened in 1997, Bell Hill was the first NZ vineyard outside of Central Otago and … 91 Eradus 2009 Sauvignon Blanc (Awatere Valley). 5 Tesco New Zealand Sauvignon blanc 2.25L. It's hard to imagine that if the wines above had French labels and heritage that they would be bouncing off a 93-point glass ceiling. But shortly afterward, he planted Chardonnay. This wine features rich flavors of currant leaves and grass with a crisp dry finish. 90 Lawson’s Dry Hills 2009 Gewürztraminer (Marlborough). It’s a complex white wine with aromas of pink grapefruit, herbs, and gooseberry. And by adopting biodynamic farming in the early 1980s, owners James and Annie Millton proved they had the requisite foresight to pull it off. What is … Villa Maria founder and Managing Director Sir George Fistonich (he was knighted in 2009) celebrates his company’s 50th anniversary this year, but has never been content to rest on his laurels. And while it’s never oily, overdone or blowsy, it’s never lean, bitter or sharp, either. Editors’ Choice. Healy became enamored of indigenous ferments while developing Te Koko at Cloudy Bay, and Dog Point’s Section 94 takes that to the limit, being entirely barrel fermented with “wild” yeasts. Given the acres of space devoted to Sauvignon Blanc at the start of this story, the obvious talking point is the absence of any Sauvignon on the list. When Tim Turvey planted grapes at Te Awanga in 1988, the first vines he put in were Cabernet Franc. Today New Zealand white wine - one of the mostdecent in the world ranking. 4. Despite the massive imbalance between Sauvignon and "the rest" in New Zealand, winemakers aren't simply knocking out the kind of cookie-cutter, paint-by-numbers Sauvignons beloved of supermarkets the world over; they are making excellent wines from a broad range of grapes. Wilson Daniels Ltd. Those were the days…the days back in 1978 when a couple of young adults “getting back to the land” could buy a rundown property and turn it into something special. Wilson Daniels Ltd. Say what you will—overpriced, overhyped and overcommercial have all been used to describe Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc—but there’s no denying that this wine ignited New Zealand’s international rise to wine stardom. Common to all three Rieslings is that rare combination of power and precision. Cloudy Bay was one of the pioneers in barrel fermentation of Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand, which eventually led to its Te Koko bottling. There’s also a dry Riesling and the Block 1 Riesling, which replicates the spätlese style, but from a single vineyard parcel. Vintus LLC. The Best Wine From New Zealand Under $20! The Chardonnay is pretty good, too. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies and the terms of our, Welcome to winemag.com! The first plantings are scarcely 30 years old, but they have defined an entire country’s wine image. What makes the Eradus Sauvignon Blanc so remarkable is its quality and consistency year after year in a region known for weather extremes and vintage variation. Chardonnay became the focus, and today, the wines are often mistaken for Burgundy in blind tastings. 90 Neudorf 2008 Chardonnay (Nelson). 90 Millton 2010 Te Arai Vineyard Chenin Blanc (Gisborne). Rated 89 by Wine Spectator. Although the various Kumeu River Chardonnays differ considerably, they all share a sense of balance and restraint. It is quite literally the best … One other thing to point out is the relatively "low" scores. 90 Esk Valley 2010 Chardonnay (Hawkes Bay). The Best Sauvignon Blanc Wine Making Kit – Eclipse New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Things get really interesting when tasting through the winery’s limited-release Pioneer Block offerings. Even Dog Point’s regular Sauvignon Blanc (which does have the grape variety listed up front) includes a healthy proportion of wild ferment and stands apart from other Marlborough Sauvignons for its complexity and richly textured palate. 4.4 out of 5 stars (45) 0 in trolley. Winesellers Ltd. Chardonnay: Ata Rangi, Craggy Range, Dry River, Felton Road, Mountford, Pegasus Bay, Sacred Hill, Seresin, Te Mata Despite that, the Reserve Chardonnay remains fruit driven, with crisp citrus notes when young that gradually unfurl over several years into white peach and sometimes tropical flavors, all framed by elegant notes of toasted nut and grain. Founder Neil McCallum, Martinborough’s self-proclaimed “certified geriatric of the district,” planted his Pinot Gris on its own roots in 1979, part of the first 8.5 acres he developed. Then all the industry has to do is get the critics to take Sauvignon seriously... About Editors’ Choice. Indeed, the grape doesn't feature among the top 25 wines in New Zealand, which is a huge surprise and another vivid example of how poorly the critics rate that particular wine style. 92 Neudorf 2008 Moutere Chardonnay (Nelson). Crop levels are lower in their own sections of the vineyard than in the contracted blocks, and all of the fruit destined for Dog Point is hand-picked. Millton says that he considers the Chenin Blanc from the Loire a benchmark, and while his wine is fruitier and more forward than most Loire Chenins, it can sometimes show the touches of wet wool so common there. Winesellers Ltd. 90 Saint Clair 2011 Pioneer Block 18 Snap Block Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough). The wine finishes with ripe acidity, bringing lemon zest and gooseberry flavours along with a hint of stonefruit. “That sees about 60 to 70 percent new oak,” says Turvey. From the mid-1980s, consumers have been enthusiastically swilling New Zealand Sauvignon down in ever-increasing quantities. They’re assisted by former Corbans viticulturist Jeremy Hyland and former Kim Crawford winemaker Jules Taylor (she also has her own burgeoning label). “I’m trying to pull up the flavors, make the wine more expressive on the nose and working on texture and weight,” she says. To the right are striking views of the cliffs below Cape Kidnappers. Like Cloudy Bay’s original Sauvignon Blanc, it has spawned a whole new generation of Marlborough wines. Te Koko is entirely barrel fermented using indigenous yeasts, resulting in a complex, richly textural wine with more similarities to white Graves than to most Marlborough Sauvignons. It’s cooler and more open to the sea, with harvest dates that can lag behind the Wairau Valley by as much as two weeks. New Zealand Alphabetical Listing. Fast forward to today, and more than five million glasses of Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc are enjoyed worldwide every day, according to New Zealand Winegrowers. Strict tasting rules were applied. Most vintages weigh in at 14% alcohol, yet still contain considerable residual sugar. It features less oak and a lower price tag than the other Chardonnays. Now, more than 30 years later, Neudorf’s Moutere Chardonnay is one of New Zealand’s top white wines. What are popular brands of New Zealand wine? This short list of the country’s best white wines reflects only a sliver of New Zealand’s blossoming diversity. That list now extends well beyond Sauvignon Blanc to include stalwarts like Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris and Riesling, but also Arneis, Grüner Veltliner, Verdelho and Viognier. Pioneers like Frank Yukich of Montana (now Brancott Estate) and Ernie Hunter and wineries like Cloudy Bay defied the local authorities who said they were mad to waste good grazing and forestry land under grapevines, and created a global phenomenon – Marlborough (and, by extension, New Zealand) Sauvignon Blanc. What would happen if New Zealand's most famous wine wasn't what it did best? Here is a look at the top five best New Zealand vintage wines for 2018. Editors’ Choice. But the insiders’ wines are the three Rieslings crafted by winemaker Blair Walter. Rarely has a local style found such a ready global audience. Future lists will no doubt encompass even more varieties, as existing vines age and new cultivars become available. Dry River was a cult wine in New Zealand before anyone had ever heard of the term. Wilson Daniels Ltd. Editors’ Choice. Vintus LLC. 90 Eradus 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (Awatere Valley). Bell Hill Pinot Noir, Canterbury. At a lower price point and with much larger quantities produced, Villa Maria’s Private Bin Unoaked Chardonnay provides a budget-friendly alternative. But in 2012, 50 years after his first awards for Villa Maria “Burgundy” and “Claret,” it almost seems not to matter from where the company sources its Chardonnay. Quantity of The Doctor's Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, White Wine in trolley 0. Bob Campbell MW was the second wine writer in the world (after Jancis Robinson) to become a Master of Wine. 92 Saint Clair 2011 Pioneer Block 3 43 Degrees Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough). “We just lucked into growing Gewürztraminer,” chuckles owner Barbara Lawson. Gewürztraminer: Dry River, Spy Valley, Stonecroft, Vinoptima ... New Zealand’s wine industry is one of the youngest in the world, but the 'can-do' attitude of our pioneering winemakers and growers put in place a solid base for our innovative, world-class industry to flourish. Pinot Gris: Bilancia, Huia, Mountford, Spy Valley The wine displays complex aromas of passionfruit, white-fleshed peach, lemon juice, zest and gooseberry, which enhances the minerality. This wine pairs well with seafood such as oysters, scallops, and salmon. But the team behind Dog Point is made up of veterans of the Marlborough wine scene. By continuing to use our Services and/or submitting the above information, you agree to our use of cookies and the terms of our He estimates tasting over 100,000 wines since he began to formally record tasting notes. But as relatively large-production regional blends, that’s exactly what they should do. What the list does emphasize, though, is the diversity of New Zealand's wine output. He is regarded as "Mr New Zealand Wine" within New Zealand and around the globe. Biodynamic farming practices contribute to low yields and concentrated fruit, while the region’s cool night temperatures result in high acid levels and tremendous focus in the finished wines. Wilson Daniels Ltd. 90 Kumeu River 2008 Coddington Chardonnay (Kumeu). In the Marlborough region of the South Island, Allan Scott Family … Three percent of the 2011 Sauvignon Blanc is barrel fermented, just one of the ways in which she’s trying to accomplish that. “We don’t put Sauvignon Blanc on the front label because we don’t want to confuse folks who might think its Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc,” says Healy. Compared to most of the other wineries on this list, Dog Point is a youngster—its first vintage was only in 2002. Ste. These wines were tasted for the New Zealand report in the June 15, 2010, issue of Wine Spectator magazine. Rad Grapes. Auckland, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Marlborough. The Awatere Valley is a subregion of Marlborough, but it’s almost a world of its own, separated from the main (Wairau) valley by a range of hills. Region: Loire Valley, France. In 1986, the Brajkovich family’s San Marino Vineyards was rechristened Kumeu River Wines and a new era was born. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Moët Hennessy USA. All are entirely barrel fermented and aged, yet the percentage of new oak is so carefully judged and the fruit characters of the wines so concentrated that the oak comes across as a supporting force rather than a dominant one. Trinity Hill. 92 Kumeu River 2009 Maté’s Chardonnay (Kumeu). A little bit of Awatere fruit goes a long way to spicing up and enlivening regional blends, but pure Awatere wines aren’t always successful. Yet, New Zealand’s vinous heritage stretches back to at least 1819, when the Rev. Visitors to New Zealand may be able to find Lawson’s 2010 The Pioneer Gewürztraminer, made in a vendange tardive (late harvest) style, from the winery’s original plantings. Editors’ Choice. New Zealand's best wine comes from the stony soil of Hawke's Bay. For American consumers who want a taste of what Villa Maria can do with Hawkes Bay fruit, the company also offers an excellent Hawkes Bay Chardonnay under its Esk Valley label. The 2009 edition looks to be at a similar level of quality and aging potential. Bell Hill Chardonnay. 93 Dog Point 2011 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough). The World's Most Wanted New Zealand Wines, Escarpment Kupe Pinot Noir, Martinborough, Felton Road Block 3 Pinot Noir, Bannockburn, Martinborough Vineyard Marie Zelie Reserve Pinot Noir, Martinborough, Framingham F-Series Riesling Auslese, Marlborough, Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay, Kumeu, Provence Rosé Producer Looks Beyond Britain, Weak Thanksgiving Raises Worries for Wine, California Liquor Board Bypasses Due Process, California's Other Cabernet Stakes a Claim, Charles Heidsieck Revives a Unique Champagne, Wine's Struggle between Price and Reputation. Ste. Maivino maivino.com. Moët Hennessy USA. In 2017 its vines took up 22,085 hectares (54,570 acres) of vineyard area, a full 60% of New Zealand's total grape planting, and Sauvignon Blanc … Bell Hill. The palate balances bright acidity with flavors of passionfruit, nectarine and herbal notes. 4.4 out of 5 stars (45) Item price. 90 Dry River 2009 Pinot Gris (Martinborough). The Vintner Group. © 2020 Wine-Searcher™ All rights reserved. Allan Scott Family Winemakers. Meadowbank Estates. 90 Cloudy Bay 2011 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough). Michelle Wine Estates. It’s made in a style similar to a German spätlese, with about 9% alcohol and 60 g/L of residual sugar. Wilson Daniels Ltd. 91 Kumeu River 2008 Estate Chardonnay (Kumeu). It’s always varietally evocative, featuring textbook rose-petal, lychee and spice shadings. There is an immediate fleshy impact carrying through with a good mid-palate texture. For a nation roughly the size of Colorado, New Zealand produces an outsized amount of wine. It’s a wine that’s remarkably consistent from vintage to vintage, always combining New World fruitiness and Old World complexity in its own unique way. 92 Saint Clair 2011 Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough). Originally, there was a single Estate Chardonnay, but following the Burgundian meme, winemaker Michael Brajkovich, MW, has introduced a number of single-vineyard bottlings. Felton Road is probably best known for its Pinot Noirs, admittedly among New Zealand’s finest. The region is also responsible for upwards of 77% of all wine production in New Zealand. By Don Kavanagh | Posted Saturday, 21-Nov-2020, By W. Blake Gray | Posted Tuesday, 29-Dec-2020, By W. Blake Gray | Posted Monday, 28-Dec-2020, By W. Blake Gray | Posted Sunday, 27-Dec-2020, By Caroline Henry | Posted Saturday, 26-Dec-2020, By Don Kavanagh | Posted Thursday, 24-Dec-2020, By W. Blake Gray | Posted Wednesday, 23-Dec-2020, By Don Kavanagh | Posted Tuesday, 22-Dec-2020, By Don Kavanagh | Posted Monday, 21-Dec-2020, By W. Blake Gray | Posted Sunday, 20-Dec-2020, By W. Blake Gray | Posted Saturday, 19-Dec-2020, By W. Blake Gray | Posted Friday, 18-Dec-2020, By W. Blake Gray | Posted Thursday, 17-Dec-2020. But since I first tasted Dry River’s 1999 during a trip to Martinborough in 2000, the winery has hit the mark year after year, putting it firmly atop the burgeoning list of New Zealand Pinot Gris. Sauvignon Blanc. These wines go from the very traditional – Coleraine, for instance, is a Bordeaux blend, while the grapes that make the Homage were grown from cuttings from the Hermitage vineyard – to the contemporary (New Zealand's best Pinots have long since stopped trying to ape Burgundy), proving that New Zealand wine is far from a one-trick pony. When the Spence brothers planted a new variety at their northwest Auckland vineyard back in 1969, they couldn't have imagined what sort of a monster they were creating. 90 Felton Road 2010 Bannockburn Riesling (Central Otago). Wilson Daniels Ltd. 87 Kumeu River 2009 Village Chardonnay (Kumeu). Off their 250 acres of vineyards, the majority of the fruit is still sold to Cloudy Bay, with only about 35% used in Dog Point. The Doctor's Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, White Wine 75cl. Samuel Marsden planted 100 vines at a mission in Kerikeri and wrote in his journal, “New Zealand promises to be very favourable to the vine.”. While Marlborough still dominates production, and is the style most drinkers associate with New World Sauvignon Blanc, there are excellent examples to be found from Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Nelson, Canterbury and Central Otago too. The Tasting: The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 10 recent release New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs with 12 members of our wine judging panel. New Zealand has long been best known for its Sauvignon Blanc, which dominates New Zealand's wine industry. Trade Buy the largest range of New Zealand's best white wines direct from New Zealand with delivery worldwide to Australia, USA, UK, Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and China The cookie settings on this website are set to 'allow all cookies' to give you the very best experience. Thank You! Among the most well-known and respected are Kim Crawford, Governors Bay, Kia Ora, Oyster Bay, Cottesbrook, Whitehaven, Grey Rock, Nobilo, Cloudy Bay, Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, Framingham, and Villa Maria New Zealand. Best Wines: the best wines of the bunch from the LCBO’s latest batch of New Zealand bottles as selected by Toronto Life wine critic David Lawrason. Maligned in some quarters, here the Mendoza clone produces wines with ample weight and texture while never losing their sense of balance and proportion. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links. I recently heard Saint Clair’s Sauvignon Blanc program derided as “recipe winemaking,” by the owner of another Marlborough wine company. It's as though Sauvignon is not deemed to be as worthy, somehow, as, say, Cabernet, or Riesling, or Pinot Noir, or Chardonnay, or... well, you get the picture. Turvey’s Te Awanga Chardonnay vines overlook the ocean, separated from the sea by only a road, a few ramshackle buildings and a narrow beach. New Zealand, Marlborough. The largest production Riesling—and the only one regularly seen in the United States—is the Bannockburn bottling. Best New Zealand Wines . That might sound a little harsh, but I use the word monster in terms of something huge, and what the Spences did was certainly that – in effect, they laid the foundation for the modern New Zealand wine industry, because the vines they put in were the first commercial plantings of Sauvignon Blanc in that country. There’s also a Village bottling, which corresponds to a French villages-level wine. Crisp green apple, nectarine and spice are typical, with wines produced in the country’s north showing more tropical fruit and those from the cooler southern vineyards, more citrus. By using our website and/or subscribing to our newsletter, Riesling: Dry River, Forrest, Fromm, Martinborough Vineyard, Neudorf, Palliser, Pegasus Bay, Spy Valley Rad Grapes. Seemingly through some sort of winemaking magic, nearly all of the company’s black-label releases—typically five or more in any given year—merit recognition. Editors’ Choice. And despite huge increases in production over the years, changes in vineyard sourcing and turnover in personnel, it has maintained a remarkable track record of excellence. Speaking of critics, let's talk about how we arrive at our scores. Michelle Wine Estates. America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants of 2019, Wine Enthusiast's 2019 Wine Star Award Winners, The Enthusiast 100: Our Top Wines of 2020, The Making of Wine Enthusiast's No.1 Wine of 2020, Sought-After Spirits That Aren't Pappy Van Winkle, California Privacy Rights Do Not Sell My Information. Take New Zealand’s warmest, wettest grape-growing region and pair it with a cool-climate variety to create one of the country’s best wines? Sauvignon Blanc: Craggy Range, Greywacke, Mahi, Seresin, Te Mata. Generally, Sauvignon Blanc doesn't rate with critics and the Kiwi version still less; the "best" Sauvignon we list on our database is the Alphonse Mellot Edmond Sancerre and that only gets a 93-point aggregate. Individual vintages of some other New Zealand Gewürztraminers can sometimes eclipse Lawson’s, but for consistent quality and style, no one hits the mark more often. New Zealand may be best known for its signature smelling and tasting Sauvignon Blanc, but if that's the only variety you've tried from the southernmost wine producing country in the world, you're missing out. Years later, Neudorf ’ s Moutere Chardonnay is one that emphasizes concentration and texture I it... Can be aged for 2-5+ years and are best served at 5 degrees degrees! 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