Skip to Content

Opening Hours

Today7.00am - 9.00pm
Tuesday7.00am - 9.00pm
Wednesday7.00am - 9.00pm
Thursday7.00am - 9.00pm
Friday7.00am - 9.00pm
Saturday7.00am - 9.00pm
Sunday1:00pm-9.00pm

14 best New Zealand red wines of 2020

14 of the best red wines NZ has to offer. New World Wine Awards 2020 Gold Winners. Pinot Noir, Shiraz & more. Affordable & delicious - ready for summer.

The New World Wine Awards judges some of the best red wines from across New Zealand and around the world. It’s incredible to see some local Kiwi vineyards hold their own against some well-established wineries from Australia, Europe and South America.

So if you’re looking for a bold, punchy Syrah, an intensely rich Cabernet Sauvignon or a gentle, fruity Pinot Noir, you can’t look past these 2020 gold medal winners.


Sugar Loaf Southern Valleys Pinot Noir 2019

Variety: Pinot Noir
Region: Marlborough
Style: Medium Bodied Red Wine
Price: $20 to $25
Key flavours: Cherry fruit, cranberry

Judges Comments:

From the Marlborough sub-region of the Southern Valleys comes an extraordinarily graceful Pinot Noir. Grown on clay soils, this is a delicious expression of the terroir. Perfect with dishes like slow cooked red wine beef casserole or slow roasted pork-belly. Bold tannins with good fruit flavours of black cherry and cranberry in balance. A very powerful expression, youthful with lots of fruit and glorious length of flavour.

Pairing Recommendation:

Complementing a wide range of dishes from reasonably robust to restrained and elegant. Great with salmon or the Sunday roast, burger and ribs or steak, sausages, chicken, lamb, pork belly and game, take to a pot-luck dinner or BBQ. Versatile enough for antipasti, cheeses like brie, camembert, feta and mozzarella, pizza and pasta.


Church Road Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Variety: Red Blends
Region: Hawkes Bay
Style: Full Bodied Red Wine
Price: Under $15
Key flavours: Cassis, dark berry fruits, leather, plums

Judges Comments:

Some of the best nights are just about catching up with friends, watching the game and ordering pizza. Here’s the perfect match! Big, intense and bold with lots of everything – fruit, texture and rich tannins coming together as a complete package. Still incredibly youthful, a wine that is drinking well now, but will reward with further aging.

Pairing Recommendation:

These tend to be blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Grenache, Malbec, so the same foods that match the individual varieties also work here. These tend to be robust wines for robust food flavours. Try with the Sunday roast, burger and ribs, lamb, steak, sausages, chicken or game. Great with pizza and tomato-based pasta dishes. Take to a pot-luck dinner or a BBQ with good friends. With vegetarian menus, look for savoury flavours like mushroom, beetroot, aubergine, tomato and red wine sauces, olives, braised celery and onion-based dishes. Pair this hard or aged cheese like cheddar, gouda and pecorino.


Borthwick Paper Road Pinot Noir 2019

Variety: Pinot Noir
Region: Wairarapa
Style: Medium Bodied Red Wine
Price: $15 to $20
Key flavours: Cedar wood, cherry fruit, tamarillo

Judges Comments:

From the small, high quality wine-producing area of Gladstone, just over the hill from Wellington. Beetroot, mushrooms and duck are all extraordinary when paired with this Pinot Noir. Perfumed cedar, ripe black cherry and tamarillo fruit aromas extend through the palate, giving a gentle complexity. A very rich, polished wine with great length of flavour.

Pairing Recommendation:

Complementing a wide range of dishes from reasonably robust to restrained and elegant. Great with salmon or the Sunday roast, burger and ribs or steak, sausages, chicken, lamb, pork belly and game, take to a pot-luck dinner or BBQ. Versatile enough for antipasti, cheeses like brie, camembert, feta and mozzarella, pizza and pasta.


Latente Reserva Malbec 2017

Variety: Single Variety Reds
Region: Argentina
Style: Full Bodied Red Wine
Price: $20 to $25
Key flavours: Chocolate, dark berry fruits, fruit cake, raspberry

Judges Comments:

Ripe Malbec from Argentina is on another level - big rich flavours that are truly approachable and just shout 'pair me with a hearty steak'. This is one of those wines, classic ripe Malbec with fruit cake and dark raspberry notes. Full bodied with big tannins that are supple and balanced by the raspberry fruit notes. Extraordinary fruit purity and fine texture that frames the wine.

Pairing Recommendation:

These are wines that are associated with Argentina, although they are produced in other countries, so we tend to look at steak as the obvious pairing. They are also brilliant with lamb - both BBQ and slow roasted - pork, beef stews, duck and game birds, chilli, spag bol and vegetables like, aubergine and beetroot. Cheeses like soft blue cheese and possibly the most surprising match is dark chocolate, the higher the cocoa content the better!


Mount Brown Estates Pinot Noir 2019

Variety: Pinot Noir
Region: Canterbury
Style: Medium Bodied Red Wine
Price: $15 to $20
Key flavours: Cherry fruit, mushrooms, spicy

Judges Comments:

From a small winery in North Canterbury operated by a father and daughter team, this is a wine that pairs perfectly with the local lamb. Try a slow roasted shoulder of lamb served with a fresh green salad. Sweet ripe fruit, spicy tannins and a nice savoury mushroom character with great concentration of flavour yet still delicate. Engaging length of flavour with a rich textural finish.

Pairing Recommendation:

Complementing a wide range of dishes from reasonably robust to restrained and elegant. Great with salmon or the Sunday roast, burger and ribs or steak, sausages, chicken, lamb, pork belly and game, take to a pot-luck dinner or BBQ. Versatile enough for antipasti, cheeses like brie, camembert, feta and mozzarella, pizza and pasta.


Woods Crampton Barossa Valley Shiraz 2018

Variety: Shiraz and Syrah
Region: Australia
Style: Full Bodied Red Wine
Price: $15 to $20
Key flavours: Blackberry and blueberry, creamy, dark berry fruits, vanillin oak

Judges Comments:

Gold medal in the 2018 New World Wine Awards and another in 2020, this is consistently good wine with a strong pedigree. It's a natural pairing for BBQs and really any get-togethers that involve friends, family and good food. A big rich juicy wine with dark red fruits. A textural wine with length and creaminess, along with selectively well-handled oak.

Pairing Recommendation:

Shiraz is often a powerful rich wine that's perfect with big rich flavours. Try it with burger and ribs, steak, sausages and game dishes. Take to a pot-luck dinner or a BBQ with the neighbours and, of course, wonderful with the Sunday roast. Syrah is the same grape, but often a wine that is more medium bodied, great with pizza and pasta dishes, game, especially duck and rabbit. BBQ lamb and slow cooked meat dishes, as well as a simple steak with green beans and potato fries. Pair this hard or aged cheese like cheddar, gouda and pecorino.


The Hunting Lodge Expressions Lavish Merlot Malbec 2019

Variety: Red Blends
Region: Hawkes Bay
Style: Full Bodied Red Wine
Price: $15 to $20
Key flavours: Dark berry fruits, fruit cake, plums, spices

Judges Comments:

A wonderful combination of two grapes you don't often see blended together. Pair this with grilled lamb chops served with an olive tapenade made with orange zest, parsley and celery leaves. Dark red fruits and a lovely spice from the Malbec. Wonderfully approachable, the palate is textural with an inviting creaminess that balances the tannin. Beautiful oak integration and a long finish gives this wine another dimension.

Pairing Recommendation:

These tend to be blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Grenache, Malbec, so the same foods that match the individual varieties also work here. These tend to be robust wines for robust food flavours. Try with the Sunday roast, burger and ribs, lamb, steak, sausages, chicken or game. Great with pizza and tomato-based pasta dishes. Take to a pot-luck dinner or a BBQ with good friends. With vegetarian menus, look for savoury flavours like mushroom, beetroot, aubergine, tomato and red wine sauces, olives, braised celery and onion-based dishes. Pair this hard or aged cheese like cheddar, gouda and pecorino.


Grant Burge 5th Generation Shiraz 2018

Variety: Shiraz and Syrah
Region: Australia
Style: Full Bodied Red Wine
Price: Under $15
Key flavours: Blackberry and blueberry, dark berry fruits, liquorice, mineral

Judges Comments:

Since first introduced into Australia 190 years ago, Shiraz has been an absolute winner for the country and its wine industry. The same grape as our Syrah, it's grown in a much hotter climate and the results are amazing. This year's Champion Shiraz / Syrah is testament to that difference. Fabulous colour and superb ripe fruit with a hint of liquorice and struck flint. Juicy rich palate and a long finish, it treads lightly for a big wine.

Pairing Recommendation:

Shiraz is often a powerful rich wine that's perfect with big rich flavours. Try it with burger and ribs, steak, sausages and game dishes. Take to a pot-luck dinner or a BBQ with the neighbours and, of course, wonderful with the Sunday roast. Syrah is the same grape, but often a wine that is more medium bodied, great with pizza and pasta dishes, game, especially duck and rabbit. BBQ lamb and slow cooked meat dishes, as well as a simple steak with green beans and potato fries. Pair this hard or aged cheese like cheddar, gouda and pecorino.


Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Syrah 2019

Variety: Shiraz and Syrah
Region: Hawkes Bay
Style: Full Bodied Red Wine
Price: $15 to $20
Key flavours: Black pepper, blackberry and blueberry, dark berry fruits, plums

Judges Comments:

If you were going to select wines based on quality and consistency, then this wine would have to be high on your list. It’s been awarded a Gold medal in this competition for its 2015, 2017 and now 2019 vintages. Made with grapes predominantly grown in the Gimblett Gravel region in the Hawke’s Bay, this wine has great weight and concentration with youthful fruit purity – plums, blueberry and a touch of black pepper. A very polished and complete wine.

Pairing Recommendation:

Shiraz is often a powerful rich wine that's perfect with big rich flavours. Try it with burger and ribs, steak, sausages and game dishes. Take to a pot-luck dinner or a BBQ with the neighbours and, of course, wonderful with the Sunday roast. Syrah is the same grape, but often a wine that is more medium bodied, great with pizza and pasta dishes, game, especially duck and rabbit. BBQ lamb and slow cooked meat dishes, as well as a simple steak with green beans and potato fries. Pair this hard or aged cheese like cheddar, gouda and pecorino.


The Crater Rim "From the Ashes" Pinot Noir 2019

Variety: Pinot Noir
Region: Canterbury
Style: Medium Bodied Red Wine
Price: $15 to $20
Key flavours: Cherry fruit, dark berry fruits, spicy

Judges Comments:

Here is the single partner to an Italian style dinner – start with bruschetta, follow with pasta tossed with a roast tomato and fresh herb sauce, then chicken cacciatore, and this one wine will pair with them all! Too easy. Produced in Waipara, just north of Christchurch, ripe red fruits with an exotic hint of pepper and an attractive tension between fruit and tannins. Layers of really spicy fruit and a rounded textural mouthfeel, topped with an engaging long finish.

Pairing Recommendation:

Complementing a wide range of dishes from reasonably robust to restrained and elegant. Great with salmon or the Sunday roast, burger and ribs or steak, sausages, chicken, lamb, pork belly and game, take to a pot-luck dinner or BBQ. Versatile enough for antipasti, cheeses like brie, camembert, feta and mozzarella, pizza and pasta.


Running With Bulls Tempranillo 2019

Variety: Single Variety Reds
Region: Australia
Style: Medium Bodied Red Wine
Price: $15 to $20
Key flavours: Cedar wood, dark berry fruits, red berry fruits

Judges Comments:

While small amounts of Tempranillo are being grown in New Zealand, it’s not common and is still an adventure to try. This is a famous wine of Spain, also grown in Australia where this beauty comes from. Great to pair with BBQ, gourmet burgers and grilled chorizo sausage. The colour is primary deep red, perfumed aromas of warmed red fruits and a suggestion of fennel. Plum wine with silky mouthfeel and firm tannins balanced by succulent juiciness.

Pairing Recommendation:

The mainstay of Spanish wines, obviously dishes that are meat or contain chorizo have to be high on the list… Spanish pork ribs, paella as well as classic tapas. Also good with hamburgers, chilli chicken and chilli crab, aubergine and chargrilled capsicum, courgettes as well as pizza. Pair this hard or aged cheese like cheddar, gouda and pecorino.


Paritua Stone Paddock Syrah 2018

Variety: Shiraz and Syrah
Region: Hawkes Bay
Style: Medium Bodied Red Wine
Price: $20 to $25
Key flavours: Black pepper, blackberry and blueberry, dark berry fruits

Judges Comments:

Red wine is fabulous with meat because of its tannins – those same tannins also allow the wine to age beautifully. So here we have the perfect wine to stock up on now and try regularly over the next five years. Hauntingly floral with a charming play between black and blue fruit. The palate is succulent and silky with great structure. A complete package displaying interesting maturity for a youthful wine.

Pairing Recommendation:

Shiraz is often a powerful rich wine that’s perfect with big rich flavours. Try it with burger and ribs, steak, sausages and game dishes. Take to a pot-luck dinner or a BBQ with the neighbours and, of course, wonderful with the Sunday roast. Syrah is the same grape, but often a wine that is more medium bodied, great with pizza and pasta dishes, game, especially duck and rabbit. BBQ lamb and slow cooked meat dishes, as well as a simple steak with green beans and potato fries. Pair this hard or aged cheese like cheddar, gouda and pecorino.


Framingham Nobody's Hero Pinot Noir 2019

Variety: Pinot Noir
Region: Marlborough
Style: Medium Bodied Red Wine
Price: $20 to $25
Key flavours: Cherry fruit

Judges Comments:

This year's Champion Pinot Noir is outstanding and an excellent example of the high quality of New Zealand Pinot. From the talented team at Framingham, try this with a butterflied chicken cooked on the BBQ and served with a roasted beet salad. Ripe cherry fruit with a hint of spice, the palate is plump, full and rich and very approachable. The tannins are firm but with fine integration and a long lingering finish.

Pairing Recommendation:

Complementing a wide range of dishes from reasonably robust to restrained and elegant. Great with salmon or the Sunday roast, burger and ribs or steak, sausages, chicken, lamb, pork belly and game, take to a pot-luck dinner or BBQ. Versatile enough for antipasti, cheeses like brie, camembert, feta and mozzarella, pizza and pasta.


De Bortoli Woodfired Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Variety: Single Variety Reds
Region: Australia
Style: Full Bodied Red Wine
Price: $15 to $20
Key flavours: Blackberry and blueberry, cassis, cedar wood, dark berry fruits, mint, spicy

Judges Comments:

Grown in the ancient red Cambrian soils of the Heathcote region of Northern Victoria and so good it's been awarded the Champion Single Variety Red. Winemaker Steve Webber reckons it's perfect with a chargrilled steak, I guess that's why he calls it 'woodfired'. Attractive high-toned cassis, blueberry, mint and spicy oak aromas, the palate is elegant and supple with juicy fruit that finishes with firm tannins and appealing linearity.

Pairing Recommendation:

Robust wines for robust food flavours. Try with the Sunday roast, burger and ribs, steak, sausages or game. Great with pizza and tomato-based pasta dishes. Take to a pot-luck dinner or a BBQ with good friends. Pair this hard or aged cheese like cheddar, gouda and pecorino.

Fancy a glass of red?

Want to find more award-winning wines for under $25 a bottle? Take a look at our pick of the best New Zealand wines of 2020. Or, use our wine finder tool to search for a wine that takes your fancy.

Ready to try some award-winning New Zealand red wines? All of our Gold medal-winners are available online now from your local New World. There are limited quantities of some red wine vintages available. 

Whatever the occasion, these award winning red wines are ready for you to share and enjoy.

Related articles:

Read our guide to Shiraz and Syrah wine
Latest wine trends in 2020
Best New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs
Top white wines of 2020
8 of the best Pinot Noirs of 2020
Best New Zealand wines for under $20

 

Jim Harre - about the author

After studying viticulture and winemaking at Hawkes Bay’s Eastern Institute of Technology, Jim worked several vintages, both in New Zealand and Internationally as a winemaker. 

Identified as having a very good palate for quality assessment of wine, Jim has been a major part of New Zealand’s Wine Judging competitions for over 25 years. Now a well respected International Judge, he works as a Chair of Judges in Wine Competitions in USA, Japan, China, Australia and, of course, New Zealand. 

He is also regarded as a world authority on the effect of how wine perception changes in aircraft, a panel chair at the world’s largest competition; the International Wine Challenge, held each year in London; as well as Wine Consultant to Air New Zealand.

It is Jim’s love of education and teaching people about wine that makes him one of New Zealand’s most recognised Wine professionals.