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Explore our Premium NZ Wine Selection

These spectacular wines are premium varietals from iconic New Zealand wine-growing regions. They scored 95 points or more and were awarded a Gold medal, and are available in selected stores. They’re perfect for thoughtful gifts and special occasions, big or small – everything from family celebrations to marking life’s milestones, offering a humble apology to a big thank you. We understand it can be bewildering navigating special occasion wines and we stand behind every one of these beauties. 

Chardonnay

Selaks Founders Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2018

The Selak family originally from Croatia produced their first wine in West Auckland in 1934. While the ownership has changed, the philosophy of producing quality trusted wines you can enjoy with family and friends is still as relevant today as it was 85 years ago. The Founders range recognises Marino Selak's insistence that the most treasured grapes were kept and blended into wine for family and friends.  Here is a great example of that insistence, with ripe stone fruit this Chardonnay is gorgeously scented with a dash of gun smoke. Flavours of lemon zest and roasted cashew nut, here is a concentrated richly textured Chardonnay with bright acidity and a lingering finish.

Chardonnay

Zephyr Chardonnay 2017

In 1985, as an 11-year-old, Ben Glover saw the conversion of his family’s dairy farm in Dillons Point Marlborough to vineyards. This was essentially the start of his winemaking career. In 2007 Ben launched the Zephyr Wine brand, sourced from the family farm bordering the Opawa river. Their 2016 Chardonnay was part of last year’s Premium NZ Selection, so it’s great to see the 2017 come through again, an endorsement to the skill of this team. With concentrated richness and flavours of fresh peach, pineapple and lemon zest there is incredible depth and layers of flavour here. A balance of oak, a touch of gun smoke and an elegant creaminess, this is a stunning Chardonnay.

Pinot Noir

Nautilus Southern Valleys Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016

Although the grapes were harvested in 2016, this wine is still very much a baby. From a selection of different Pinot Noir clones (think of the range of different perfume and colours you get from tea roses), hand harvested and fermented using naturally found indigenous yeasts on the grapes. Put all this together and you end up with aromas of juicy black cherry and plums, with toasty cedar oak and a smoky mushroom note. The palate is rich and concentrated with red cherry, smoky oak and fresh herb flavours along with a fresh juiciness. Here is a wine crafted by Clive Jones and his winemaking team that is drinking beautifully now but will continue to develop over the next few years. A great match with a whole lamb rack rubbed with olive oil, rosemary thyme and garlic cooked at a high heat on a BBQ until pink inside.

Pinot Noir

Squawking Magpie Reserve Central Otago Pinot Noir 2018

With the philosophy of producing wines of viticultural excellence, these grapes were grown in Central Otago and reflect the quality of fruit produced there. A very smart wine, this has been awarded Gold for a second vintage and a second year in a row in this competition, which shows great consistency and reliability. With aromas of cranberry, dark cherry and pencil shaving oak, the palate is rich concentrated with savoury and chocolate notes. Generous herbal complexity and chocolaty tannins give layers of complexity and a long elegant finish. Here’s a great ‘boundary pushing’ wine for food. Match this with a rich salmon pie or slow roasted pork belly, or try it with our favourite – a chicken casserole made with harissa and red wine, and served with brown rice and fresh steamed green beans. 

Pinot Noir

Wild Earth Pinot Noir 2017

Commercial diver and lover of Central Otago, Quintin Quider was initially drawn to Stewart Island from his native Southern California. It was challenge of winemaking that took him the final step from Stewart Island to Bannockburn’s Felton Road and the establishment of Wild Earth Wines. Their first vintage was in 2004, but it wasn't until 2008 that the name Wild Earth started to resonate as a quality Pinot Noir to watch, winning trophies for their 2006 Pinot Noir. The bouquet is very seductive with black fruit, thyme, elegant cedar oak and subtle mushroom complexity.  Velvety with concentration and layers of dark fruit flavour, the tannins are fine, supple and silky with a long persistent finish. A great wine for any occasion, especially one that involves friends, family and food.

Red Blends

Esk Valley Winemaker's Reserve Gimblett Gravels Merlot Malbec Cabernet Franc 2014

This winery has a unique history in New Zealand's development of wine – the original winery and cellars known as Glenvale were built in the picturesque valley in 1933 by Englishman Robert Bird and were renamed Esk Valley in the 1980’s. The layout of the original winery and its concrete fermentation vats inspired a small batch winemaking approach that continues in the new winery today. Under the leadership of winemaker Gordon Russell, this is a very hands-on winery where the wine is nurtured and the results are spectacular.  A big rich wine only produced in good years, with dark rich fruit, aromas of blueberry, plum and blackcurrant. The palate is big and rich with spice, mocha chocolate, tobacco leaf and dark red berry fruits. The wine has a lovely juiciness and a long finish.