These spectacular wines are premium varietals from iconic New Zealand regions. They’re perfect for thoughtful gifts and special occasions, big or small – everything from family celebrations to marking life’s milestones, saying 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.

Wine Finder

This vineyard, Davishon Vineyard, is founded on a site close to where Jean Desire Feraud produced his wine in the 1860’s. Planted in free draining gravels with very low rainfall, above the Clutha River near Alexandra in Central Otago. In 1895, thirty years after this area was first planted, Romeo Bragato an Italian Viticulturist on loan to the New Zealand Government from the Victorian Government also visited the region and endorsed Central Otago as having perfect soil and climate for viticulture. 130 years later that perfection still remains and stunning wines like this are proving correct those farsighted early pioneers. Purple-hued and intense heady spice, thyme and violet fragrance with dark cherry flavours on the palate. With silky polished tannins, a beautiful structure and lovely elegance, this is a Pinot that has both gorgeous typicity and aging potential.

Find out more at www.alexwine.co.nz

Brancott

In 1975 the founders of Brancott Estate planted the first Sauvignon Blanc grapes in the Marlborough region and, in doing so, changed the face of the region forever. While Sauvignon Blanc was the success of the region it encouraged other successful grape varieties to also be trialled there. Again Brancott Estate was at the forefront with their 1996 Marlborough Chardonnay being voted International Chardonnay of the Year at the London International Wine Challenge. Today that excellence in Marlborough Chardonnay continues in the Brancott ‘O’ series which is produced with fruit from their top performing vineyards with an aim to achieve a perfect harmony of aroma, flavour, structure and body. This wine displays those qualities with aromas of popcorn and flinty grapefruit, with beautiful complexity along with flavours of summer peach and almond balancing the integrated oak. Bright juicy acidity which follows a line through to the finish creating a complete textural experience.

Find out more at www.brancottestate.com

Carrick

Located in the heart of Central Otago Bannockburn, an area originally famous for gold mining in the 1860’s, Carrick has struck its own gold field in the production of truly spectacular wines, particularly their Pinot Noir. Barbara and Steve Green originally planted the vineyard in 1994 on the shores of Lake Dunstan looking towards the Carrick Range of mountains. Great believers in the totality of wine production, Steve and Barbara recognise this with their trademark sailors knot symbol; of binding together viticulture, winemaking and the sense of place. Dark red with black cherry, spice and liquorice flavours, the oak is attractively integrated which continues into the palate creating a seamlessness. It’s well balanced with supportive tannins, juicy acidity and classy fruit. The long finish has both elegance and complexity. Carrick has been Certified BioGro organic since 2008.

Find out more at www.carrick.co.nz

Church Road

From one of the oldest wineries in the country and developed by winemaking pioneer Tom McDonald, this is a wine to celebrate his vision and persistence in following his dream. As a 19-year-old, Tom was left to look after the winery while its owner Bartholomew Steinmetz returned to his native Luxembourg in the 1920’s. Steinmetz never returned and Tom McDonald subsequently bought the winery and focused on producing red wines of excellence. While strongly focused on the production of red wines, I suspect that Tom would be proud of the quality of Chardonnay coming from these vineyards. Chardonnay has only been produced here since 1990, and the Grand Reserve is only produced in great vintages from the best low cropping vineyard blocks. With aromas of roasted wheat, nectarine and toasty oak this wine displays a lovely savoury character that extends through the palate with a beguiling saltiness and fruit flavours of hazel nut and peach. The long finish highlights the juicy acidity and fine supple tannins. This is a very seductive wine.

Find out more at www.church-road.com

Cloudy Bay Chardonnay

This is one of Marlborough’s first five vineyards and was set up in 1985 by Australian David Hohnen. The story goes that, back home in Western Australia, David heard about this amazing new vineyard area, and jumped on the next flight to NZ to see for himself. There is probably no other Marlborough winery that internationally carries the same iconic and evocative link to this region than Cloudy Bay. Made famous for its Sauvignon Blanc with irresistible fresh herbaceous flavours, Cloudy Bay has also become famous for its Pinot Noir, Sparkling and, of course, Chardonnay. A very classy wine from an iconic producer, it has attractive struck match, hazel nut and grapefruit aromas, the palate is gentle, fine and elegant with zesty fresh squeezed lemon and white blossom. Exquisite purity of flavour with great acidity and a long finish with a suggestion of grapefruit. A delicious wine.

Find out more at www.cloudybay.co.nz

Cloudy Bay Pelorus

This is one of Marlborough’s first five vineyards and was set up in 1985 by Australian David Hohnen. The story goes that, back home in Western Australia, David heard about this amazing new vineyard area, and jumped on the next flight to NZ to see for himself. There is probably no other Marlborough winery that internationally carries the same iconic and evocative link to this region than Cloudy Bay. Now owned by LVMH, the world’s largest Champagne producer, it is no surprise this sparkling wine shows such finesse, elegance and still remains quintessentially New Zealand. Deep straw colour with fresh aromas of toast and fresh bread, and a fine even persistent bead. The palate has weight, rounded fruit sweetness, biscuit and baked apple tart flavours with a depth of complexity. The finish is very long with a biscuity note.

Find out more at www.cloudybay.co.nz

Kings Bastard

Marisco Vineyards owner Brent Marris took inspiration for the King’s Series after researching his family tree. He found he was a descendent of the de Marisco family, who lived Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel, off the coast of Devon. Brent has created the King’s Series to celebrate the scandalous stories of his ancestors. The family is descended from William de Marisco, believed to be one of King Henry I thirty-five illegitimate children. Hence the wine named after him as the King’s Bastard. While it is an entertaining story, the Chardonnay has the light Marris touch of stunning winemaking to give depth of flavour and finesse. Tropical aromas integrated with the notes of perfumed tropical flowers with a background of citrus. The palate has flavours of nectarine and lemon/lime citrus and a lovely creaminess. The finish is long and exotic with a balancing acid line.

Find out more at www.marisco.co.nz

Obsidian Estate

Established on Waiheke Island in 1993 this 17 hectare vineyard was set up to produce great Bordeaux-style red wines using the traditional varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petite Verdot. Twenty-one years later, based on this example you would have to say they have achieved their objective. The blend under the careful guidance of Winemaker Michael Wood is beguiling and a great testament to the regions potential. So close to downtown Auckland, it’s worth a visit just to experience the tranquil beauty of the area, and as you'll see, the wines are superb as well. The Vitreous is stunningly dark purple with irresistible aromas of cigar box, black cherry and spice which carry through into the palate vanillian oak and the plump fleshy fruit along with nutmeg and black pepper flavours. The fine tannins are silky with a chalky acidity and a lovely long persistence.

Find out more at www.obsidian.co.nz

Rockburn

The history of Rockburn Wines dates back to 1998 when a group of Kiwi families, driven by their love of Central Otago Pinot Noir, started a business venture together. Rockburn still remains family-owned today, with as much passion for Pinot as ever. Located on the 45th Parallel, similar to the Burgundy region latitude in the Northern Hemisphere, the Rockburn site overlooking Lake Dunstan couldn't be more different, with harsh, almost extreme, conditions. The Pinot Noir grapes are sourced from two vineyard locations, Gibbston and Lowburn, and blended to produce outstanding wine. There is a lovely youthfulness with this wine, with aromas of spiced black cherry red fruits along with toasted oak and a touch of mocha. The palate is multi-faceted with seductive oak, juicy polished tannins and a long velvety finish balancing the cherry spice fruit weight.

Find out more at www.rockburn.co.nz

Squawking Magpie

A boutique winery set up in 1995 by Gavin Yortt in the Gimblett Gravels region of Hawke’s Bay, with the aim of producing quality wines worthy of fine food and great company. Famous for their Bordeaux-style red wines from the Gimblett Gravels, and continuing their philosophy of only using premium grapes, they have also sourced spectacular parcels of Pinot Noir from Central Otago to produce outstanding wines like this. Youthful black cherry, plum along with dried herbs are the tantalising aromas, the flavours are of very ripe strawberry and the palate is textured and sensuous with fine ripe supple tannins and a long finish with crunchy sweet fruit.

Find out more at www.squawkingmagpie.co.nz

Te Pa

Part of the recently formed TUKU Maori Winemakers Collective, Haysley MacDonald, owner of te Pā Wines planted a vineyard on the soils of his family land, a spectacular area situated between the Wairau River and Cook Strait. The te Pā Pinot Noir is grown in the Omaka area of the Southern Valleys, an area that wraps around the surrounding hills of the Omaka, Fairhall, Brancott, Ben Morvan and Waihopai Valleys. It’s obviously a site that suits the most fickle of grapes, Pinot Noir, this wine has a dark ruby red colour, aromas of cherry fruit and a savoury crushed shell minerality. The palate exhibits fresh floral red fruits, raspberry, black cherry and wonderful savoury complexity. The tannins are silky with an elegant long finish.

Find out more at www.tepawines.com

Villa Maria Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

Produced from grapes sourced from the prestigious grape-growing area of Gimblett Gravels in the Hawke’s Bay. This is an 800 Ha area of deep free-draining gravelly soils created in the huge and destructive floods of 1860 where the Ngaruroro river exposed this amazing site. These reserve wines are only produced in years where the wine are of a very high standard. A great example of a traditional Bordeaux style blend, with deep purple coloured and very powerful, dark berry fruits with aromas of cassis and chocolate. The palate is still very youthful with fresh blackberry, blueberry and black olive flavours. Firm chalky tannins add to the structure with has an attractive texture and great balance. The finish is rich, powerful and very, very long. This is a wine with great aging potential.

Find out more at www.villamaria.co.nz

Villa Maria Cabernet Chardonnay

In 1961 Sir George Fistonich set up Villa Maria Wines at just 21 years of age, after leasing 5 acres of land from his father. Villa Maria is always focused on regional differences and championing the wide variation in the regions rain fall, sunshine hours and soil types that all contribute to the finished wine. This wine is a great expression of Marlborough Chardonnay and the Reserve range is only made in years of high quality fruit. This Chardonnay is a light golden colour with intense citrus/oak aromas and a hint of smoke with flavours of lemon, ripe pineapple, and hazelnut. The oak is beautifully integrated with notes of toasty oatmeal and peachy coconut. Complex with great length, showing tight textural acidity.

Find out more at www.villamaria.co.nz

Villa Maria Pinot Noir

The Seddon Vineyard in the Awatere Valley of Marlborough is a spectacular site, on the southern side of the Awatere River on an old riverbed terrace sheltered from the cold southerly wines. The single vineyard site these grapes were produced from is called vineyard 1998, a designation given to reflect the year of planting. These are 20 year old vines, a reflection of the pioneering ethos of Sir George Fistonich and the early planting of Awatere Valley sites. A stunning example of a 4-year-old Pinot Noir which will continue to age gracefully for several years to come. Ruby red with lifted floral aromas and dense ripe cherry fruit with a touch of liquorice and cherry spice. The toasty oak and sweet berries are attractively integrated giving the wine a long silky textural finish with an appealing softness.

Find out more at www.villamaria.co.nz

Wairau River Chardonnay

Phil and Chris Rose are pioneers of the Marlborough wine industry. Captivated by the deep free-draining soils and abundant pure artesian water supply in the Wairau Valley, they planted grapes in 1978. In 1991 Wairau River vinery was born and is now synonymous with quality Marlborough wine. Their grapes come from ten estate vineyards, all of which are family owned and operated. The reins have now been passed on to next generation, with sons Hamish and Sam looking after the viticulture and winemaking respectively. This is a true family business: daughters Caroline, Pip and Anna operate the Wairau River cellar door and restaurant, and 12 grandchildren are on the sidelines, watching carefully. The Chardonnay is stunning with a light yellow colour, with a rich mealy, biscuity nose with bright fruit and a smokey minerality. Creamy rich melon, apple and floral flavours with nicely rounded depth of flavour, and a long finish with balanced acid length.

Find out more at www.wairauriverwines.com

Whistling Buoy Pinot Noir

Phil and Chris Rose are pioneers of the Marlborough wine industry. Captivated by the deep free-draining soils and abundant pure artesian water supply in the Wairau Valley, they planted grapes in 1978. In 1991 Wairau River vinery was born and is now synonymous with quality Marlborough wine. Their grapes come from ten estate vineyards, all of which are family owned and operated. The reins have now been passed on to next generation, with sons Hamish and Sam looking after the viticulture and winemaking respectively. This is a true family business: daughters Caroline, Pip and Anna operate the Wairau River cellar door and restaurant, and 12 grandchildren are on the sidelines, watching carefully. The Pinot Noir is deep ruby in colour, with irresistible aromas of ripe prune, plum and chocolate. The palate is well structured with complexity, big supple and very ripe rounded tannins with a long spicy finish.

Find out more at www.wairauriverwines.com

Whistling Buoy Pinot Noir

A small family owned and operated vineyard on the Banks Peninsula of Canterbury, on the edge of the Lyttelton Harbour Crater, the name Whistling Buoy comes from the original buoy marking the entrance into the harbour. This particular wine comes from their Kokolo Vineyard, named by the original Japanese owners, and meaning ‘Heart and Mind’. It is situated at the head of the bay on a sun-drenched North-West facing site. Owned by Neil and Jill Pattinson, this stunning wine was produced under the guiding eye of well-known Consultant Winemaker Dom Maxwell and his team. The colour is deep purple with amazing intensity, and aromas of gamey mushroom, dark cherry, violets and kirsch. The palate has glorious concentration and silky flowing fine tannins, a very elegant wine.

Find out more at www.whistlingbuoy.co.nz

Zephyr Chardonnay

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. The Chardonnay is golden colour, with toasty oak, lemon citrus and popcorn. The palate is fruit sweet with intense juicy lemon fruit, a touch of flint and a creamy seamlessness wrapped around a backbone of citrus acidity. A long persistent finish with great concentration.

Find out more at www.zephyrwine.com

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