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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

Church Road McDonald Series Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2018

From one of our oldest wineries in New Zealand and first created by Bartholomew Steinmetz as Taradale Vineyards on the current site of Church Road Winery in 1897. On Steinmetz’s return to his native Luxembourg, a young winemaker Tom McDonald took over and created wine of legend. While Tom’s focus was primarily on Cabernet Sauvignon, in more recent times the production of Chardonnay has been a major success for the winery. The Church Road McDonald series is tribute to pioneer Tom McDonald and represents special vineyard selections and smaller batches. Beautiful poised and complex with subtle toasted nuts and fig flavours. The palate is generous, layered and complex with savour smoky oak and a long weighty finish.

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

The Hunting Lodge Seasonal Collection Chardonnay 2018

An old and well-known house turned restaurant, The Hunting Lodge, has since the 1980’s been connected with good wine and good food. Attached to the old Matua Valley Winery in Waimauku, North of Auckland, in 2016 the Sutton family purchased the Lodge and 80 acres surrounding it, having spent time there since the 1970’s and developed a deep-seated love of the area. The wine they are producing under The Hunting Lodge Seasonal range reflects the grape growing regions of New Zealand, this Chardonnay having been grown in Hawke’s Bay. Elegant and restrained with aromatic fruit notes of ripe white peach, lemon peel and a flinty minerality. Here is a Chardonnay that delivers an intense concentrated mouthful of flavour through into exquisitely refined finish. This is a wine that ages well and the stylish bottle will add grace to any dining table.

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

Mount Michael The Mountaineer Pinot Noir 2017

Named after Mount Michael, the southernmost peak of the Pisa Range in Central Otago, Mount Michael Wines were created in 1994, initially on a 6-hectare block in Cromwell with the first wines being produced under the label in 1999. Over time the vineyards have expanded, contracted, relocated and present-day Mount Michael showcases fruit from the subregions surrounding the Cromwell Basin. Mount Michael Wines have been awarded numerous accolades. The judges described this wine as engaging and complex with aromas of dark cherry, toasted spice, with dried herbs and plush mouthfeel. There is a real richness to this wine, with intensity and texture, its superbly long. This a wine that shows a sense of its origin and place.

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

Scott Base Pinot Noir 2018

One of Marlborough’s pioneer winemakers, Allan Scott has been at the forefront of winemaking for the best part of 40 years. As a very successful viticulturist, Allan has always had a keen eye for great vineyard sites. In 2008, Allan and his family took over full ownership of a vineyard block he had an interest in since 2004, McNab Road Vineyard on the outskirts of Cromwell. This became Scott Base, and Scott Base wines were created.  The 2018 Pinot Noir is testament to the region and the winemaker’s skill. Aromas of sweet raspberry, cherry and thyme, the flavours are long and intense with red cherry, rose petal and strawberry. This is a Pinot Noir that is elegant, with intensity, soft ripe tannins and a beguiling delicacy. The finish is long and silky. 

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

The Lakes Central Otago Reserve Pinot Noir 2018

A stunning example of Wanaka Pinot Noir from a small family owned single vineyard. Produced by 3 Wine Men, the brainchild of John Davies, a long-time member of the wine trade, who had a dream to create his own wine. In 2014  with help from his family, including his then 9 year old son, John set out to create wines that were in his words, “Making no money but having fun enjoying the satisfaction of smiles we put on consumers faces and quality wines on dining tables.” Using the very talented team of Wanaka winemakers Sarah-Kate and Dan Dineen, the 2018 The Lakes Central Otago Reserve Pinot Noir is stunning. Very seductive aromas of cranberry, dark cherry and violets, the palate has a delicate spice with dark red berry fruits, an elegant oak infusion along with silky tannins and a smooth lingering finish.  

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

Church Road Grand Reserve Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

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 19yr old, Tom was left to look after the winery while its owner Bartholomew Steinmetz returned to his native Luxenbourg in the 1920’s. Steinmetz never returned  and Tom McDonald subsequently bought the winery and focused on producing  red wines of excellence, all by the age of 19 years.  In the following 50 years Tom championed the Cabernet Sauvignon variety and one hopes he would be proud of the wines coming from the site of his original vineyard. Dense dark red fruits with notes of blackcurrant jam, rich tannins and smoky oak creates a captivating nose. The palate is rich and opulent with black fruity and a touch of liquorice, a full-bodied wine with length and finesse.

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.