Classic Wines of New Zealand 2018


A bumper crop of six new Super Classics, 17 Classics and 33 Potential Classics are the features of this year’s closely revised list of New Zealand wine classics.

What is a New Zealand wine classic? It is a wine that in quality terms consistently ranks in the very forefront of its class. To qualify for selection, each label must have achieved an outstanding level of quality for at least three vintages; there are no flashes in the pan here.

By identifying New Zealand wine classics, my aim is to transcend the inconsistencies of individual vintages and wine competition results, and highlight consistency of excellence. When introducing the elite category of Super Classics, I restricted entry to wines which have achieved brilliance in at least five vintages (compared to three for Classic status). The Super Classics are all highly prestigious wines, with a proven ability to mature well (even the Sauvignon Blancs, compared to other examples of the variety).


The Potential Classics are the pool from which future Classics will emerge. These are wines of outstanding quality which look likely, if their current standards are maintained or improved, to qualify after another vintage or two for elevation to Classic status. All the additions and elevations on this year’s list are identified by an asterisk.

***New Super Classic   **New Classic  *New Potential Classic


Super Classics


Branded and Other White Wines

Cloudy Bay Te Koko, ***Dog Point Vineyard Section 94

Chardonnay

Ata Rangi Craighall
Church Road Grand Reserve Hawke’s Bay
Reserve Hawke’s Bay; Clos de Ste Anne Naboth’s Vineyard
***Dry River Martinborough; Fromm Clayvin Vineyard Marlborough
Kumeu River Estate
***Kumeu River Hunting Hill
Kumeu River Mate’s Vineyard Kumeu
Neudorf Moutere; Sacred Hill Riflemans
Te Mata Elston
Villa Maria Reserve Barrique Fermented Gisborne
***Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Hawke’s Bay

Gewürztraminer

Johanneshof Cellars Marlborough
Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough

Pinot Gris

Dry River Martinborough

Riesling

Dry River Craighall Vineyard Martinborough
Felton Road Bannockburn Central Otago
Pegasus Bay

Sauvignon Blanc

Cloudy Bay
Palliser Estate Martinborough
Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Marlborough
Seresin Marlborough

Sweet Whites

Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Noble Riesling Botrytis Selection

Bottle-fermented Sparklings

Deutz Marlborough Cuvée Blanc de Blancs
Nautilus Cuvée Marlborough

Branded and Other Red Wines

Craggy Range Le Sol
Esk Valley Heipipi The Terraces
Stonyridge Larose
Te Mata Coleraine

Cabernet Sauvignon-predominant Reds

***Church Road Tom Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

Merlot

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Merlot-predominant blend
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay

Pinot Noir

Ata Rangi
Dry River Martinborough
Felton Road Block 3 Central Otago
Felton Road Block 5; Fromm Clayvin Vineyard Marlborough
Neudorf Moutere
Pegasus Bay Prima Donna
Pegasus Bay Waipara Valley
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough

Syrah

***Passage Rock Reserve Waiheke Island
Te Mata Estate Bullnose
Trinity Hill Homage Hawke’s Bay


Classics


Chardonnay

Babich Irongate
**Church Road Tom
Cloudy Bay
Dog Point Vineyard
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve
**Felton Road Block 2 Central Otago
**Greenhough Hope Vineyard
Martinborough Vineyard
Pegasus Bay
Seresin Reserve
Te Whau Vineyard Waiheke Island
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough

Chenin Blanc

Millton Te Arai Vineyard

Gewürztraminer

**Dry River Lovat Vineyard; Framingham Marlborough
**Pegasus Bay
Vinoptima Ormond Reserve

Pinot Gris

Greystone Waipara Valley
Neudorf Moutere
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Seddon Marlborough

Riesling

*Carrick Bannockburn
Neudorf Moutere
Rippon Mature Vine
Valli Old Vine Central Otago

Sauvignon Blanc

Brancott Estate Letter Series ‘B’ Brancott Marlborough
Clos Henri Marlborough
**Greywacke Marlborough Wild
Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough
Staete Landt Annabel Marlborough
Te Mata Cape Crest
Villa Maria Reserve Clifford Bay
Villa Maria Reserve Wairau Valley

Viognier

Clos de Ste Anne Les Arbres
**Te Mata Estate Zara

Sweet Whites

**Framingham F-Series Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese
Framingham Noble Riesling
**Pegasus Bay Encore Noble Riesling

Bottle-fermented Sparklings

Deutz Marlborough Prestige Cuvée
Quartz Reef Méthode Traditionnelle [Vintage]

Branded and Other Red Wines

**Alpha Domus AD The Aviator
Babich The Patriarch
**Craggy Range Aroha
Craggy Range Sophia
Craggy Range The Quarry
Destiny Bay Magna Praemia
**Destiny Bay Mystae
Newton Forrest Estate Cornerstone
Puriri Hills Reserve
Sacred Hill Brokenstone
Sacred Hill Helmsman
Te Whau The Point

Cabernet Sauvignon-predominant Reds

**Babich Irongate Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet/Merlot/Franc
Brookfields Reserve Vintage [‘Gold Label’] Cabernet/Merlot
Te Mata Awatea Cabernets/Merlot
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

Pinot Noir

Akarua Bannockburn Central Otago
Bannock Brae Central Otago
Carrick Bannockburn Central Otago
Dog Point Vineyard Marlborough
Escarpment Kupe by Escarpment
Felton Road Bannockburn Central Otago
Felton Road Cornish Point Central Otago
Fromm Fromm Vineyard
**Gibbston Valley Le Maitre Central Otago
Gibbston Valley Reserve Central Otago
**Grasshopper Rock Earnscleugh Vineyard Central Otago
Greenhough Hope Vineyard Nelson
Mt Difficulty Single Vineyard Target Gully
Palliser Estate Martinborough
Pisa Range Estate Black Poplar Block
Quartz Reef Bendigo Estate
Quartz Reef Central Otago Single Vineyard
Rippon Tinker’s Field Mature Vine
Valli Bannockburn Vineyard Central Otago
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Seddon Marlborough
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Marlborough

Syrah

Bilancia La Collina
**Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay
Mills Reef Trust Vineyard Elspeth Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay
Sacred Hill Deerstalkers Hawke’s Bay
**Stonecroft Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Reserve
Stonyridge Pilgrim Waiheke Island Syrah/Mourvedre/Viognier/Grenache
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay


Potential Classics

Arneis

Clevedon Hills

Branded and Other White Wines

Seresin Chiaroscuro

Chardonnay

*Auntsfield Single Vineyard Southern Valleys Marlborough
Greystone Erin’s Reserve Waipara Valley
*Greywacke Marlborough
Kumeu River Coddington
Mahi Twin Valleys Marlborough
Mission Jewelstone Hawke’s Bay
*Nautilus Marlborough
Pyramid Valley Vineyards Field of Fire
Pyramid Valley Vineyards Lion’s Tooth
Spy Valley Envoy Johnson Vineyard Marlborough
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay [Black Label]
*Vidal Legacy Hawke’s Bay
*Villa Maria Reserve Hawke’s Bay
*Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass

Chenin Blanc

*Clos de Ste Anne La Bas

Gewürztraminer

Greystone Waipara Valley
*Lawson’s Dry Hills The Pioneer Marlborough
Seifried Winemaker’s Collection Nelson
Spy Valley Envoy Johnson Vineyard Marlborough
*Stonecroft Old Vine
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao

Pinot Gris

Blackenbrook Nelson
*Church Road McDonald Series Hawke’s Bay
Greywacke Marlborough
*Misha’s Vineyard Dress Circle Central Otago
Marlborough

Riesling

Carrick Josephine Central Otago
*Felton Road Dry
Framingham Classic Marlborough
Framingham F-Series Old Vine Marlborough
Greystone Waipara Valley
Greywacke Marlborough
Misha’s Vineyard Limelight
Misha’s Vineyard Lyric
Muddy Water James Hardwick Waipara
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 9 Big John

Sauvignon Blanc

*Auntsfield Single Vineyard Southern Valleys Marlborough
*Church Road Grand Reserve Barrel Fermented Hawke’s Bay
*Churton Marlborough
*Clos Marguerite Marlborough
*Dog Point Vineyard Marlborough
Giesen Marlborough The August
*Greywacke Marlborough
*Hans Herzog Marlborough Barrel Fermented Sur Lie
Jackson Estate Grey Ghost Barrique Wairau Valley Marlborough
Jackson Estate Stich Marlborough
Pegasus Bay Sauvignon/Sémillon
Seresin Marama
*Villa Maria Single Vineyard Graham Marlborough
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Marlborough

Sweet White Wines

Alpha Domus AD Noble Selection
*Felton Road Block 1 Central Otago Riesling
Framingham F-Series Gewürztraminer VT
*Framingham F Series Riesling Auslese
Framingham Select Marlborough Riesling
Pegasus Bay Aria Late Picked Riesling

Rosé

Terra Sancta Bannockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir

Branded and Other Red Wines

Alluviale
Clearview Old Olive Block
Clearview The Basket Press
*Destiny Bay Destinae
Gillman
Messenger
Obsidian Reserve The Obsidian
Puriri Hills Pope
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels The Gimblett

Cabernet Sauvignon-predominant Reds

*Church Road McDonald Series Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon
Mills Reef Elspeth Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon
Mills Reef Elspeth Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet/Merlot
*Vidal Legacy Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

Malbec

Stonyridge Luna Negra Waiheke Island Hillside

Merlot

*Church Road McDonald Series Hawke’s Bay
Hans Herzog Spirit of Marlborough Merlot/Cabernet

Montepulciano

Hans Herzog Marlborough
Obsidian Waiheke Island

Pinot Noir

Amisfield Central Otago
Bald Hills Bannockburn Single Vineyard Central Otago
Burn Cottage Central Otago
Craggy Range Te Muna Road Vineyard Martinborough
Doctors Flat Central Otago
Escarpment Kiwa by Escarpment Martinborough
Escarpment Martinborough
Escarpment Te Rehua by Escarpment Martinborough
*Felton Road Calvert Central Otago
*Gibbston Valley China Terrace Bendigo Central Otago
Gibbston Valley School House Central Otago
Hans Herzog Marlborough
Julicher Martinborough
*Lowburn Ferry The Ferrymans Reserve
Mondillo Central Otago
Mt Difficulty Single Vineyard Pipeclay Terrace Bannockburn
Muddy Water Slowhand Waipara
Nautilus Four Barriques Marlborough
Peregrine Central Otago
Rockburn Central Otago
Tatty Bogler Otago
Valli Gibbston Vineyard Otago
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Marlborough
Wooing Tree Central Otago

Syrah

Church Road Grand Reserve Hawke’s Bay
*Church Road McDonald Series Hawke’s Bay
Clos de Ste Anne The Crucible
Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Vineyard Hawke’s Bay
*Man O’ War Waiheke Island Dreadnought
*Mission Huchet Gimblett Gravels
*Mudbrick Vineyard Reserve
Passage Rock
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels
Vidal Legacy Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawke’s Bay


The following wines are not at the very forefront in quality terms, yet have been produced for many vintages, are extremely widely available and typically deliver good to excellent quality and value. They are all benchmark wines of their type – a sort of Everyman’s classic.

Chardonnay

Church Road Hawke’s Bay
Stoneleigh Marlborough

Gewürztraminer

Seifried Nelson

Pinot Gris

Waimea Nelson

Riesling

Hunter’s Marlborough
Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough
Seifried Nelson
Waimea Classic Nelson

Sauvignon Blanc

Brancott Estate Marlborough
Oyster Bay Marlborough
Saint Clair Marlborough
Stoneleigh Marlborough
Tohu Marlborough
Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough

Sparkling

Lindauer Brut
Lindauer Special Reserve
Fusion Sparkling Muscat

Merlot

Church Road Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Cabernet/Malbec
Te Mata Estate Vineyards Merlot/Cabernets

Pinot Noir

Akarua Rua Central Otago; Pencarrow Martinborough
Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough