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Posted by Website Admin on October 26, 2022

Discover the Best New Zealand Wines 2022

The results are in for New Zealand’s best wines from the National Wine Awards of Aotearoa New Zealand.

An expert team of judges led by Jane Cooper with Olly Masters and Meg Brodtmann MW as international guest judge, had the formidable (but envious) task of evaluating the entries for the crown of best New Zealand wines 2022.

This team knows its cheeky reds from its crisp whites and dry varietals. And how to keep their wits about them when faced with dozens of top wines to taste and assess. But before we spill the beans on which tipples took away the top gongs, how do judges (and amateur wine lovers for that matter) assess a great wine from a barely good one? It mainly comes down to four key components:

1. Give it a sniff:  The first criteria is the wine’s aroma.  Even before you take a sip, give the glass a swirl and take a sniff – does it smell like wine, a little fruity or floral?  If so, it’s passed the first test.  But if it smells like vinegar, then ditch the whole bottle. Life’s too short for bad wine.

2. Is the wine in balance?  The acid, sugar, body and tannin levels. If your wine passes the sniff test, the second clue to knowing if your wine is good is balance. This is where the acidity, tannin, alcohol, or fruit all blend together and nothing stands out.

If the level of acidity is too high (and makes your eyes water) or the sweetness is cloying, the wine is out of whack. If however, you notice a nice freshness to the wine and the fruit flavour is smooth, then the winemaker has nailed the blend.

3. Depth of taste:  Next taste the depth of flavor in the wine by swirling it in your mouth. It should taste like fruit with other layers of flavor.  Perhaps a touch of citrus in a white wine or chocolate notes in a red? Wines with depth are a lot of fun across a meal as the taste of the wine often changes.

4. Finish – the aftertaste:  An easy way to determine a top-flight wine is to consider how long the flavor lasts on your palate. The longer it lingers, the better the wine. If you can still taste the wine after 10 or more seconds, you’ve hit the jackpot!

So if you want to show off your beginner sommelier skills, crack open the bottle and consider the four elements: smell, balance, depth of flavor and finish. Or you can just trust the judges and choose from the following selection of New Zealand’s best wines 2022.  All top of their grape game and destined for the best Auckland restaurants’ wine lists. Check out our Taste Auckland food tour if you want to discover the city's exciting food scene (and sample great New Zealand wine). 

Drum roll please for the gold medal winners of The National Wine Awards of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Best New Zealand Sparkling:

Lindauer Vintage Series Brut Cuvée 2017  

Te Hana Brut NV

Verde Brut NV


Askerne Reserve Gewurztraminer 2021

Best New Zealand Riesling:

Lake Chalice Falcon Riesling 2021

Mischief With Wine Waipara Riesling 2021

Mud House Single Vineyard The Mound Riesling 2021

te Pa Marlborough Riesling 2021

Waipara Hills Waipara Valley Riesling 2020

Best New Zealand Pinot Gris:

Bald Hills Kirameki Central Otago Pinot Gris 2021

Duck Hunter Marlborough Pinot Gris 2022

Te Kano Otago Pinot Gris 2022

Two Rivers Phoenix Pinot Gris 2022

Best New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc:

Blind River Sauvignon Blanc 2022

Church Road McDonald Series Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Clark Estate Upper Awatere Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Huntaway Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2022

Lake Chalice Falcon Sauvignon Blanc 2022

Lake Chalice Raptor Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Rapaura Springs Rohe Rapaura Sauvignon Blanc 2022

Russian Jack Sauvignon Blanc 2022

Saint Clair James Sinclair Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Saving Grace Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Yealands Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2022

Yealands Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2022

Best New Zealand Chardonnay:

Askerne Reserve Chardonnay 2021

Beach House Track Chardonnay 2021

Catalina Sounds Chardonnay 2021

Catalina Sounds, Sound of White Chardonnay 2021

Church Road McDonald Series Chardonnay 2021

Clearview Estate Beachhead Chardonnay 2021

Clearview Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2021

Esk Valley Artisanal Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2021

Holly Matahiwi Estate South Series Chardonnay 2021

Isabel Estate Marlborough Chardonnay 2020

Isabel Estate Marlborough Chardonnay 2021

The King's Bastard Chardonnay 2020

The Landing Chardonnay 2020

Wairau River Estate Marlborough Chardonnay 2021

Best New Zealand Sweet Wines:

Giesen Late Harvest The Brothers Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Villa Maria Reserve Noble Riesling 2021

Best New Zealand Rosé or Blush:

Ash Ridge Estate Rosé 2022

Squawking Magpie First Flight Startled Pink 2022

Best New Zealand Pinot Noir:

Giesen Single Vineyard Clayvin Pinot Noir 2021

Lake Chalice Raptor Pinot Noir 2021

Matt Connell Wines Rendition Pinot Noir 2021

Maude Estate Pinot Noir 2021

Mondillo Pinot Noir 2020

Nga Waka Martinborough Pinot Noir 2020

Providore Pinot Noir 2019

Providore Pinot Noir First Edition 2020

Rapaura Springs Rohe Awatere Valley Pinot Noir 2021

Rockburn Nine Barrels Parkburn Vineyard Pinot Noir 2021

Te Kairanga Estate Pinot Noir 2021

te Pa Marlborough Pinot Noir 2021

Te Tera Pinot Noir 2021

TOHU Awatere Valley Pinot Noir 2019

Two Degrees Pinot Noir 2020

Wild Earth Reserve Earth and Sky Pinot Noir 2021

Best New Zealand Syrah:

Church Road Syrah 2020

Giesen Single Vineyard Clayvin Syrah 2021

Squawking Magpie Gravels Syrah 2020

Wild Grace Hawkes Bay Syrah 2021

Other Single Varietal Reds & Red Blends

Esk Valley Artisanal Tempranillo 2021

Leftfield Hawkes Bay Malbec 2020

Saint Clair James Sinclair Malbec 2021