Six leading independent wine experts have come together to create "The Fine Wines of New Zealand" a list of the country's most prestigious wines which has a solid line-up from Hawke's Bay.

A selection panel comprising Masters of Wine Alastair Maling, Michael Brajkovich, Sam Harrop, Simon Nash and Steve Smith, along with Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas, has agreed on the list for 2016, which includes 47 wines representing seven varietals.

This group of New Zealand wine experts met several times late last year and earlier this year to define the criteria that had to be met for a wine to earn the prestigious Fine Wine of New Zealand status.

One of the key criteria is consistency, with a wine having had to have been produced to an exceptional standard for a minimum of five consecutive years.


A wine could only earn its Fine Wine of New Zealand status if all of the selection panel, which was supported by Master of Wine Bob Campbell, agreed it met the highest of standards.

This saw several wines drop out of contention.

"It's been a real pleasure to be involved in this process and play a part in promoting the country's very best wines. For New Zealand wine to truly compete on the world stage there needs to be an ongoing focus on quality and on continually lifting the game," says Mr Brajkovich.

Air New Zealand will start to feature wines from the Fine Wines of New Zealand selection in its Business Premier cabins from September.

The Fine Wines of New Zealand for 2016:
Aromatics: Felton Road Dry Riesling 2014; Felton Road Block 1 Riesling 2015; Framingham F series Riesling Kabinett 2015; Johanneshof Cellars Gewürztraminer 2014; Stonecroft Gewürztraminer 2015; Te Whare Ra Toru SV5182 2014; Millton Vineyards Clos de Ste Anne Chenin Blanc 2014; Prophet's Rock Pinot Gris 2014; Dry River Pinot Gris 2014.

Pinot Noir: Felton Road Block 3 2013; Burn Cottage 2014; Valli Bannockburn 2014; Rippon Vineyards Tinkers Field 2012; Bell Hill 2012; Ata Rangi 2013; Dry River 2013; Craggy Range Aroha 2013; Kusuda 201.3

Bordeaux style: Te Mata Coleraine 2014; Craggy Range Sophia 2013; Villa Maria Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013; Esk Valley The Terraces 2013; Stonyridge Vineyard Larose 2014; Church Road Tom 2013.

Sauvignon Blanc: Cloudy Bay Te Koko 2011; Astrolabe Province 2015; Dog Point 2015; Greywacke 2015; Saint Clair Reserve Wairau 2015; Vavasour 2015.

Chardonnay: Kumeu River Mate's Vineyard 2014; Neudorf Moutere 2011; Sacred Hill Riflemans 2014; Dog Point 2013; Felton Road Block 2 2010; Villa Maria Keltern Vineyard 2014.

Sparkling: Nautilus NV; Akarua Vintage Brut 2010; Deutz Blanc de Blanc Vintage 201; Quartz Reef Vintage 2010.

Dessert wines: Forrest Wines Botrytised Riesling 2012; Framingham Wines Noble Riesling 2013; Framingham Wines 'F' Gewürztraminer 2014.

Syrah: Craggy Range Le Sol 2013; Trinity Hill Homage 2013; Bilancia La Collina 2013; Te Mata Bullnose 2014.