The result of an annual search, it is curated by seven of New Zealand's leading wine experts — Masters of Wine Alastair Maling, Emma Jenkins, Michael Brajkovich, Sam Harrop, Simon Nash and Steve Smith along with Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas.
Alastair Maling is Chair of Fine Wines of New Zealand, Chief Group Winemaker and Head of Viticulture at Foley Family Wines. With more than two decades of winemaking experience in France, Italy, Spain, Chile Argentina, South Africa, and now New Zealand, Alastair is one of our most decorated winemakers. His work has landed him numerous Winemaker of the Year awards, including White Winemaker of the Year at the prestigious International Wine Challenge in London.
World-class quality and consistency – a high barrier to inclusion consisting of wine quality, wine pedigree and longevity. A wine that can truly stand the test of time as a world-class example of New Zealand’s finest wine.
Each of the panel members is charged with a specific wine variety. Submissions are sought from the wine industry and the panel members put forward their recommendation of what they consider to be the finest examples within each of their respective varietals.
These wines are then presented to the rest of the panel at the group tasting. Here, each of the wines are tasted blind and robustly debated with a refined selection called back from the initial offering to be re-tasted, this time with supporting back vintages.
Those wines that make it through to the group tasting are then once again tasted blind along with the existing Fine Wines to ensure a consistent standard of quality. Each wine is discussed in detail and only those wines that are collectively agreed upon, make the annual list.
Air New Zealand Wine Consultant