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In an average year, Michael Cooper tastes around 3,000 wines and his wealth of knowledge has earned him the position of New Zealand’s most acclaimed wine writer. Join this site to take advantage of Michael’s expert advice, reviews and best buy recommendations.


Best Buy

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2020

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2020

This great value wine is typically fermented and matured in French oak casks, about 10 per cent new. From a favourably dry vintage in Hawke’s Bay, the latest release is fragrant and full-bodied, with generous stone-fruit flavours, showing good complexity, a hint of butterscotch and fresh acidity. A very harmonious wine, it’s already highly enjoyable. Best drinking mid-2022+.
Number of Stars:
4
Price:
NZ$18.00
Variety:
Chardonnay
Vintage:
2020

Treat Yourself

Blank Canvas Reed Marlborough Chardonnay 2020

Blank Canvas Reed Marlborough Chardonnay 2020

This notably classy, single-vineyard wine was hand-harvested in the Waihopai Valley, fermented and matured in French oak puncheons (partly new), and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Richly fragrant, it is mouthfilling, complex and generous, with deep peach and grapefruit flavours, finely integrated oak, and a tightly structured, long, seamless finish. Best drinking 2023+.

Number of Stars:
5
Price:
NZ$45.00
Variety:
Chardonnay
Vintage:
2020

Reviews of the latest editions 

“Want to find a good New Zealand wine?  You’d be hard-pressed to go past New Zealand Wines 2020: Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide.” Emma Jenkins, Winestate

“For anybody who is interested in New Zealand wine, it doesn’t come any better.  A great book – it always is.”  Leighton Smith 

“Michael has a lovely, laid-back tasting notes style that doesn’t scream at you.  A very reliable taster.”  Caro’s Wine Merchants

“So when Cooper says a wine is great – and great value – you sit up and listen.” – Josie Steenhart, Stuff

“[Michael Cooper is] New Zealand’s leading consumer advocate in wine.”  Allan Scott, Marlborough Man  

“The softcover book that first made its presence felt in 1992 has become somewhat of a bible for wine lovers here at home and, more recently via his website, overseas.”  Tessa Nicholson, New Zealand Winegrower

“… the Gandalf of New Zealand wine critics, Michael Cooper…” Yvonne Lorkin, Canvas, New Zealand Herald

“Michael is deeply entrenched in the landscape of New Zealand wine… We consider his extensive knowledge and long experience vital as a benchmark tool when reflecting on our wines.”  Dry River