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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

Esk Valley Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2020

Esk Valley Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2020

Offering great value, this wine was estate-grown in the Keltern Vineyard, at Maraekakaho, and made with a small portion of barrel fermentation. Full-bodied, it has fresh, ripe peach, pear, lychee and spice flavours, showing impressive delicacy and depth, a touch of complexity and a finely poised, basically dry (4.2 grams/litre of residual sugar) finish. Drink now or cellar.
Number of Stars:
4.5
Price:
NZ$20.00
Variety:
Pinot Gris
Vintage:
2020

Treat Yourself

Ostler Audrey’s Waitaki Valley North Otago Pinot Gris 2019

Ostler Audrey’s Waitaki Valley North Otago Pinot Gris 2019

This classy, still youthful wine was estate-grown in the Clos Ostler vineyard and partly barrel-fermented. Bright, light lemon/green, it is richly scented, mouthfilling and fleshy, with concentrated stone-fruit flavours, gentle citrusy and spicy notes, a slightly oily texture and a dry (2.1 grams/litre of residual sugar), very harmonious finish. Already delicious, it’s a drink now or cellaring proposition.

Number of Stars:
5
Price:
NZ$35.00
Variety:
Pinot Gris
Vintage:
2019

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