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 White Wine Buy of the Year
Best Red Wine Buy of the Year
Offering outstanding value, this Gimblett Gravels red was matured for a year in French oak barriques (15 per cent new). Deeply coloured, with a fragrant, berryish, spicy bouquet, it is mouthfilling and supple, with concentrated, ripe blackcurrant, plum and spice flavours, oak complexity, and a long, very harmonious finish.
Vino Fino, a prominent, specialist wine retailer in Christchurch, praises Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2019 as ‘the best value red in New Zealand’ – and I agree. Well worth cellaring, it’s already a delicious mouthful.
Best Rosé Wine Buy of the Year
Certified organic, this is a delicious, distinctive marriage of Pinot Gris, Semillon and Pinot Noir, cool-fermented in stainless steel tanks and matured briefly on its yeast lees. A bright pink, finely poised wine, it has lively peach, strawberry and watermelon flavours, showing excellent delicacy and depth, and a dry finish. From Seresin Estate, it offers delicious drinking for the summer of 2020-21.
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