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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

Giesen Uncharted Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Giesen Uncharted Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Already delicious, this debut vintage offers top value. Hand-picked at two sites in the Awatere Valley, it was matured on its yeast lees for three to four months, partly in French oak barriques and German oak fuders. Bright, light lemon/green, it is a ripely scented, lively, medium to full-bodied wine, with impressive intensity of fresh melon, pineapple and herb flavours, showing a distinct touch of complexity, finely balanced acidity and a long, dry (2.8 grams/litre of residual sugar) finish.
Number of Stars:
4.5
Price:
NZ$20.00
Variety:
Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage:
2020

Treat Yourself

Mumm Marlborough Brut Prestige NV

Mumm Marlborough Brut Prestige NV

The superb debut release in early 2021 from Pernod Ricard NZ (Brancott Estate, Church Road, Stoneleigh), reflects the fact that Mumm, the famous Champagne house, is also part of the Paris-based Pernod Ricard empire. Grown in the Wairua Valley and Southern Valleys sub-regions, it is a blend of Pinot Noir (46 per cent), Chardonnay (45 per cent) and Pinot Meunier (9 per cent), disgorged after three years on its yeast lees (with 24 per cent older, reserve wines). Pale straw, with an invitingly scented, biscuity, yeasty bouquet, it is a highly distinctive, refined wine, vivacious, rich and complex, with a long, crisp, very harmonious finish.

Number of Stars:
5
Price:
NZ$35.00
Variety:
Sparkling

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