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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

Mission Estate Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2020

Mission Estate Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2020

Looking for a delicious, drink-young Chardonnay at a modest price? Already highly enjoyable, this partly oak-aged wine is mouthfilling and creamy-textured, with very good depth of fresh, ripe, peachy flavours, moderate acidity and a seductively smooth, dry finish.
Number of Stars:
3.5
Price:
NZ$16.00
Variety:
Chardonnay
Vintage:
2020

Treat Yourself

Dry River Martinborough Pinot Gris 2020

Dry River Martinborough Pinot Gris 2020

Dry River was the source of New Zealand’s first outstanding Pinot Gris. Based mostly on vines planted in 1979, the latest release is described by the winery as offering ‘understated decadence’ – and I agree. Fleshy and rich, with deep, peachy, spicy flavours and an off-dry finish, it’s benchmark stuff.

Number of Stars:
5
Price:
NZ$65.00
Variety:
Pinot Gris
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