New Zealand Wines 2017 – Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide
BEST WINE BUYS OF THE YEAR
After tasting about 3,000 New Zealand wines for his annual book, Michael Cooper’s last task was to choose two Best Buys of the Year - one white and one red - based on their irresistible combinations of quality and price. The latest release of this country’s most influential wine book, New Zealand Wines 2017 – Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide,is the milestone 25th edition.
This year’s Best White Wine Buy of the Year is Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 ***** $20 (but often on ‘promotion’ at $15). This classy wine has pretty much everything you could hope for in a Marlborough sauvignon blanc.
Already sporting a gold medal from this year’s New Zealand International Wine Show, Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 is a five-star wine at a three-star price. Full-bodied, it has vibrant, tropical fruit flavours, deliciously deep, dry and zingy. A compelling wine in its youth, with notable body, freshness and concentration, it’s a bargain-priced partner for poultry, salads and seafood.
The Best Red Wine Buy of the Year is Church Road Hawke's Bay Syrah 2014 ****1/2 $20 (down to $17 on ‘special’). This sturdy, richly flavoured, bargain-priced red is not to be missed.
A ‘serious’ but highly approachable red, Church Road Hawke's Bay Syrah 2014 is dark, with a very fragrant, spicy bouquet. Mouthfilling and sweet-fruited, with an array of blackcurrant, plum, spice and nut flavours, hints of black pepper and licorice, and excellent concentration and complexity, it’s worth cellaring, but gentle tannins give it lots of drink-young appeal.
When entered in the Australian Winestate magazine’s annual regional tasting of Hawke's Bay wines, the judging panel, chaired by Cooper, gave this classy red a ****1/2 rating, ahead of many wines asking twice, or even triple, the price.
New Zealand Wines 2017 – Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide was published on November 15 by Upstart Press ($39.99)