New Zealand Wines 2017: Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide is the 25th edition of this country’s most comprehensive, up-to-date collection of wine reviews. It is very widely consulted by sommeliers, wine retailers and wine lovers, here and abroad.
Michael Cooper needs no introduction, with over 40 books and several prestigious literary awards to his credit. Leighton Smith, of Newstalk ZB, praises it as ‘A remarkable book... I don’t believe there is a better one, certainly in Australasia and possibly even in the world, of tasting notes for the latest vintages... Arguably the best buyer’s guide on the planet.’
Osawa Prestige Collection Hawke's Bay Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot
The 2013 vintage (★★★★) is a concentrated, ripe, slightly earthy, 50:50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, grown at Maraekakaho. It has some slightly herby, gamey notes, in a fleshy, rich and complex style.
Osawa Prestige Collection Late Harvest Gewürztraminer
Gold, with a hint of amber, the 2013 vintage (★★★★), still on sale, is a soft, sweet wine, grown at Maraekakaho, in Hawke's Bay. Drinking well now, it is floral, peachy and spicy, with bottle-aged complexity, and a rich, well-rounded finish.
Osawa Prestige Collection Méthode Traditionnelle NV
The wine on sale in 2016 (★★★★) is a fragrant, complex Hawke's Bay blend of equal portions of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, grown at Maraekakaho. Attractively scented, it has crisp, lively, citrusy, yeasty, slightly toasty flavours, showing good intensity.
Osawa Winemakers Collection Hawke's Bay Chardonnay
A rich, creamy style, the 2014 vintage (★★★★½) was grown at Maraekakaho. The bouquet is fragrant and mealy, with a hint of maturity; the palate is softly textured, long and concentrated.
A very strong lineup, featuring a trio of outstanding dessert wines; and two memorable Hwkes's Bay syrahs.
Michael awarded the Late Harvest and Noble Gewurztraminers 5 stars each and the 2011 Prestige Collection Chardonnay received 4.5 stars.
Flying Sheep Gewurztraminer 2010 4.5★
From Osawa Wines, based inland at Mangatahi, this is an exotically scented wine with loads of personality. Sturdy (14.5% alcohol), it is a medium-dry style with fresh, rich flavours of stonefruit, spices and ginger. Ready; no Rush. $23