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The wine glut of the past few years is over, production is down this year and overseas markets are growing, he explains.
The annual guide, now fatter than ever, is an essential reference for wine buyers, but it's also available as an e-book or you can subscribe to his regularly updated website, michaelcooper.co.nz, so you can access it on your phone when confronted by a confusing selection of labels in a wine store.
Along with more than 3000 wine reviews which include quality and value ratings, he gives information on the vintage just past, cellaring guidelines, and lists super-classic, classic and potential classic wines.
This year his eagerly awaited best buys are Spy Valley Marlborough Chardonnay 2011 ($19.95-$22.95) and Bannock Brae Estate Goldfields Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010 ($29.95).