Michael Cooper’s Wine Column - New Zealand Listener 2 June 2012
‘Most consumers’ purchasing decisions are price-driven,” says Coopers Creek winemaker Simon Nunns. “It’s hugely important to us to make wines that are seen to represent value-for-money.” Coopers Creek delivers the goods. Nunns arrived at Coopers Creek in 1997 – 15 years after it was founded at Huapai, in West Auckland.
Today, this medium-sized, export focused winery is still majority-owned by two of the founders, Andrew and Cyndy Hendry. Coopers Creek’s top wines are labelled “Reserve” and “SV” (Select Vineyard), but the focus here is on the commercial orange-label wines, which enjoy striking success on the show circuit, despite their modest prices.
Coopers Creek Gisborne Gewürztraminer 2010
An outstanding buy. Exotically perfumed, it is fleshy, with excellent depth of peachy, spicy, gingery flavour, a slightly oily mouthfeel, a gentle splash of sweetness and a smooth, lasting finish.
Coopers Creek Gisborne Viognier 2010
Powerful, this partly oak-aged wine is full-bodied (14.5% alcohol), with strong, peachy, slightly buttery and toasty flavours, soft, dry and rich.
Coopers Creek Cee Vee Gisborne Chardonnay/Viognier 2010
This generous, peachy, slightly buttery wine is a blend of tank-fermented chardonnay (70%) and barrel-fermented viognier (30%). Vibrantly fruity, with a touch of complexity, it is a soft, dry wine, enjoyable now.
Coopers Creek Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2010
Enjoyable in its youth, this deeply coloured red has a floral, spicy bouquet and vibrant blackcurrant, plum and black-pepper flavours, gently seasoned with toasty oak. It slips down smoothly.
Coopers Creek Marlborough Pinot Noir 2010
Fragrant, fruity and smooth, this ruby-hued easy-drinking red has moderately concentrated cherry and spice flavours, gentle tannins and some savoury complexity. It’s one of the best sub-$20 pinot noirs around.
Coopers Creek Marlborough Riesling 2009.
Drinking well now, with toasty, bottle-aged notes emerging, this is an off-dry style with appetising acidity and a strong surge of fresh, citrusy flavours.
WINE OF THE WEEK
Coopers Creek Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2010
For sheer drinkability, this is hard to beat. Dark and sturdy, it offers blackcurrant, plum and spice flavours, rich, ripe and well rounded.