Joshua Cooper

Australia, Victoria

Josh Cooper was brought up on the Cobaw Ridge wine estate in the Macedon ranges, a cool spot north of Melbourne. However as a winemaker, Josh is 'ploughing his own furrow' (as Huon Hooke put it).

After extensive travel and experience at vineyards as far afield as Domaine JJ Confuron and Chablis, but also closer to home with Yabby Lake and Hanging Rock, Josh started in 2012 by specialising in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Macedon ranges and nearby areas. He has now been led by his admiration of some of the great old 'claret' styles of the 70s and 80s he has tasted, to try his hand at Cabernet as well, including buying fruit from the oldest block (planted in 1970) at Balgownie Vineyards in Bendigo.

A low-intervention winemaker sourcing fruit from organic or biodynamic vineyards where possible, Josh uses SO2 but nothing else, to make whites which are pure and racy (one year in barrel with no lees-stirring), but with enough flesh to be gourmand too. The reds are concentrated, aromatically precise and true to their origins, while remaining beautifully balanced and harmonious, drinkable from the off, but with the Cabernets being capable of long aging like the old wines he so admires.

This is the first time that Joshua Cooper has appeared in 100 Best, and it is only the second time I have tasted these wines. I usually taste 100 Best wines multiple times, but this estate is a brand new find for me, so at the very last minute, they gained a spot in this Report. (Entry in the report / tasting booklet for the 2023/2024 edition of Matthew's 100 Best Australian Wines.) Matthew Jukes  (Oct 2023)

Joshua Cooper is a producer whose wines I buy in my spare time and drink when I'm not working. Erin Larkin,  (Nov 2022)

Joshua Cooper is crafting some of Australia's most intriguing wines, sourced from vineyards sprinkled around Victoria and made at his parents' winery, Cobaw Ridge. These are minimal-intervention wines that speak of their places, yet they are made with enough care that any funkiness is a charming accent, not a dominating fault. The reds include a hefty proportion of whole clusters, and all of the wines are sulfured only just before bottling. Joe Czerwinski,  (Feb 2021)

Joshua Cooper, the winner of Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine’s Young Winemaker of the Year 2020, is the son of established winemakers – but he’s his own man. Recently turned 32, Cooper has a suite of beautiful wines that are all his own doing. He is ploughing his own furrow. Huon Hooke,  (Dec 2020)