2021 Maiden Gully Joshua Cooper

Grapes Cab Sauv
Colour Red
Origin Australia, Victoria
District Bendigo
Sub-district Maiden Gully
ABV 13%

Really smells like old vines from a long way from the glass. Very aromatic, ripe black and purple fruit, smoke and mineral, intense broad ripe dark fruit on palate. Big wine with lovely depth, but the very fine tannins are never overbearing. Could be enjoyed now, but you’d be missing the best of it. It will age on its balance, which is perfect, rather than on power or obvious brute tannins. Very dense and long. Drinking range: 2023 - 2040 L&S (Aug 2023)

*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles of wine (or 9 litre equivalent) or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified (4.5 litres) to get the discounted 'case price' for each bottle.

Having never met Joshua Cooper in person but having had many dalliances with his wines, I get the feeling that he's a purist. Each of the wines have a distinct personality and identity. The Shay's Flat is mineral, lean and streamlined, the Dash Farms is brambly, black and flowing, while this 2021 Balgownie Vineyard 1970 Block Cabernet Sauvignon is peaty, shale and layered with graphite. There's a very clear aroma and flavor of undergrowth and autumn leaves in this wine. There's dirt here. It's excellent. As with all of the wines in this release, this is long and undulating and very good. It's impressive and exciting and comes highly recommended. Drinking range: 2022 - 2037 Rating: 95+ Erin Larkin, (Nov 2022)

Very fresh cabernet character with aromas of blackberries, blackcurrant leaves, bell peppers, graphite and tobacco. Medium-bodied, vibrant and beautifully tense, with firm tannins framing a bright core of fresh black fruit. Try in 2024. Drinking range: 2024 - Rating: 93 Nick Stock, (Oct 2022)

Balgownie Vineyard is a name that should need no introduction to lovers of Victorian wine, an icon of the 70’s and 80’s it has produced some of the most remarkable mature Australian wines I have had the pleasure of drinking. Indeed my cellar is well stocked with them thanks to 10+ years of collecting.

Established 1969 200m asl near the banks of Myers Creek in Maiden Gully on Ordovician shale, quartz and ironstone rubble, thanks to current winemaker Tony Winspear it now supplies me a small amount of old vine Cabernet Sauvignon from some of the earliest plantings, 1970.

“This vineyard is a national treasure - it has the ability to produce reds from cabernet sauvignon and shiraz that cellar with the elegance and longevity to rival anything in Australia” (Jeremy Oliver)

The first to ripen of the three Cabernet Sauvignon sites, these old vines and special place deliver fruit of extreme concentration and complexity. Harvest occurred around three weeks earlier than Shay’s Flat.

Once hand harvested the fruit was entirely destemmed, then partially foot crushed before transfer to open fermenters where it remained for three weeks. The must was allowed to soak until natural fermentation commenced and was then extracted with a combination pumping over, delestage and pigage before basket pressing.

Elevage took place in a combination of new Stockinger 300l (30%) and seasoned thin staved Bordeaux coopered barriques for 12 months, before four months in stainless steal after assemblage. The only addition to the wine is a small dose of sulphur.

Deep, dark garnet. A wine which immediately makes one sit up and focus. Incredibly refined and complex with iron, sweet cassis, cedar spice, violet and rose, air reveals infinite nuance and detail. The palate is flooded with wave upon wave of Cabernet fruit, braced by a strict but not overbearing tannic structure, finishing with sweet violet and cassis. The most refined of the three Cabernet cuvees, but also the most concentrated and finally balanced.

Please decant well prior to drinking, or cellar for as long as you like.

Winemaker's notes (Jan 2022)

Joshua Cooper

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.

Joshua Cooper | Mixed Case

Try Josh’s whole range: a selection of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon grown on carefully-selected plots between central Victoria and Macedon Ranges. While this is a selection of six bottles, we have applied our 12-bottle case discount to the price – an offer not to be missed.

‘His knowledge and respect for what makes quality wine runs deep. There’s an authenticity to his wines, a command, and a life. He is a great Best New Winery winner.’

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