2021 Port Phillip Joshua Cooper

Grapes Pinot Noir
Colour Red
Origin Australia, Victoria
District South Gisborne
Sub-district Port Phillip
ABV 13%

Ray Monde was also a bit broad and quiet on the nose, but palate was round and friendly, again gourmand and easy to swallow, with just the right freshening astringency in the finish. Like the Chardonnay, it took willpower not to swallow. Immediate impression - this man knows how to coax real vitality out of Pinot. Drinking range: 2023 - 2030 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.

The characters on the nose of the 2021 Ray-Monde Vineyard Pinot Noir are mostly black (but by that, I do not mean heavy): graphite, tea, steel, coal dust, pepper, blackberries and blueberry skin. In the mouth, the wine has nutmeg, musk, jasmine tea, blood plum and black cats. The wine is so evocative and of place that it drags you back into it over and over again. I think our New World power with Pinot Noir rests with wines like this—with wines that speak of place and soil, dirt and sky. They must be tethered to a spot so that they can take us there. And this is. Yes. Drinking range: 2022 - 2032 Rating: 95 Erin Larkin, www.RobertParker.com (Oct 2022)

The color implies some age but it remains fresh on the palate with notes of cherries, salted plums, bay leaves and oyster shells. Medium-bodied with silky tannins and a gently saline finish. Drink now. Drinking range: 2022 - Rating: 91 Nick Stock, www.jamessuckling.com (Oct 2022)

Viticulture: Lutte raisonee/sustainable, no synthetic fungicides or herbicides.

The Ray-Monde Vineyard was established in 1988 by the Lakey family, in South Gisborne at 400m above sea level on the Southern edge of the Macedon Ranges GI, to which it once belonged. The gently North-East facing 5ha of Pinot Noir form a small part of the 230ha grazing farm now managed by John and Tristia Lakey, on which sheep, cattle, chicken and more are reared, with an emphasis on sustainable grazing and re-vegetation.

Like Captains Creek, this is another true mixed farm, and I’m privileged to be able to purchase fruit. The vineyard is unique for the area, being planted gravelly ironstone and basaltic clay soils, with very little top soil and a huge amount of “Bluestone” rock just below the surface. This lean soil together with vine age results in incredibly concentrated grapes, with thick skins and ripe stems even at low sugar levels. Typically, ripening occurs around a week earlier than Doug’s Vineyard.

Once hand harvested in the cool of morning, with careful sorting in the vineyard, 100% was transferred as whole cluster to open fermenters. The must was then allowed to soak 4-5 days at its cool ambient temperature until fermentation commenced. There after the grapes were gently extracted by a combination of pumping over and pigage by foot. The wine then pressed after a total of three weeks on skins and transferred to a single new (Laurent “Magic Cask” thick stave, blonde toast) one one year old Stockinger 300l and three old (6-10yo) oak Burgundian piece for lees ageing for 12 months, followed by four months in stainless steel on fine lees, before racking and bottling, unfined and unfiltered. The only addition to the wine is a small dose of sulphur.

Garnet. Ray-Monde is filled with the aromas and flavours of black cherry, kirsch, violet, spice, sweet damp earth and peat. Medium bodied with long, fine, silky tannin it is a very “gourmand” wine. Approachable in youth due to the beautiful balance, the tannic presence and quality suggest it should also age gracefully, gaining additional complexity along the journey.

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.

Super Six Christmas Case

This selection gets straight to the point: six fantastic wines that could play a leading role in any Christmas line-up. There's Blanc de Blancs Champagne, Burgundy, Loire, Bordeaux, Brunello & a new-world superstar in the form of Josh Cooper's elegant Pinot Noir.

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