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Tasting Notes


*2022 Cobaw Ridge Chardonnay New
"Multi dimensional, Intense, vibrant, expressive energy, minerality, savouriness all with our usual trade mark acidity."
"Cobaw Ridge Chardonnay 2022 "Special wine, Special Site."
"It's all the things. Texture, weight, vim and vigour, minerally, gently savoury, pure in fruit character, fragrant and extends beautifully and long in the palate. Scents and flavours of green apple, ginger, almond, sea spray and brine, licks of pink grapefruit and a sizzle of tart lime. All woven so brilliantly together and bound in crystalline-meets-chalky texture. It's a little nervous, a little skittish, tightly wound and briskly refreshing. I love it.
Rated : 96 + points   Mike Bennie Winefront
2021 Cobaw Ridge Chardonnay Sold Out
"Well, here's a wild one. A flintier, perhaps more saline launching pad this year. Tighter and leaner. Fresh. It's unreal. Unnerving consistency.''
"Lemon zest, grapefruit juice, flint and sea spray. Scents and flavours high-fiving. It's so darn good to drink! Frisky and cool, licked at with alpine herbs and that saline minerally twang, but concentrated too, long, luxuriously so and gently palate staining despite its racier frame. And in that, still stacks of proper chardonnay flavour - razor sliced, just ripe stone fruits, green apple and its tart crunch, faint cashew nut savouriness, a lick of parmesan rind and all that glorious coolness through its epic, mouth-watering, lingering delight. Sheesh. This is outstanding.''
Rated : 96 + points   Mike Bennie Winefront
Rated : 97/100 Halliday Wine Companion: JF
2020 Cobaw Ridge Chardonnay Sold Out
"While this was a very small crop and growing conditions weren't ideal, the resulting wine here is a beauty."
"It’s a textural feast, soft and mellow, warm marshmallow textured with great sourdough and oatmeal savouriness, suggestions of salted cashew, sweet lime, ripe apple and some faint Parisian almond like characters too. Scents and flavours match up, there’s depth and saline minerally things going on in the core. Flows beautifully, even, slow and long. You’d say a little shy, perhaps, a bit more diffuse than usual, but a wine of considerable deliciousness is in the glass regardless. Drinking superbly right now too."
Rated : 94 points   Mike Bennie Winefront
Rated : 95/100 Halliday Wine Companion: JF
2019 Cobaw Ridge Chardonnay Sold Out
''Is it a purple patch with Cobaw Ridge? Unsure, but the wines but the wines have been scoring over recent releases. The vineyard is mature, the biodynamic farming assured and well versed, the winemaking low- fi but judicious, anyway chardonnay off this site is singing, in various guises. Here's another belter.
It's not just that its so compelling and delicious to drink but it gives a person on the end of the glass an insight into complexity of chardonnay without overt edifice of winemaking. Yep, it opens with some flinty, struck match sniff that allude to technique, but the wine is more about the dimensions of grape flavour, minerally charm, savouriness from yeast and lees and the skinsy chew of taut berries. It smells and tastes like sea spray has whipped over green apple juice that's had hazelnuts steeped in it all. Far out. The tension, the length, the understated juiciness, the freshnessand the general sense of energy. So, so good."
Rated : 97 points   Mike Bennie Winefront
Rated : 98 points   Nick Stock JAMESSUCKLING.COM . Reviews
2018 Cobaw Ridge Chardonnay Sold Out
''From one of the coldest grape growing places in Australia off biodynamic farmed wines at 600-plus metres above sea level. Winemaking on the edge. And edgy. Great Wines. This set of releases the best I have seen as a suite from Cobaw Ridge. Some magic in the air.
Beautiful wine, lean and pure, fine and supremely balanced. Will hit the checks and balances for those seeking flinty, minerally styles while delivering some flavour for those into that. Green apple and talc scents, struck flint, wet slate, wet ferns in perfume. Mouth-watering and brittle in the palate but with loads of slinky, mineral-laced, fine boned acidity in tow. Faint nutty-oak characters, a whisper of nougat oak there too. Everything so fine. Such loveliness, if that's a good descriptor.''
Rated : 96 points   Mike Bennie Winefront
Rated : 97 points  TWF Chardonnay 2020 The Year in Reveiw.
*2022 Cobaw Ridge l'altra Chardonnay New
Pressing wine from our estate Chardonnay.
A barrel from 2021 given 2 years in oak and a barrel from 2022 with 1 year in oak.
More nutty and with slight oxidative handling have added another dimension to the quite savoury finish.
*2022 Cobaw Ridge il pinko Syrah Rose`New
"Think blood orange, watermelon and grapefruit flavours with saline acidity.
Delicate “onion skins “colour is bang on!"
Just in time for the summer of Rose!
"Some of the wine spends time in qvevri and the resting older oak barrel. All hits at Cobaw these days. Consistency is a by word Wonderful stuff.
"It's a pretty, rosy coloured thing. Juicy, crisp red cherries, some strawberry notes, a touch of anise and some earthy, Aussie bush characters faintly in there. It slips across the palate nicely, a little tension from lacy tannin, a saline undercurrent too. It feels attractive and easy to drink, perhaps not as complex as some iterations of this wine, but does the trick and delivers lots of pleasure and refreshment. Reminds me a bit of Tavel rose` from better producers. Like "
Rated : 93 points   Mike Bennie Winefront
2021 Cobaw Ridge il pinko Syrah Rose`Sold Out
"Il Pinko is the wine built around the most interesting and distinct expressions of wine made from that vintage - a moving feast. This year we get a syrah rose, and while rose has featured in Il Pinko livery, I don't believe it was produced as this one, in both qvevri and old oak. * Alan has informed me this IS the methodology since 2016, albeit in 2021 Spanish clay vessels were introduced.''
"Tasted even at room temperature this is a delight. Succulent, layered with exotic spice and brambly, peppery green herbs, sloshes of pomegranate juice and pickled cherries, a slip of hazelnut and something akin to the botanicals from alpine amaros. This is stunning; released in technicolour and 4D. Silky texture that fines perk from minerally acidity, a faint sheath of tannin, extraordinary length and a sense of the palate being saturated in all and sundry flavours and textures. In essence, world class rose. Don't drink to cold - or cold at all!"
Rated : 96 points   Mike Bennie Winefront
Rated : 96/100 Halliday Wine Companion: JF
2020 Cobaw Ridge il pinko Syrah Rose` Sold Out
"You'd put this in the top three Australian rose wines for sure, though that being said, one of the great Australian wines overall anyway. Our Tempier/Clos Cibonne/Lopez de Heredia, or something like that."
"Sweet-sour cherry aromas, rose hip tea, pot pourri scents and flint/wet pebble mineral whiffs. The palate is taut, fine, brilliantly fresh with shards of crystal and licks of talc and pumice. More rose hip tea, some amaro-like bitterness, exotic spice, blood orange to finish. Impressive length, amazing texture, so much detail, a wine of serious pedigree in the style."
Rated : 95 points   Mike Bennie Winefront
Rated : 96/100 Halliday Wine Companion: JF
2019 Cobaw Ridge il pinko Syrah Rose` Sold Out
Matured and fermented in Qvevri and old white French oak. Taut, mineral, savoury, spicy and dry. Fine tannins. Texture from the qvevri ... will age well into the future. Classic pale salmon pink. A wine of great focus and interest.
"Magnificent rose here. The faintest greasiness and oiliness in the most wonderful and fine sense. Just ripe cherry, pomegranate, finest tannins, cool, integrated acidity. Fells fancy. A seamless flow of the most delicious kind of rose. textural and wonderful."
Rated : 94 points   Mike Bennie Winefront
Rated : 95/100 Halliday Wine Companion: JF
*2022 Cobaw Ridge Pinot Noir - Original New
"As the name suggests, fruit from our original 1995 planting. Pinot Noir Clones 114, 115, MV6. "Super fine and more delicate than the HD but still with amazing intensity."
"Super fine and more delicate than the HD but still with amazing intensity."
From the 1995 plantings on the Cobaw Ridge, biodynamic farmed estate. Sees 25% new oak in seasoning. An amazing place for vineyards, way up there at Cobaw.
Serious pinot noir here. Has a strong currency in perfume of rich, cherry fruit characters, cinnamon spice, a bit of eucalyptus, pleasingly so, caraway seed in there, some maraschino. Good sniffs. Serious structure in the palate, ribbons of really lacy, fine, grainy tannin, superb and long here. More sour/black cherry fruit character to taste, some minty/sage leaf herbal notes too, faintly barnyard and forest floor notes in there too. Brooding in a way too. Delights.
Rated : 94 + points   Mike Bennie Winefront
*2022 Cobaw Ridge Pinot Noir - High Density New
"Our first single Vineyard high density Pinot Noir.
First planted in 2011 at a density of just under 7000 vines / hectare and including a mix of clones including 777, Q390-02, Pomard, Able, 115 and MV6. The first release as a standalone wine from this now mature planting.
More intense and darker fruited than the Original.
Walking a delicate line of power and subtlety but still oh so fine.
Both Pinots should age incredibly well."
This is the first release from this pocket of Cobaw Ridge's higher density plantings, as the name states. Sees 25 % new oak.
A strange mix of brooding, black fruited feel and this ethereal lift and purity. Has me in a spin, and delighted. Moreish red of dark cherry scents, sarsaparilla, terracotta, slightly coconut thing going on , curiously. Very, very satisfying wine here is the message. Lots of flavour, lots of pizzazz. Feels bolder in away, but delivers so much character and a kind of eyes rolled back in the head pleasure. What a treat.
Rated : 95 points   Mike Bennie Winefront
2021 Cobaw Ridge Pinot Noir Sold Out
Rated : 93/100 Halliday Wine Companion: JF
2020 Cobaw Ridge Pinot Noir Sold Out
"This is a delightful wine, savoury and minty herbal, sour cherry led fruit flavours with some raspberry, white strawberry and a splash of kirsch in the mix. While the wine feels loose knit a sheath of tannin tightens as the wine rolls over the palate, finishing long yet lightly chewy and very good. It's fragrant, energetic, has that intangible sense of nourishment that some great, unadorned wines have. it feels unique, idiosyncratic in the best sense; very Cobaw Ridge. Easy pleasure, fine detail, a serious pinot with lift and presence."
Rated : 94 points   Mike Bennie Winefront
2019 Cobaw Ridge Pinot Noir Sold Out
"Pure and effortless, gliding graceful pinot noir of fine boned nature and freshness. tart cherry notes, pomegranate characters, crushed granite minerally characters, a little undergrowth and dried leaves in the mix. Feel really laid back, understated in a way, in a groove and not needing to raise a head up from the bed. Thease low key, leafy, savoury numbers are glorious, and here's one that's dam straight delicious. For now, and for a while in cellar."
Rated : 95 points   Mike Bennie Winefront
Rated : 95/100 Halliday Wine Companion: JF
2018 Cobaw Ridge Pinot Noir Sold Out
"There's this distinct textural thing that you find in Cobaw Ridge wine that feels like it turns the volume up on its unfiltered nature, somewhat similar in my mind to drinking Bass Phillip or the great Burgundies of Prieure-Roch. The wines feel more cloudy apple juice texture, hazy, with tannin entirely through the wine rather than a sheath or train tracks or similar. And I like it. The art equivalent for me would be abstract expressionism. I like that too. This wine continues the theme. Chalky and powdery yet wildly juicy and fresh. Sage and eucalyptus settle in sour cherry juice and blood plum flavour, with acidity all Campari and tang. It starts fleshy, roll through the palate for ages, finishes pleasing bitter, maybe slightly sweet, lightly gummy and herbal. All good. A moreish wine with the vibe of something nourishing, lots of interest, marching to its own beat."
Rated : 94 points   Mike Bennie Winefront
Rated : 95/100 Halliday Wine Companion: JF
*2022 Cobaw Ridge l'altra Syrah Pinot New
Estate blend of 90% Syrah Rose and 8% Pinot pressing with a dash of 2% Lagrein.... Juicy and bright, delicious and designed to take a little bit of a chill.
For the technocrats, this is 90% syrah made as rose and 8% pinot pressings with the rest lagrein. A lighter, fresher red emerges, but geez, not without seriousness...
Succulent lighter red of sappy, red cherry, cranberry, faint Aussie bush floral notes. Crisp texture, so damn refreshing, fine, lithe weave of lacy-silty tannins, some pink grapefruit tang and a wash of red fruits and pretty spice through the finish. We drink I'Anglore and such and think the world of it, but here's that kind of lighter red in spades, in our backyard. Wonderful, complex, compelling lighter red, so frisky and vibrant and so much going on. Wonderful.
Rated : 94 points   Mike Bennie Winefront
2021 Cobaw Ridge l'altra Syrah Pinot Sold Out
Rated : 95/100 Halliday Wine Companion: JF
2019 Cobaw Ridge l'altra Syrah Pinot Sold Out
85% Syrah and 15% Pinot blend. The Syrah component was the final pressings of the il pinko Rose and the Pinot Noir was the press wine from our multi clonal Pinot Noir. Matured in neutral old French oak for 12 months. Small amount of So2 the sole addition and neither filtered or fined.
Super fresh and juicy. Bright cherries and spice with fine acidity to keep the finish clean. In the hipster world ... smashable!
2017 Cobaw Ridge l'altra Syrah Lagrein Sold Out
L 'altra, Syrah Lagrein 2017 Comprising of 80% Syrah and 20% Lagrein. Juicy supple with poise and drive.
Vintage 2017 was a Cooler Year, the Syrah and the Lagrein Picked Late May. Be 11.1% Alc. 80%Syrah /20% Lagrein . The wine is Lagrein dominant, (even though the blend doesn't reflect this) morello sour cherry and delicate spice, on the pallet fresh and juicy, it will evolve in time... It's actually nice at a cooler temperature on a hot day.
Outstanding Wine : NB  (Nicole Bilson) Gt Wine April/ May 2020
" Dances on the tongue with its melody of wild raspberry, fennel, blood orange and varied exotic spice. A slight wine that packs in lots of good flavour, feels vivacious and thirst-quenching and somehow still manages to show the attractive, hallmark haze of texture that Cobaw Ridge does so well. While not quite a summery red, there's plenty of depth here all things considered, and tannins stain the palate well, there's cause to say it will take well to a chill, though drinks excellently with fingerless gloves cupping the bowl of the glass too. A clever and intriguing, wonderful drink."
Rated : 93 points Mike Bennie Winefront :
2019 Cobaw Ridge Syrah Sold Out
Quite plush and exuberant, fine graphite and dried herbs with a touch of crushed pepper. Along future awaits.
Rated : 96/100 Halliday Wine Companion: JF
2018 Cobaw Ridge Syrah Sold Out
"Beautiful wines in general from Cobaw Ridge, syrah often idiosyncratic, though in uniqueness pegs its own quality. Biodynamicaly farmed and raised.
"Syrupy and slick, strong cranberry juice vibes, sour cherry, mint leaf, fennel, white pepper. Has this wonderful transparent, gossamer sheet feel, crisp tannins that build to alight, granitic pucker. Lots of crushed rock here. It gets better and better and better with air. A strong pinosity here, very much a lighter, lithe style, though a distinct alpine nebbiolo thing too! How good!"
Rated : 95 points   Mike Bennie Winefront
Rated : 96/100 Halliday Wine Companion: JF
2016 Cobaw Ridge Syrah Sold Out
"Great site, lovingly (biodynamically) tended. Idiosyncratic and original, expressive wines (in the best possible sense). Syrah from here is always really savoury and typically really compelling, 'un-Australian' in its earth and bloody/gamey characters, broad, savoury weave of tannins, and there's no disappointment here. A stellar release, loaded with perfume, all pot pourri, undergrowth, black pepper, crushed rock and some raspberry and plummy notes there too. The palate reflects the bouquet well, medium weight here, supple in  texture but those tannins, lacy, chalky, faintly tarry in that way of nebbiolo, do a wonderful job shape, form and keeping things fresh and long with each sip. It's really beautiful syrah, delicious from the get-go but weaving in so much detail and interest. A humdinger from 2016."
Rated : 95 points   Mike Bennie Winefront
Rated : 95/100 Halliday Wine Companion: JF
*2022 Cobaw Ridge Lagrein *Feb 2024 Release*
This historical tasing ... link into the, was instructive for this wine. Biodynamic farmed to nth degree. Visionary stuff. From a cool year, there was only 400 kg harvested and it was picked mid May. A portion was bleeded off and the rest spent three weeks on skins. My tasting companion just said "lock the door, close the blinds, turn off your phone and just enjoy this bottle of wine. A perfect recipe for that". Amen
Lots of cassis and black jellybean, alpine herbs, a bit of higher toned violet floral notes, Chinese five spice too. Beautiful perfume. Sink in deep. The palate is sinewy and refreshing, succulent and fine boned, superb tannin flex that's so Italianate, and shows so much detail in dark fruits, that pretty, floral herbal lift, maraschino cherry, blood orange and amaro. Wow. This is bloody fantastic. So much character, so much deliciousness, so much drinkability, so much to savour. Got better and better with air. A twenty minute wine, if you get my drift, but resist it if you can . Stellar
Rated : 96 points   Mike Bennie Winefront
*2021 Cobaw Ridge Lagrein Sold Out
The estate Lagrein is varietally expressive with abundant savoury and mineral traits, together with dark cherries, spice and liquorice. Fine lifted floral nose and super supple with great length.
2021 Lagrein given an extra year of bottle maturity to build intensity prior to release.
Welcome to the world of Lagrein. Cobaw Ridge is the champion of it in Australia, and it’s a variety in need of a cool climate. Macedon Ranges fits the bill. Yes, sunshine to ripen but cool nights are essential to retain acidity. This feels cool and cooling with fine acidity throughout teasing the dark plummy fruit into submission. Spiced with cinnamon and pepper, this has depth as much as charm.
Published 15 May 2023 Jane Faulkner
Rated : 96/100 Halliday Wine Companion: JF
2019 Cobaw Ridge Lagrein Sold Out
Dark and intense in colour. Cherries, spice and liquorice. Lots of dry extract which is so much part of this variety. Supple tannins and juicy acidity should set it up for long cellaring. AC
Rated : 96/100 Halliday Wine Companion: JF
2018 Cobaw Ridge Lagrein Sold Out
"The highest Lagrein in Australia, I would wager, set at 610 mtrs ubove sea level. What a claim! not Cobaw Ridge's, just mine."
Smells like the interior of a new car with leather seats. Some dark cherry, some chocolate, tobacco too. Savoury, light and dry to taste. More of the dark cherry, chocolate going on, with leather, spice, graphite-like minerality a feature. Need time to unfurl but whoa, this a great experience.
Rated : 93 points   Mike Bennie Winefront
Rated : 96/100 Halliday Wine Companion: JF
2016 Cobaw Ridge Lagrein Vintage Sold Out
2013 Cobaw Ridge Lagrein Vintage Sold Out
An obscure varietal originally hailing from the very north east of Italy. Varietally expressive with abundant savoury and mineral traits, together with dark cherries, spice and liquorice. Fine lifted floral nose and super supple with great length.
Jeremy Oliver (@Jeremy_Oliver) 18/07/2015 19:21 : Twitter
Just opened Cobaw Ridge's 2013 Lagrein. Wow! This piercing, savoury red is quite brilliant.
The Australian Wine Annual 2016: Jeremy Oliver : 2013 Cobaw Ridge Lagrein 95/100 : In the Jeremy Oliver's Top 100 also in The Top three Wines from New or Alternative Varieties.

Wine Grapes

Harding MW - Decanter August 2013 2010 Cobaw Ridge Lagrein was 1 of 6 Wines to be Selected for the launch of "WINE GRAPES" : Authors, Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding and Jose Vouillamoz: at London " RAW" real artisan wine far 2013 vintage.

DIAM cork: Our wine is bottled under DIAM cork to retain it's purity and integrity. The Diam corks are going in to often the more expensive and exclusive bottles of wine." -- Oeneo Closures, producers of DIAM, website at: website link .


Cobaw Ridge Autumn Chardonnay and Lagrein (Right)

Photo : Cobaw Ridge

Lagrein - A Rising Star
... Lagrein wines belong to the most awarded reds in Italy and can compete with premium products from other nations as well.

Wolfgang Kager, Cantina Bolzano.

In the year 1997...

Lagrein is almost unknown in Australia, the variety originates from Sud Tyrol - Alto Adige in the far-north east of Italy. Cobaw Ridge in the Macedon Ranges produced the first commercial quantities in Australia.


1998 Cobaw Ridge Lagrein "Best Wine of the Show" The Australian Italian Wine Awards

at Mildura Grand Hotel 18 November 2000 Mildura

For more about Lagrein's history in Australia, see:

Lagrein - a new winegrape variety for Australia

James Halliday in his 2005 Australian Wine Companion scores the 2002 Cobaw Ridge Lagrein at 91 points.

Cobaw Ridge held a tasting of their wine and 15 Lagreins from Italy's best producers, also noted to be the largest tasting of its kind outside of Europe in the Southern hemisphere.

Here's what James Halliday had to say:

"Several things emerged: first, the aroma and flavour of the Cobaw Ridge wines is utterly typical of the variety. Second, the grape has emphatic character, which binds the wines of both countries into a coherent, tightly knit group... it is also abundantly clear the wines have a long cellaring potential.

The '99 Cobaw Ridge is still a bright purple-red, and looks every bit as youthful as the 2002. How long the vivid fruit aromas and flavours - raspberry, cherry, plum, will take to subside is anyone's guess. Having initially had a few doubts about the legitimacy of the variety - was it just a novelty or was it really worthy of attention - I am now a convert to the cause."

"I am now a convert to the cause."
-- James Halliday, 'Pucker up for Kyneton’s wild Italian... Lagrein', Weekend Australian, March 6-7 2004 article: Cobaw Ridge, in the Macedon Ranges June 08 2004

Lagrein tasting with Nelly and Alan Cooper, Max Allen and James Halliday

Lagrein tasting with Nelly and Alan Cooper, Max Allen and James Halliday

Along with a number of other fantastic reviews:

"Long Live Lagrein" -- Tim White (personal communication)

Best Australian Italians: “Cobaw Ridge – a tightly focused, structured, savoury lagrein” -- Jeremy Oliver, 'Australian Winemakers Are Out To Beat The Italians At Their Own Grapes', Qantas magazine The Australian Way, July 2004

"LAGREIN an old Italian grape moving Down under" -- Nino Borsari (wine writer), 'La Dolce Vita - Italy Down Under', The National Magazine Of Italian Australian Affairs And Culture, Spring Summer 2004

Quotes from previous Cobaw Ridge Lagrein vintages:

"2003 Cobaw Ridge Lagrein -- The obscure red lagrein grape originated in Italy's north - east and is planted in a few Australian vineyards – but none yet matches the quality of the lagrein from this Macedon Ranges producer. Seductive, crisp, perfumed with violets and cherries this exceptionally well-balance, fine, medium-bodied red wine is a real beauty."
-- Max Allen, 'Taste', Weekend Australian, February 5-6 2005

"Cobaw Ridge in the Macedon Ranges has pioneered the grape variety in Australia and has had considerable success with it: 2003 Cobaw Ridge Lagrein "A much more serious offering from considerably older vines... Vigneron Alan Cooper has crafted a much richer wine..., full of blood plum, mint, black cherry, red rose and dusty oak off in the background. Crystal clear palate showing great clarity of saturated fruit and a driving backbone of herbal acidity and very fine tannins on the finish. Great definition and balance. A terrific wine, to be enjoyed with or without food, that will age over the medium term."
-- Andrew Wood, DIVINE Food & Wine, Issue 39 March/May 2005

"2003 Cobaw Ridge Lagrein: Delectable : from the Macedon Ranges."
-- Bob Hart, 'eat,' Weekend Herald Sun, June 18, 2005

"The cool climate grape variety can be built firm with ageing ability."
-- Jeni Port, 'Wine Style', The Age, June 25, 2005

-- Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show, November 2005

Fantastic flagship reds | The Courier-Mail By Ken Gargett September 11, 2007

see News and Events for more recent reviews. back to top of page.

Premium wine of the Macedon Ranges, Victoria, Australia
100% Estate grown, made and bottled
31 Perc Boyers Lane. East Pastoria, Via Kyneton. Vic. 3444. Australia . Tel: (03) 5423 5227
Cellar Door Open : Saturday - Sunday 12 noon to 5pm

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