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Winemaking at Cobaw Ridge

Tasting Notes |Lagrein To find out where to purchase our wines (cellar door, restaurants, retail outlets and overseas distributors) please see our Where to Buy page.

Cobaw Ridge's Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz Viognier and LagreinCellar door:

Tasting Notes

*2017 Cobaw Ridge Chardonnay
''Always expect savoury, interesting chardonnay wines from Cobaw Ridge. Here's another. Loading in grape flavour and its full potential. It's a big chardonnay but not weighty, nor creamy, nor buttery and toasty. There's just lots of things going on. It smells of honeycomb, cashews, green apple, faint sea spray, the palate with similar flavours, really juicy but with a core of minerally-saline acidity and finishes with a light fino-meets-green-apple edginess. It's complex as chardonnay gets, alluring and compelling as a drink. It's Fantastic. ''  Rated : 95 points   Mike Bennie Winefront
2016 Cobaw Ridge Chardonnay Sold Out
Gourmet Traveller : May 2019 : Top drops of the month by Max Allen . 2016 Cobaw Ridge Chardonnay, Macedon Ranges. Bucking the modern trend for lean, minerally chardonnay, this intense, flavourful expression of the grape delivers rich white nectarine fruit and fine, nutty complexity.
2015 Cobaw Ridge Chardonnay Sold Out
This Chardonnay is more linier and tightly wound than some other years. Great aging potential here!
THE WINE AUG 17 by Mike Bennie : Rated : 94 Points. Dedicated Biodynamic farmers with their stella site set at 600-or-so meters above sea level in the cool upper reaches of the Macedon Ranges. The wine is made with no additions, no adjustments or chicanery. Typically, Cobaw chardonnay is full flavoured, generous, a touch savoury. No disapointment there. I'd be all over this if I had to sell wine in the public sphere. Stacks in character and quality, from a good place and good people. ..... Genuine chardonnay flavour, ripe apple, grapefruit candied mixed citrus peel, touch of honey popcorn suggestions. Loads going on in the big bouquet. Day two is best drinking where various components integrate, giving a little chalky cut and saline acidity to come forth and tame the opulent flavours. Oily, full weight, yet fresh, this glorious expression of chardonnay that stains the palate with lavish fruit characters. Lush delicious, decadent, yet still speaking of its cool origins in closing fresh and bright . Super Gary Walsh comments ... "Complete wine" an easy 95/100 for me.
*2018 Cobaw Ridge il pinko Syrah Rose`
A little richer and a touch more fruit focussed than prior. Made under our normal methods, very gently pressed, with no rotation, juice naturally fermented and matured utilising  large old French oak and Qvevri. Full malo and zero so2 till post blending prior to bottling.
"Classic pale salmon pink. Showing some fine spice and syrah herbs on the nose. Great focus and interesting and a tussle between texture /concentration."
2017 Cobaw Ridge il pinko Syrah Rose`Sold Out
Matured and fermented in Qvevri and old white French oak. Taut, mineral, savoury and dry but with lots of texture from the qvevri looking every bit as classy as the 2016 and will age well into the future.
Very light colour , subtle aromas of stone fruit and tangy rosehip,enticing creamy texture. Spot-on example of the pale dry, Rose`style.  Max Allen : GTWine June/July 2018

THE WINE 16 Jun.2018 Review by Mike Bennie. Produced from Syrah from Cobaw Ridge’s biodynamic estate, it’s raised in both old oak and qvevri (amphora). It’s a serious rendition of the allegedly frivolous wine style of rose. Indeed, this is one that drinks a charm ice cold, but just as well approaching ‘room temperature’.

Pale garnet colour, a touch haze, but very bright and inviting. Scents of brambles, raspberry, sour cherry, rose hip tea. Leans down the rose hip tea and sour cherry flavour spectrum too, holding fine shape with silky tannins and perky, mouth-watering acidity. It has such a vitality to it, tinged with savouriness and decidedly in that lean, light and pure feeling zone, with some beautiful sour-sweetness too. Superb rose.
95 Points
2016 Cobaw Ridge il pinko Rose` Sold Out
The return of il pinko syrah rose`. Matured and fermented in Qvevri and old white French oak. Taut, mineral, savoury and dry but with lots of texture from the qvevri amazing intense colour.. quite a wine!
2016 Cobaw Ridge ‘il pinko’ Rosé
Those in the know are calling this one of Australia’s best rosés and we tend to agree – Cobaw Ridge haven’t produced an edition of ‘il pinko’ in twenty years, yet the result is triumphant. 100% biodynamic Syrah has been fermented and aged in traditional Georgian Qvevri (egg-shaped, earthenware vessels) and neutral old oak to showcase brilliant complexity and purity of fruit. Here, a surge of granitic minerality stands front and centre as elements of savoury spice, red berries and earth intertwine with classy intrigue. A little proof that good things are worth waiting for. BH&S
*2017 Cobaw Ridge Pinot Noir
All blocks processed separately. 10% whole bunch in base of fermenter and gently destemmed the balance on top. Total time on skins 30 days. Gentle hand plunged twice a day while actively fermenting. Basket pressed to tank before going into oak. About 20 % new French oak. Thirteen months in oak before blending and bottling in the middle of 2018.
The finished wine shows that vintage '17 was indeed on the cool side! Showing much more restraint and tautness on the palate. The wine need time to unfurl and relax to allow the amazing focused core of red fruits to shine.
2017 Cobaw Ridge Pinot Noir : Macedon Ranges. Cobaw Ridge produces scintillating wines in which charisma is never lacking. This pinot noir is decidedly washy in texture but asserts many things in the glass, with wild-edged herbal , spicy, pickled cherry scents and a palate awash with tang, a sheath of gummy tannins and a finish that spreads luxuriously with brambly, blackberry flavours. So much going on, so unique. It's a skittish wine now, fun to approach, but will be all autumn scents and flavours with five to 10 years maturity. Gourmet Traveller Wine Oct /Nov : Mike Bennie
2016 Cobaw Ridge Pinot Noir Sold Out
"An incredibly exciting release, this wine sees a small percentage of grapes picked from the new high density vineyard, Alan planted a number of years ago. Although backbreaking work, the results are terrific. Haunting aromas of dark black and red fruits, with plenty of spice and herbal tang. The palate is where this wine really shines. Super silky, sexy and moreish. Perfectly detailed and fine tannins have you smiling with joy as a core of fruit sweeps through the palate with plenty of subtle detail shimmering. Like all the wines from this property, the length of flavour leaves you very impressed." 95 Points Mike Bennie
2015 Cobaw Ridge Pinot Noir Sold Out
The Pinot Noir showing quite intense plush flavours but at the same time very focused... and all at 12% Alc. Amazing !
THE WINE FRONT : Gary Walsh - 19th December 2017. Rated : 94 Points : 2015 Cobaw Ridge Pinot Noir for full review. Rootstock Festival 2017... "their wines were pretty much the standout of the event for me. I think their wines satisfy my bent for ‘classicism’, but without being mucked about ......". Cherry and plenty of spice, a wild mint and herb perfume, and something like almond in behind. It's light-bodied, but doesn't lack flavour, flirts with the green end of the spectrum, but dosen't lack ripeness. it's brisk and animated, with again that tast of almond, alongside fine emery tannin, and a slightly soupy red fruited finish of fine length. Personality and heaps of Charm. Lovely stuff .
*2017 Cobaw Ridge l'altra Syrah Lagrein
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 dominent, (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
2013 Cobaw Ridge l'altra Syrah Sold Out
The other expression of our Syrah, a wine with altitude and attitude. Juicy supple with poise and drive.
THE WINE FRONT : Mike Bennie - August 2017 Rated : 94 Points. This is a charming, savoury shiraz (syrah!) of beautiful perfume, spice, earthiness, cusp-of-ripeness red fruits and a hustle of brisk, cool acidity. The takeaway message is 'medium weight red of spiciness and a relaxed feel in the pallet with a fine trill of tannins to close'. You could close your eyes and be drinking best of northern Rhone, or simply give in to the wines unfettered, herb and spice, red fruit charm. It's almost on the cusp of rugged pinosity too, in its way. Big love. Cellaring should reward likewise.
*2015 Cobaw Ridge Syrah
Picked Early April 2015 from our original planting of Syrah, vines planted 1985. Full 100% destemmed to fermenter. Gentle hand plunged once natural fermentation starts. Total of 42 days on skins pre press. Total of 24 months elevage in a mixture of new 700 lt  barrels and older seasoned French oak So2 sole addition, to the wine prior to Bottling.
'' Cool climate Syrah and the essence of granite. Focussed and expressive of our amazing terroir. " Always rewards us with age!
2015 Cobaw Ridge Syrah : Macedon Ranges : The time has long past for comparing Australian wines to French Wines. We've all grown up, the industry has matured, we can stand on our own two feet and be proud of who we are and what we do in Australia without having to fawn to France. Having said that though, it's relly hard not to think of great syrahs of the northern Rhone (St- Joseph, Hermitage) when tasting this exceptional, nervy, peppery, thrillingly dark-fruited syrah. And even harder to ignor what great value it is in comparison to them. Gourmet Traveller Wine Oct /Nov : Max Allen
2014 Cobaw Ridge Syrah Vintage Limited
Very much typical of our Syrah from a cooler year, aromatic on the nose, savoury spice and a fine dusting of black pepper to finish. Interestingly it's 12.7 Alc. The classic iron fist in a velvet glove. Huge latent power and structure to burn. This wine will reward you even more with age!
THE WINE FRONT :Gary Walsh 25th January 2018. Rated : 95 Points : 2014 Cobaw Ridge Syrah. Cracked pepper, grilled meat, blackcurrant, lavender and dried herb, even some kind of sweet wet earthy stuff. Medium bodied but dense, all the juicy small dark berries, a lick of juniper, layers of spice, a fine sweep of emery tannin, and an intense finish, with rich fine tannin trailing in its wake. It's a damn fine syrah.
2008 Cobaw Ridge Syrah Sold Out
Syrah co-fermented with a dash of Viognier. Super concentrated but with true cool climate elegance and poise. Spice, pepper, plum and liquorice, all coming together. Balanced, soft and supple on the palate.  Syrah from a warm Macedon Ranges summer 94/100  James Halliday  Wine Companion 2012       
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
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