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.
*2019 Cobaw Ridge Chardonnay New Release
''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 .com.au
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 .com.au
Rated : 97 points TWF Chardonnay 2020 The Year in Reveiw.
2017 Cobaw Ridge Chardonnay Sold Out
''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 .com.au
2018 Skin Contact chardonnay Cobaw Ridge Chardonnay Sold Out
100% Estate grown, biodynamic and organically grown fruit.
One half fermented on skins prior to pressing after 3 weeks and then matured in old oak for 2 years. The second portion left on skins for a total of 737 days prior to draining and blending with the first. Zero additions or fining/filtration just (a tiny amount) sulphur prior to bottling.
"One of the finest examples I've tasted of skin contact chardonnay in Australia - super pure, fresh with clean clear mineral character. It's a matrix of spice and fruits. Gingerbread, marzipan, white pepper clove and turmeric. The fruit unravels with mango, papaya, orange zest and pink guava. Silky and fine on the palate, with only the finest of tannins holding shape. Amazing length as always from this diligent producer. Bravo team Cobaw". Sebastian Crowther MS
"Cobaw Ridge Skin contact Chardonnay 2018 "Chardonnay off the wonderful, biodynamic vines of stalwart Macedon Ranges producer Cobaw Ridge. Always character filled wines, here's a new release, an orange wine. Half of the ferment left on skins for three weeks, the other half of the ferment is on skins for ...737 days!! Yowsers! I thought the wine would be wildly tannic, and sure, there's lots of pucker and chew, but its seamless. you could almost say pretty. It's perfumed and squeaky in texture, lightly fuzzy in appley fruit flavours, scents of flowers, dried and fresh. It suggests words like complex, intensity, freshness and poise. if anything, it feels more textural white than orange wine, with fine, superb tannins the calling card. This is such a great wine. Ticks all the goodness boxes. And darn, good drinking.''
Rated : 96 points Mike Bennie Winefront .com.au
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 .com.au
*2019 Cobaw Ridge Pinot Noir New Release
"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 .com.au
*2018 Cobaw Ridge Pinot Noir
"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 .com.au
2017 Cobaw Ridge Pinot Noir Sold Out
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
*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 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."
Mike Bennie Winefront .com.au : Rated : 93 points
*2016 Cobaw Ridge Syrah
"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 .com.au
*2015 Cobaw Ridge Syrah Ltd
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 really 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 ignore what great value it is in comparison to them. Gourmet Traveller Wine Oct /Nov : Max Allen
2014 Cobaw Ridge Syrah Sold Out
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.
*2018 Cobaw Ridge Lagrein V/ Ltd
"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 .com.au
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.
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: www.oeneo.co.uk .
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:
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
www.winepros.com.au article: Cobaw Ridge, in the Macedon Ranges June 08 2004
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