Alan and Nelly Cooper’s Cobaw Ridge is a Macedon pioneer. The vineyard was planted in 1985, has been certified biodynamic since 2011, and today, the wines have never been better. Shot through with flinty minerals arranged over a wire of pulsing acidity, this has all the trappings of a complex chardonnay, with generosity of flavour and winemaking detail perfectly poised and pitched.
White peach and nectarine, lemon curd, yellow grapefruit, a puff of complex matchstick elements, with oak notes, barrel ferment and pillowy lees all present, but there’s impeccable poise, too, a harmony of elements. All is on show here, but all is in balance and check, with ample flavour and a vibrant line of mineral-etched precision, effortless finesse. The palate is textural, with pops of nougat, crystallised lemon peel and lemon pith, with presence and weight but an underlying drive of acidity and mineral tension underpinning and speaking resolutely of the place where it’s grown.
Themes of this wine
With an explosion of interest over the last few decades, chardonnay is now the world’s most planted white grape. With its ability to grow in varied conditions and make everything from sparkling wine, to lean and mineral whites, to full-bodied textural expressions, it is perhaps no surprise to see Burgundy’s key white grape become so dominant.
Melbourne is well served with top wine regions, with the Yarra, Mornington, Geelong and Macedon all about an hour from the city. All are cool climate, but Macedon takes the prize for being the coolest, with some touting it as the best territory for chardonnay and pinot noir in the country. Evidence of that potential, aside from some glittering exceptions, haven’t exactly been crowding wine store shelves over the years, but much has changed, and there’s a dynamic community ensuring that potential is being tapped in exciting ways.