Joshua Cooper Shay’s Flat Cabernet Sauvignon 2022


There aren’t too many truly distinct wines in Australia, made from classical varieties, but Josh Cooper’s cabernet based wines from Victoria taste like no others. Super complex aromatics of cassis, blackberry, mulberry, tobacco, soy, lavender and hints of red fruits. Pure translucent and mineral. Medium bodied, some cola, black olive, gooseberry and a compote of crushed black and red fruits. Savouriness, courtesy of black olives and clove, yet the tannins are like blended rails; the fruit bends, without a firm scaffold. Wonderful, soulful cabernet. Waters Wine Co

The Shay’s Flat Vineyard is situated on an elevated and picturesque ridge in the heart of the Pyrenees. A distinctively Australian setting with the vineyard surrounded by wheat paddocks, native bushland and scrub, the 20+ year old vines are rooted deep into mineral rich shale, quartz and mudstone soils, growing powerful, yet detailed fruit. It is the second to ripen of the three Cabernet Sauvignon sites. I have a distinct soft spot for the Cabernet wines produced in the 70s and 80s by the pioneering wineries of Central and Western Victoria, many of which seem ageless even now.

Once hand harvested the fruit was entirely de-stemmed, then partially foot crushed before transfer to open fermenters where it remained for three weeks. The must was allowed to soak until natural fermentation commenced and was then extracted with a combination pumping over, delestage and pigage before basket pressing.Elevage took place in a combination of new Stockinger 300l (30%) and seasoned thin staved Bordeaux coopered barriques for 12 months, before four months in stainless steal after assemblage. The only addition to the wine is a small dose of sulphur.

Deep, dark garnet. Reticent on opening, aeration shows intense sour cherry and cassis, mulberry, lavender and black olive with a sweet mint top note and alluring graphite and terracotta complexity. A compact and powerful palate opens with time to reveal layers of deep dark berry and red cherry fruit, before a rumble of fine layered tannin and cleansing cherry pit acidity with a persistent trail of graphite, dark cocoa and Dutch liquorice. The clarity and length of flavour and added depth and quality of tannin mark this as a very special wine, the best yet from this site. Please decant well prior to drinking, while cellaring will reveal more nuance and complexity. Producer’s notes 


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SKU: JOC003-22 Categories: , , ,

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Producer Profile

Josh Cooper is the son of Nelly and Allan Cooper of Cobaw Ridge winery in the Macedon Ranges, a producer of incomparable regard. Interestingly, Josh sources his fruit from outside the family farm, but growing up in the Macedon Ranges he has an intimate knowledge of the region, its vineyards and growers. We have not yet come across a finer suite of negociant wines in Australia.

Bright, pure, translucent, textural, delicate and poised, with a long and lingering carry. Layered complexity, flavours and textures interwoven, seamlessly stitched, the balance is perfect, no flavour or texture dominating, an equality of components.

Beautiful flavours are one thing, but what elevates Josh Cooper’s wines into grandness is their texture, shape and tannin. Billowing, eddying – their shape all movement, pirouetting, rippling, and caressing. No wine feels as another, but they all share a gentle palate presence, a pelt of velvet, silk or longer woodier tannins.

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