Highlights: Joshua Cooper Shay’s Flat Cabernet Sauvignon 2021, Pyrenees, Victoria, Australia

Joshua Cooper grew up in the vineyards with parents Alan and Nelly Cooper, and their pioneering biodynamic Cobaw Ridge winery in Macedon Ranges. He made his first own-label wine with that estate fruit in 2012, and has since been cultivating relationships with top sustainably sensitive growers in Central and Western Victoria for his impressive and tight portfolio. His efforts have not gone unnoticed; his was named Best New Winery by the 2024 Halliday Wine Companion Awards. Shay’s Flat vineyard is on a ridge in the Pyrenees’ Landsborough Valley, surrounded by native scrub. These 20+ year old Cabernet Sauvignon vines are rooted into shale, quartz, and mudstone. This was destemmed and partially foot-trodden before 3 weeks maceration in open fermenters. After native ferment, this moved into 30% new Stockinger 300L, along with older thin-staved Bordeaux barrels for 1 year, followed by a 4 month stint in stainless prior to bottling, with a modicum of sulphur. There’s a smouldering energy pulsing through this biodynamic wine, coursing medicinal cherry, ferrous notes, perfumed purple florals, scrubby resinous herbs (notably wild mint and rosemary) along its medium-bodied (13%), structural frame. Tannins are lightly furry, and acidity is naturally lofted. For all its youthful energy, this is showing so much purity and grace at present that’s it hard not to drink right now, though the Diam30 cork indicates this has a long life ahead. Very special. 93/100

Treve Ring

Treve Ring is a wine writer and editor, judge and speaker, and perpetual traveller. [She is also Correspondent Anorak.]