Joshua Cooper “Balgownie Vineyard" Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon 2022
Winery: Joshua Cooper
Region: Bendigo - Victoria
Winemaker: Joshua Cooper
Varietal(s): 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Balgownie Vineyard is a name that should need no introduction to lovers of Victorian wine. An icon of the 70s and 80s, it has produced some of the most remarkable mature Australian wines I have had the pleasure of drinking. Indeed my cellar is well stocked with them thanks to 10+ years of collecting.
Established 1969 200m asl near the banks of Myers Creek in Maiden Gully on Ordovician shale, quartz and ironstone rubble, thanks to current winemaker Tony Winspear it now supplies me a small amount of old vine Cabernet Sauvignon from some of the earliest plantings from 1970.
“This vineyard is a national treasure - it has the ability to produce reds from cabernet sauvignon and shiraz that cellar with the elegance and longevity to rival anything in Australia” Jeremy Oliver - www.jeremyoliver.com.au
The first to ripen of the three Cabernet Sauvignon sites, these old vines and special place deliver fruit of extreme concentration and complexity. Harvest occurred around three weeks earlier than Shays Flat.
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 pigeage 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. A wine which immediately makes one sit up and focus. Refined and complex with iron, sweet cassis, cedar spice, violet and rose, air reveals infinite nuance and detail. The palate is flooded with wave upon wave of Cabernet fruit, braced by a strict but not overbearing tannic structure, finishing with sweet violet and cassis and a wave of perfume. The most refined of the six Cabernet cuvées, but also the most concentrated and finally balanced. A very worthy follow up to the 2021 vintage and a wine that displays my most prized characteristics - effortless complexity and power without weight.
Please decant well prior to drinking, or cellar for as long as you like.