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Joshua Cooper


‘Balgownie Vineyard 1970 Block’

Cabernet Sauvignon   |   Bendigo - Australia


Balgownie Vineyard is a name that should need no introduction to lovers of Victorian wine. As an icon of the 70’s and 80’s, it has produced some of the most remarkable mature Australian wines Josh has ever had the pleasure of drinking. Indeed his cellar is well stocked with them thanks to 10+ years of collecting. The vineyard was established in 1969 at 650 feet near the banks of Myers Creek in Maiden Gully on Ordovician shale, quartz and ironstone rubble. Thanks to current winemaker Tony Winspear, this vineyard now supplies Josh a small amount of old vine Cabernet Sauvignon from some of the earliest plantings in 1970. In the words of Jeremy Oliver, “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.”

The fruit was hand harvested around three weeks earlier than Shay’s Flat. The fruit was entirely destemmed, 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 sulfur.


  • Grapes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Vineyard: Balgownie Vineyard
  • Vine Age: 51-years-old
  • Soil Type: Shale, mudstone, quartz and clay
  • Viticulture: Sustainable
  • Fermentation: Native — stainless-steel
  • Skin Contact: 3 weeks
  • Aging: 12 months barrel followed by 4 months stainless-steel
  • Alcohol: 13%
  • pH: 3.8
  • Total Acidity: 5.5 g/L
  • Total SO2: 60 ppm
  • Total Production: 333 cases

Tasting Notes

Deep, dark garnet. A wine which immediately makes one sit up and focus. Incredibly 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.

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