Cobaw Ridge Fritz 2015
Victoria - Australia
There is a growing movement in the Australian wine industry. It is one which is increasingly seeing winemakers turn to natural methods and sustainable farming, not just because they want to preserve their land for future generations to use, but because they believe that the less intervention there is in the vineyard, the clearer the expression of the land in the bottle. One winery which is a great example of this is Cobaw Ridge, a winery run by Alan and Nelly Cooper, two passionate vintners who since 1985 have worked with their beautiful estate in the Macedon Ranges to produce wines which are the very essence of their land. They strongly believe that in order to truly express what makes their grapes special, they must produce wines which have zero chemical intervention, which follow biodynamic farming principles, and which are unfiltered to ensure nothing is lost in the winemaking process.
The Coopers see winemaking as a holistic process - they truly feel as though all they do should be considered part of a whole. This means hand picking, hand pruning and keeping everything on the same estate, to make sure what they do fulfills their own particular vision. They have faith in the cool climate of their region, the quality of the fruit, and a set of winemaking techniques which are as old as the hills themselves.
Banjo says: Alan and Nelly Cooper planted the Cobaw Ridge vineyard in 1985 and have managed the 13ha themselves by hand since then. They are certified biodynamic and produce wines only from fruit they grow themselves. This is a slightly unusual wine – in a good way! It is made from Chardonnay but has not seen any oak treatment. It has spent numerous months restings on its own lees as a way to build richness, and then is bottled with some of those lees without being filtered. This gives the wines a lovely creamy texture, but without any oak richness. It has plenty of rich green apple and pear flavour, backed up with a salty, fresh finish. A wine for the adventurous, full of reward! We said this was a little unusual, but we love it and want you to enjoy it as well! The lees (or sediment) in the bottle will give the wine a cloudy appearance in the glass, but don’t worry! They are in there deliberately, and are adding to the richness and texture of the wine. Towards the end of the bottle, there may be some fine sediment that has not wholly integrated into the wine, but this is completely harmless. If this is a worry, try decanting the wine just before you serve it. This will also dissolve the small amount of spritz that the wine naturally has upon opening.
The grape type
Chardonnay, is the blonde bombshell of the wine world. Often referred to as the creamy or fruitier white wine. There are two main types of Chardonnay to consider. The first is the one aged in barrel after it is created. This type often has a stronger, more buttery flavour. Whereas the other type isn't aged in oak barrels, which generally has a crisper fruiter flavour, like pineapple or lemons.
Grown in: Burgundy, France; and South Australia or the Margaret River in Australia
Fruit flavours: Pineapple, Guava, Mango, Apple, Lemon
Chardonnay wines are fantastic for pairing with food, as they have their own distinctive flavours and features that we can easily pair up with our favourite dishes. However, biodynamic Chardonnays tend to be deeper, earthier and more fruit-forward than traditionally produced examples of the grape. As such, we’d want to pair this Chardonnay with something quite rich and rustic, like a traditional fish pie, or even a chicken dish in a spicy sauce, like a chicken makhani or butter chicken.
We’ve teamed up with talented team at Smudge Eats to match all our wines to their delicious recipes, which they’ve compiled from the country’s top and emerging chefs.
Recipe link: Fish Pie
Season matching: Winter
Mood matching: You'll know when
Taste matching: Rich