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: Lake Cooper Estate

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Lake Cooper Estate

www.lakecooperestate.com.au

1608 Midland Highway. Corop, 3559 (Postal 29 Macaulay St., Williamstown, 3016)

Cellar Door: Weekends (11-5)

Ph: (03) 9397 7657

Behind the scenes at the Lake Cooper wine-making facility

Lake Cooper Estate vineyard is situated at Corop on the slightly warmer northern end of the Mount Camel Ranges. Owners Geraldine and Gerry McHarg started the vineyard in 1998 and wine production commenced in 2001.

The name 'Lake Cooper' was chosen as the vineyard overlooks Lake Cooper and was a very picturesque view until the lake dried up in 2002. Hence the "Dry Lake" 2002 vintage. Lake Cooper was known as "Paboinboolok" to the local aboriginals meaning Shallow Sheet of Water. It is certainly shallow - when GenXY visited in August 2006 (ie just after mid-winter it was still empty) due to the prolonged drought in the region.

Lake Cooper Estate cellar door with the now dry lake on the horizon

The approximately 30 ha are devoted mainly to Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon but there are small amounts of Merlot, Chardonnay and some alternative varieties. The Chardonnays need tartaric acid added due to the warmth but the 2004 Reserve Shiraz is one of the best Shirazes we have tried from the region.

Another good thing about visting Lake Cooper (and nearby Mt. Burrumboot) is that they are well to the north of the main Heathcote wine tourism track so if you pick the right weekend the hospitable and passionate on site winemaker Don Risstrom. might give you a tour of the new wine-making facility.

Don even let us try barrel samples of the 2005 and 2006 vintages in their separate American, French and Hungarian oak prior to blending. Peter Kelliher also makes some of the wines.

Winemaker Don Risstrom with GenXY skipper for the day, Helen, and her purchase of a dozen of the winery's finest.
Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

Lake Cooper Estate Reserve Shiraz 2009

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2011, lush and sweet blackberry pastille, liquorice and iris with some mid-palate plum cake nuances, tarry and extractive palate balanced by the lively acidity and grainy tannin, spicy vanilla-cedar oak (****)

Lake Cooper Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2011, ripe and estery blackcurrant and blackberry with mint and violet notes, plump and medium-full bodied with ample roast coffee/chocolate oak, lingering grainy oak tannins (***1/2)

Lake Cooper Estate Merlot 2009

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2011, intense entry showing raspberry and plum cake with herb nuances, oaky, forward and medium-full bodied some baked earth aspects on the finish, soft loose knit tannins but has a lively acid kick (***)

Lake Cooper Estate Verdelho 2009

Purchased: Not ($12)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2011, small percentage was barrel fermented, medium dry, lychee, melon and pineapple, fairly evenly weighted for the variety, powdery citrus finish (***)

Lake Cooper Estate Chardonnay 2010

Purchased: Not ($12)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2011, basic quaffing unoaked style showing yellow peach, lemon and honeydew melon with tingly citric acids that finish soft and diffuse (**1/2)

Lake Cooper Estate Shiraz 2007

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2009, mouth-filling spicy blackberry, redcurrant and plum with fruitcake and cinnamon notes, savoury and medium-full bodied, ample mocha-chocolate, oaky getting a bit jammy and lacks the depth of recent vintages, supple tannins, starting to show the drought stress with only limited irrigation support but still is a satisfying BBQ wine(***1/2)

Lake Cooper Estate Reserve Shiraz 2006

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2008, rich and opulent without getting jammy, cassis, dark plum and mulberry flavours with clove, cinnamon and black pepper notes, charry cedar-vanilla and dark chocolate from the French oak, firmish tannins, appealing style (****)

Lake Cooper Estate Heathcote Verdelho 2008

Purchased: Not ($15)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2008, ripe and fairly intense tropical fruit and brown lime, the palate seems rather extractive and oily, chalky, orange rind tartaric acid finish (***)

Lake Cooper Estate Heathcote Verdelho 2007

Purchased: Not ($15)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2008, tropical fruit and melon with some pineapple sweetness, minerally with light powdery tartaric acids (***)

Lake Cooper Estate Heathcote Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: June 2007, rich and mouth filling plum and red currant with clove, cinnamon and dark chocolate notes, supported with charry cedar-vanilla oak with firm but not overly grippy tannins, slightly hot finish (****)

Lake Cooper Estate Heathcote Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: June 2007, ample blackcurrant with sweet plum pudding features, there's only a touch of mint but the palate has plenty of spice and is held in balance by the underlying savoury and sour notes, assertive cedary American oak (***1/2)

Lake Cooper Estate Heathcote Chardonnay 2006

Purchased: Not ($13)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: June 2007, delicate and tightly bound lemon, nectarine and white peach, buttery palate with nicely integrated toasty vanilla French oak, good length, pleasant quaffing but needs a touch more acid (***)

Lake Cooper Estate Heathcote Merlot 2005

Purchased: Yes ($20)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: unlabelled pre-release, thanks Don, Aug 2006, quite concentrated cherry and plum features, showing fruit-cake and sweet spices on mid-palate, mouth-filling, supple tannins (***1/2)

Lake Cooper Estate Heathcote Sparkling Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2006, shows blackberry and sweet chocolate features, the earthy and spicy plate is able to shine through the bubbles, slightly bitter finish (***)

Lake Cooper Estate Heathcote Reserve Shiraz 2004

Purchased: Stall at Federation Square Showcase ($25)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: July 2006, shows regional intensity without getting jammy, plum and red currant flavours with slightly smoky and mouth-filling palate showing clove, cinnamon and dark chocolate notes, charry cedar-vanilla oak with firm but not overly grippy tannins, slightly hot finish but better balanced than most Heathcote Shirazes, a great value Shiraz worth cellaring for a few years (****)

Lake Cooper Estate Heathcote Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Purchased: Stall at Federation Square Showcase ($20)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: July 2006, deep blackberry and blueberry fruit with dark chocolate features, full bodied spicy palate framed with smoky cedar-vanilla oak, there is some varietal mintiness on the finish but it is a bit swamped by the oak (***1/2)

Lake Cooper Estate Heathcote Chardonnay 2005

Purchased: Not ($15)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: July 2006, ripe stonefruit, grapefruit and melon, creamy barrel ferment palate is rounded out with vanilla oaking, let down by soft acid, tartaric acid was added as is common this far north but still not enough acid for my taste, those who like their Chardonnays smooth will enjoy this (***)