Cooter & Cooter is a family business and the logo reflects the connection between the generations of winemakers. The cursive script has been used by various Cooter businesses since 1847.
In 1992 Colin Cooter created Lengs & Cooter with Karel Lengs and in 2012 Colin’s son James established Cooter & Cooter with his wife Kimberly. A winemaker herself, Kimberly began learning her craft under the tutelage of her father, veteran McLaren Vale winemaker Walter Clappis. Walter is best known for his much celebrated time running Ingoldby Wines and more recently, The Hedonist Wines.
In 2005 James and Kimberly spent a year working in California’s Sonoma Valley then, invigorated by their experience, they returned to Australia to continue making wine at The Hedonist. Finally in 2012, now with over 20 vintages between them, they purchased their own vineyard at Whites Valley near Willunga in McLaren Vale. The vineyard, with views to the coast just a few kilometres away, features Grenache vines planted in the 1950s, along with Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon vines planted in 1996.
WINE NOTES AND REVIEWS
2017 Watervale Riesling
This classic Clare Riesling was dry grown in the heart of Watervale on red terra rossa soil over limestone.
‘Quartz-green. Ripe lemon, wet stone and talc morphing into custard apple with yeasty complexity. There’s both generosity of flavour and saline texture, and a citric acidity on the finish maintaining the line and length of the wine. Clare all over, and very good value. Drink to 2024.’ 94 points, David Bicknell, WineCompanion.com.au, January 2018.
2017 Pinot Noir
Made from a blend of 2 vineyards in the Adelaide Hills both made separately and blended before bottling. One parcel from Kuipto on the southern edge of the Adelaide Hills was picked earlier and made with about 20% whole bunch and the second parcel was from an exceptional vineyard in Picadilly picked later with a riper fruit profile and was made in 2 batches. One batch with whole berries and the second with whole bunches was left for a week after ferment to increase complexity. The wine was aged in 5yo French oak and given a light filtration before bottling. Pale medium colour with lovely fine purple fruit aromas showing lift and floral hints with a little spice. Fresh easy drinking approachable style with very fine sappy tannins giving a little framework to the supple fruit.
‘Brick-red with a pale watery hue. High impact whole bunch notes of dried stems, Chinese tea and Campari lead the charge, with cherry and poached strawberry taking a back seat. The reverse on the palate, with fruit leading, stems adding structure and spice to the fine silky tannins. The combination of 25% whole bunches and no new oak giving real flow to the wine. Drink to 2023.’ 92 points, David Bicknell, WineCompanion.com.au, January 2018.
The Shiraz is Estate grown on the Cooter & Cooter Whites Valley vineyard. This wine and has been matured in 4 year old French oak hogsheads, letting the bright and juicy fruit from our vineyard shine. It displays cocoa and black cherries with fine tannins finishing long. Bright lifted spicy raspberry aromas lead on to a lively and intense palate that delivers generosity and depth without heaviness. Very fine tannins and generous blackberry fruit framed beautifully by fresh acidity.
‘Bright purple-red and vibrant looking. Ripe and black fruited, underlying baked red fruit note and red earth. Uncluttered and surprisingly refreshing with bright fruit tannins giving life to the wine. An excellent modern interpretation for early drinking. Very good value. Drink to 2025.’ 93 points, David Bicknell, WineCompanion.com.au, January 2018.
2016 Watervale Riesling
‘From two small vineyards, Kept separate until final blending, both conventionally fermented (other than both kept on lees). Died in the wool Watervale Riesling, bracingly fresh and crisp with unsweetened lemon and lime, with pith and zest notes all on duty. Good length too. 12% alc.’ 93 points, James Halliday.
‘Includes 5% grenache, separately vinified and matured, open-fermented for 14 days, matured in used French oak for 15 months. Wears its region on its sleeve, opening and finishing with savoury dark chocolate, but providing lots of mid-palate blackberry fruit with a starlet of red ex the grenache. Nice wine with broad appeal. Drink to 2030.’ 91 points, James Halliday, WineCompanion.com.au, January 2018.
‘It has an effortless appeal. It’s a simple affair but a generous one with blackberry, raspberry, licorice and chocolate flavours tumbling over themselves in an effort to please. It does so, handsomely. Its generally soft but there’s some structure here too. Drink 2016-2021.’ 90 points, The Winefront.