Super classy and intricately crafted, this is a blend that revels in the crystalline purity, tension and focus of bright lemon fruit and lemon grass, gracefully polished with the spice, texture and elongating effect of old barrel fermentation. Such length and tension promise decades of potential. If you love white Bordeaux, you’ll adore this – and at a bargain price.Read More
Moss Wood 2017 Chardonnay is a stunning wine. I don’t tend to write up Moss Wood Chardonnay very often, but this is a silky, controlled, refreshing style with more elegance than I have seen before in this wine. I look forward to putting it up against the other MR Chardonnays (of which there are many) in this Report in years to come!Read More
This time there is more noticeable tannin on the finish of this red, but they are fit tannins not sluggish or slow-moving and this indicates a wine which will trot along nicely in the short to medium term.
It is another example of a silky, polished Moss Wood wine and I love the price point as much as I love the flavour!
Published June 2019Read More
I was explaining the flavour of this wine the other day to a good friend in the wine trade and, because I was in a rush, I shortened my elucidation to, ‘It’s more Margaux than Pauillac’! This chap being a Bordeaux expert got my drift but to those of you for whom this means nothing here is a more detailed reasoning.
In broad brush terms Pauillacs (Châteaux Lafite, Latour, Mouton and the like) are powerful, long-lived and brooding red wines, while Margaux (Châteaux Margaux, Palmer, Brane-Cantenac and the like) are fresher, lighter and no less serious, just more pliable, and fruit-forward. 2016 Moss Wood Cabernet is a honed, delicious, succulent wine and with a sensual texture and serious length and so, unlike recent vintages, I described it as Margaux-like. Lazy I know, but certainly memorable, this term says so much more than just a word and 2016 Moss Wood carries so much more than just one descriptor. It is a fabulous wine and another 2016 in the winery is also a star
Deepish red colour with a good tint of purple, and a bouquet of sweet berries, violets, mulberries and cassis. A fragrant, almost floral cabernet, the elegance of the nose reflected on the palate, which is medium to full-bodied and juicy, delicious and finely-textured. A lovely wine, already drinking well, and a lighter vintage for this maker – but gorgeous.
Published 12th May 2019Read More
Delicious cabernet, with an appealing core of sweet, ripe blackcurrant and blackberry with subtle spice, cedar and nutty oak characters. This is a seriously good red wine that can be enjoyed now but promises to be sensational after at least 5-6 years of bottle age.
Published April 2019
A nigh-on perfect picture of cabernet sauvignon a la Margaret River: medium-bodied but intense and long, opening with cassis and moving on to more savoury/earthy notes as the tannins click in. French oak is present, but has minimal impact.
Published 01 January 2019Read More
Celebrating 30 years of Mugford ownership this year. This is delightfully aromatic, with blackcurrants, brambles and bay leaf flavours that are deep and richly concentrated. There’s velvety texture, power and finesse with abundant ripe tannins.Read More
‘Considered one of the greatest red wines produced in the region…’
Wine Legend: Moss Wood, Cabernet Sauvignon, Wilyabrup, Margaret River 1975
A legend because…
In the late 1960s and early 1970s there was a rush to make wine in Margaret River, and a number of properties – not only Moss Wood but Vasse Felix and Cullen – were planted. Largely improvised, these early vintages received unexpected acclaim. The 1975 Moss Wood Cabernet was one of those wines, and has long been considered one of the greatest red wines produced in the region.
The surge in interest in Margaret River as a wine region can be attributed to the publication in 1966 of a report by Dr John Gladstones. A botanic research scientist with an interest in viticulture, he spotted the suitability of the region for wine production. Frost-free and maritime, the region’s climatic conditions were similar to those of Bordeaux.
First to respond was Dr Tom Cullity, founding Vasse Felix in 1967. Dr Bill Pannell and his wife Sandra were not far behind with Moss Wood – the original block is Margaret River’s second oldest vineyard. Present owner Keith Mugford, winemaker from 1979, recalls how at weekends they would drive down to Margaret River with a shovel in search of the best gravelly loam soils, considered ideal for vineyards by Gladstones. The Moss Wood property looked just right, and was for sale. The Pannells bought it and planted Cabernet Sauvignon in 1969.
The 1975 growing season was quite mild, with Cabernet ripening slowly. It was certainly cooler than the very warm 1976 and 1977. There were no problems with disease or bird damage, and yields were moderate. The grapes were hand picked.
The soils of the original vineyard, lying on a gentle, sheltered slope, are a reddish gravel loam over a clay subsoil, with a few sandier sectors. The clay contributes a good deal – there is enough to retain water and prevent drought stress, but not so much that the soil becomes waterlogged. The clay also adds to the wine’s opulence. Strong coastal winds help to moderate temperatures in summer. The vines are entirely dry-farmed. Minimal pesticides are used, but Moss Wood is not organic.
After harvest on 15 March, the grapes were fermented in open-top tanks with cultivated yeasts. The cap was plunged by hand three times a day, and temperatures were controlled, never rising above 28°C. Surprisingly, there was no malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged for 15 months in 300-litre barrels, of which 20% were new; 20% American oak was used, the rest being French.
One of the first experts to recognise the wine’s quality was Edmund Penning-Rowsell, who tasted it while touring Australia on behalf of the Wine Society in the late 1970s.
‘To the best of my memory,’ says Mugford, ‘this was the first international recognition of the quality of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Margaret River region.’
In 1993 Jeremy Oliver was enthusiastic: ‘Heady, opulent, smoky aromas of cedar and cigarboxes over lightly meaty suggestions of undergrowth. Superbly preserved, with surprising fruit sweetness and vivaciousness.’
In 2002 Stephen Brook admired its ‘sweet, rich, cedary nose, with a touch of mint. Medium-bodied, it’s still healthy, with fine acidity and amazing freshness, leading to a long, lean, elegant finish.’
I confess to not being a sauvignon blanc devotee – but team it with semillon and it’s a different story. Margaret River producers tick many boxes with their blends of the two varieties and this 2018 Moss Wood is straw-hued with brassy tints and brings in scents of kiwifruit and herbs. Crisp gooseberry flavor features on the front of the palate and lemon zest, nashi pear and mineral characters chime in on the middle palate. The finish displays slatey acid. It and today’s other wines are at mosswood.com. au and fine wine stores. It would go well with garfish with fennel and artichoke salad. It’s from the Ribbon Vale vineyard, bought by the Mugfords in 2000 and close to the original Moss Wood.
Published February 9th, 2019Read More