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Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2019 Elsa – “Savvy with Sav Blanc” Ray Jordan, The West Australian

Points: 95
Rating: Stars

This is a first for Moss Wood and comes from the Ribbon Vale property. It’s sauvignon blanc made in a very modern style. There’s multiple yeast use in the fermentation and a little oak adding complexity and compelling interest on the palate. It has about 10 months in oak before bottling with just a light fining. If someone said this was Old World, I wouldn’t challenge. It bas a lightly
creamy texture with a lift of faint tropical fruit, balanced with a savoury rninerality. Damn fine.

Moss Wood. It’s a name synonymous with cabernet sauvignon, right?

OK, you toss in a chardonnay, semillon, pinot noir and a few others. and you get a suite of impressive wines. But a straight sauvignon blanc. Whoa. Where did that come from? And why am I getting so excited about it?Part of the genesis of the Moss Wood Elsa sauvignon blanc lay in an article winemaker Keith Mugford read in The New York Times that talked of the popularity of wines from Sancerre in France. It led to lively discussion with his young winemaking team of Alex Coultas, and Tristan and Hugh Mugford.

“Sauvignon blanc in Australia and to a lesser extent, the world, has been dominated by New Zealand for the last 20 years.” Keith Mugford said.”In the background, there are producers around the world who’ve been applying the ·everything in moderation principle’ and coming up with excellent results, overlooked by all but the most serious consumers. “Combining youthful exuberance and the wisdom of years, we’ve been keen to explore the potential of sauvignon blanc from Ribbon Vale. We went back to the drawing board to see what we might do, with the advantage of having made a few complex chardonnays over the years, so we had something of a head start in what techniques might work.”

The Elsa is one of the most exciting sauvignon blancs yet released. Even after I had tasted it, I couldn’t put it down.

 

Published April 25th, 2020