Moss Wood Newsletter Autumn News Issue #88, September 2015

Moss Wood 2013 Pinot Noir
Moss Wood 2015 Semillon

Pinot Noir

Moss Wood 2013 Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

15th February, 2013

Pinot Noir – 13.8o Be

Pinot Noir – 4.55 t/ha

Growing Season Ave Temperature: 20.92o C
Number of hours accrued between 18o C and 28o C: 949 Number of hours above 33o C: 61

Pinot Noir: 98 days

We had an odd start to the summer of 2013. On 30th November 2012, we had a very intense storm with strong winds and hail doing a significant amount of damage, just about identical to a similar event in the beginning of December 1996. All varieties experienced major losses, although the Pinot Noir got off lightly, being only 30% down. After this rocky start, things improved until by the last 2 days of December we reached 40o C. That set the theme for the rest of season, although the mercury didn’t return to quite those levels again and we had warm to hot weather all the way through to the end of February.

No surprise then picking was 8 days early on 13th February and ripeness of 13.7o Baume was slightly above average. The fruit condition was good, with no disease or damage and flavours were excellent. Things were all in our favour.

All the fruit was hand-picked, sorted, destemmed and then placed in small, open tanks for fermentation.Each batch was soaked at 8o C for 72 hours then seeded with selected yeast strains for fermentation and hand plunged 3 times per day. After 12 days on skins the tanks were drained and pressed and after malolactic fermentation the wine was racked into barrel. All barrels were 225 litre French oak and 14% were new. After 18 months the barrels were blended together and the wine was then sterile filtered and bottled on 25th November, 2014.

The final wine has a bright, medium to deep ruby colour. One thing is for sure, it absolutely says “Pinot Noir” on the nose. The fruit aromas are lifted and scented, suggesting strawberries, strawberry jam, cherry, plum and musky notes like quince jelly. Although it’s fresh it is also complex, with the background revealing some quite earthy notes like leather and soil. In addition, there are some restrained, charry oak characters.

Like all good Pinot Noirs, the palate is a generous combination of red and dark fruit flavours that are bright and long and lifted, rather than heavy. Underneath this sits a firm acidity and tannin that give the wine the spine and concentration to be a good cellaring prospect. Typically, our Pinot Noir wines retain their fleshy, enjoyable fruit characters until around 10 years old and after this, the secondary characters begin to take hold. Typically this is exemplified by leathery, meaty notes that build the depth of both nose and palate. At the same time the structure begins to soften, and as the impact of tannin and acidity diminish, rounding out the palate and really improving drinkability. Full maturity will be reached well beyond 20 years.

Creative Bottle Shots

Moss Wood 2015 Semillon

Creative Bottle Shots

2015 Semillon – 21st February, 2015

2015 Semillon – 13.2o Be

2015 Semillon – 3.65 t/ha

Growing Season Ave Temperature: 20.34o C
Number of hours accrued between 18o C and 28o C: 917
Number of hours above 33o C: 33

2015 Semillon: 105 days


The 2015 vintage was one of contrasts. Regular Spring rain kept the vineyard looking fantastic but it came at a price. The rain and temperature interruptions meant poor flowering conditions and so Semillon yields were down around 50%. This contrasted with summer which brought weather more to our liking. We experienced consistent warmth, although it was the coolest vintage since 2010. There were only 4 days with maxima above 35o C and the hottest day was 37.3o C, so ripening was slow but steady, courtesy of these near perfect temperatures.

Blossom on the Marri trees was limited and arrived late, so we conceded some losses to the birds, despite the application of our nets. Careful sorting in the vineyard and winery prevented this causing any quality problems. Apart from this, the vineyard was disease free and the fruit was in excellent condition.

Harvest commenced on 18th February with grapes coming in with a ripeness of 12.9o Baume.

After hand picking, the fruit was destemmed, crushed, chilled to 10o C and then drained and pressed. The juice was settled in stainless steel tank for 48 hours and once clarified, was racked to a second tank for fermentation, controlled at 18o C, with pure yeast culture.

After ferment had reached dryness, the wine was racked from gross lees and fined with bentonite and isinglass for protein stability and phenolics, respectively. The wine was then sterile filtered and bottled on 8th June, 2015.

The colour and condition are bright, light to medium straw hue, with green tints.

On the nose, the statement is immediately very fresh and lively. There is a vibrant array of aromas including lime, grapefruit, quince and preserved lemon and underneath a background that suggests lemon shortbread and mushrooms.

This follows through on to the palate which is also delightfully fresh, displaying lemon and grapefruit pith flavours sitting over medium body and fresh acidity. On the finish there is a touch of phenolics, giving the wine the aging platform it needs.

Although very enjoyable now, courtesy of its fresh fruit flavours and crisp acidity, it will definitely be a keeper. Moss Wood Semillons of this style and structure have proven themselves capable of cellaring for 30 years.


Location: 926 Metricup Road, Wilyabrup WA
Postal: PO Box 225, Cowaramup WA 6284
Phone: +61 8 9755 6266
Fax: +61 8 9755 6303

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