WA Wine Review 2024

Ray Jordan

“Moss Wood is a family-owned wine company and a pioneer of the Margaret River region. Planted in 1969, Moss Wood is an important founding estate of Margaret River. Clare and Keith Mugford, as viticulturalists, winemakers and proprietors, have been tending the vineyard and making wine at Moss Wood since 1984 and 1979, respectively. The Moss Wood and Mugford names are synonymous with uncompromising quality. The cabernets are sublime with a global reputation almost without equal. Pinots can be very good in the right seasons and recent chardonnays have been outstanding. One of the few to make a straight semillon – it’s a beauty.”

Moss Wood 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon 

Another simply sublime edition of this great wine. The volume of fruit was down almost 60% but the small berry influence has added even more intensity and depth, if that is possible with this wine. Interesting point of difference is that the combination is slightly different from previous vintages with 90% cabernet sauvignon, 3% cabernet franc and 7% petit verdot. The petit verdot certainly brings a darker berry influence with slightly firmer tannins. The aromas are a seductively perfumed with a combination of violet and redcurrant with a subtle black olive and mulberry. But the palate, oh the palate, is simply a joy. Smooth graceful lines with fine chalky tannins supply essential definition and support and harmoniously played oak. At the moment it is quite restrained but with age, a treasure trove of delights will be released. It is a wine destined for even greater things. Extraordinary.
Cellar: 30 years

99 Points


Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2020 Merlot

When Australia’s finest merlots are discussed this one must be in the mix. Recent vintages have been stunning, and I have to say this one, which combines the concentrated intensity of the small 2020 vintage with such supreme elegance, is as good as any released and that includes the 2018. In fact, stylistically, I think this velvety smooth, perfumed and so finely elegant wine pips it. The combination of sweet red fruit with a chalky tannin wrap creates such a perfect expression of the variety. Needs more time than the ’18.
Cellar: 20 years

98 Points


Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon 

Another stunner from the 2020 vintage. This vintage shows slightly more sweet fruit than some previously, yet the firm tannin core remains a structural feature that is part vineyard and part season. Plenty of dark fruits woven with a trace of black olives, bay leaf and oyster shell minerality. So balanced and expressive with an effortlessly long finish.
Cellar: 18 years

96 Points

Moss Wood 2021 Pinot Noir

This cooler vintage was ideal for pinot from this part of Margaret River. Perfumed and highly scented aromas of strawberry and sour cherry with a slightly truffly influence. The velvety palate captures that iron fist in a velvet varietal character. Smooth and seamless with a gossamer like sheen. Beautiful.
Cellar: 14 years

96 Points

Moss Wood 2022 Chardonnay 

Another cracking good chardonnay from Moss Wood. The aroma is immediately engaging with a floral lemon scent and a slight vanilla bean essence. Subtle cut lime and pear edge into add some further complexity. The palate is a powerful statement with a deeply intense creamy stone fruit and edgy lemon rind combination working together. Gathers momentum towards a long finish.
Cellar: 10 years

95 Points


Moss Wood 2023 Semillon

Remains one of my favourite Moss Wood wines, and certainly one of my favourite semillons. And this one from the great ’23 vintage is right up there with anything. It seems a more pungent and intense semillon than previous years and probably a result of the vintage which produced such beautiful fruit intensity. Pure and driven with a lip-smacking acidity on the finish.
Cellar: 10 years

95 Points


Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2022 Elsa 

Sauvignon blanc that takes you into another zone. Full malolactic fermentation contributes to its rich generous creamy texture while the use of oak, with about 6% new, adds a defining lift through the palate. The nose offers all manner of things from melon, spices and pear with a varietal gooseberry note. On the palate you get into even more, with layers of honey and lemon curd quite dominant. It’s almost languid and effortless but gathers pace to a long finish.
Cellar: 10 years

95 Points


Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2022 Chardonnay

This is a decidedly fresh and fragrant chardonnay that provides quite a point of difference to the standard Moss Wood. It’s made in exactly the same way yet the Ribbon Vale vineyard speaks its individuality. It’s flavoursome with light stone fruit and a more subtle creamy vanilla bean character. The palate is generous and full, yet the nectarine and lime edges provide a tightening and focusing effect to take the wine through to a long finish. A little flick of acid on the finish, and there you have it, a mighty good wine for now or medium-term cellaring.
Cellar: 10 years

94 Points


Moss Wood 2021 Amy’s

If you’re looking at an entry point into the wonderful wines of Moss Wood then this classy wine is just perfect. It’s a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec and petit verdot. Firm dark fruit delivered with typical grace and style. Has a beautiful lift and vibrance which carries effortlessly to a long finish.
Cellar: 10 years

92 Points


Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2018 Botrytis Semillon

A style of wine you seldom see in WA, let alone in Margaret River. It’s a sweet dessert style wine but it has been made in a way that controls the palate, so it remains deep and sweet yet never becomes cloying. Retains a fresh zingy acidity. Distinctive aromas of orange peel and marmalade, honey and a little butterscotch with a bright lime edge. The flavour builds and builds through the endless palate.
Cellar: 12 years

95 Points