Moss Wood 1986 Cabernet Sauvignon
The 1986 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon colour is bright red and quite dense. The nose is rich with mulberry or blackcurrant fruit character and has a pronounced herbaceous nose with nuances of spicy oak. On the palate, the wine has good acidity, round, rich, ripe fruit and strong tannins which at present are quite dominant. It is well-structured and has a finish of considerable length. The tannins as reminiscent of the 1981 vintage while the rich fruit characters remind us of the 1977 Cabernet. Although it has more tannin than the 1985, they see the wine as a typical, well-balanced Moss Wood Cabernet.
Excessive heat stress in summer 1985 appeared to affect the young buds at a time when the bunches for the new year were developing in the new buds and consequently fewer formed. This was complicated by indifferent weather during the flowering period and so yields of the cabernet fruit were down by about 25 %. For the rest of the growing season the weather was mild and the cabernet was picked on schedule in March.
The resulting wine shows a degree of concentration not often seen in Moss Wood Cabernets. In its early stages, this powerful, young wine was quite cumbersome and took some time to gradually reveal itself. However, once it did, it was obviously quite lush. Consequently, although it was only kept in oak for the normal twelve months, the percentage of new oak used was increased from 30% to 50%. We were confident that the wine had the depth of fruit to benefit from that kind of oak treatment and consequently produce a well-balanced cabernet. The new oak treatment is not a dominating feature of the wine.
The 1986 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon does have considerable cellaring potential, in our opinion, for ten years.