1990 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
The 1990 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon Special Reserve shows redcurrant characters with hints of mulberry and cedary oak as well as development from cask aging which provides some smokey, tarry qualities. Rather than exhibiting fresh, fruitiness of Margaret River Cabernet such as the standard wine displays, this reserve highlights the complexities of its oak handling. On the palate, it is supple, round and full flavoured, rich and concentrated with impressive depth and a long, smokey finish. Its structure is firm with good acidity and obvious but fine tannins.
The growing season for the 1990 Cabernet was unique as the region experienced mild weather with regular rainfall during the summer. This summer rain delayed the harvest and there was some concern that the grapes would not ripen. Not only was this unfounded but the impact of the steady rainfall was beneficial to the vines and the composition of the fruit. The late harvest meant that the Marri gums had stopped flowering before picking was finished and so the birds did significant damage towards the end of vintage. This was compensated for by the abundant crop which ensured the production of a slightly above average volume of wine.
The 1990 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve includes 5% of Cabernet Franc and less than 1% of Merlot. The introduction of Cabernet Franc to the blend for the first time is a fine tuning of, rather than a substantial change to, the established Moss Wood Cabernet style.
The wine was made in the traditional manner of the vineyard: picked at 12.5 beaume and fermented on skins for six days. To add another dimension to the blend, a small parcel of four vats was kept on skins for two weeks. The wine underwent its malolactic fermentation in stainless steel and was then stored in 225 litre barrels for twenty-six months. These were a combination of 50% of both Allier and Troncais barriques from Les Tonnelles de Bourgogne, with 38% of the wine being stored in new oak. After this time in oak, the wine was lightly fined and filtered and bottled in November 1992.
This is a wine which has tremendous cellaring potential and we recommend it be kept at least ten years before drinking.