Moss Wood 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine Facts

Harvested: Cabernet Sauvignon – 22nd March, 2012
Cabernet Franc – 9th March, 2012
Petit Verdot – 24th March, 2012
Bottled: 18/11/2014
Released:  1/5/2015
Yield: Cabernet Sauvignon – 9.2 t/ha
Cabernet Franc – 6.74 t/ha
Petit Verdot – 7.17 t/ha
Baume: Cabernet Sauvignon – 13.80 Be
Cabernet Franc – 12.80 Be
Petit Verdot – 12.80 Be
Alcohol: 14.0%
Vintage Rating:  10/10


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Moss Wood 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – Jancis Robinson

Bright crimson. Very subtle and layered with real delight here. Lift and spice. More to it than the Leeuwin 2010 tasted alongside. Really appetising with balsam notes. Lip-smacking. So long! Published 27 Oct 2016

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Moss Wood & Vivino 2017 Wine Style Awards

Vivino’s 2017 Wine Style Awards recognize the best wines on the planet in 147 categories, from Argentinian Malbec to Bordeaux Red to Californian Chardonnay and everything in between. This year’s winning wines were determined by Vivino’s community of 21 million users and the millions of wine ratings they’ve submitted over the past year. For each…

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Moss Wood 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – Jim Clarke – Bloomberg Pursuits

These 10 Cabernets Are Giving Napa a Run for Its Money It’s not the most-planted grape varietal in the world for nothing. […] Moss Wood 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon In the southwestern corner of the continent, the Indian Ocean and Margaret River drive cool, maritime air into the vineyards, a stark contrast to Australia’s stereotypically hot…

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Moss Wood 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – Angus Hughson – Wine Genius

Opaque ruby and showing mulberry, leaf, sage and cassis fruits that are ample yet reserved with balanced new oak. Dry and sturdy in the mouth – a masculine style for Moss Wood – and still relatively closed with well proportioned tannins and exceptional length, it is a wine that will reward cellaring. 94 points /…

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Moss Wood 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – James Suckling –

A beautifully concentrated bold and ripe nose that has a lot of classy cedary oak and a core of cassis, dark cherry, blueberry and sweet spices, really nicely integrated; some gently earthy notes too. Great definition on the palate, really structured for the long haul. Deep and rich with plum and dark cherry flavors, cassis and mulberry…

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Moss Wood 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – Josh Raynolds –

(aged for 30 months in French oak barriques, 20% new): Brilliant ruby. Powerful, assertively perfumed aromas of fresh black and blue fruits, cured tobacco, cedary oak and potpourri. Sappy, densely packed and energetic on the palate, offering vibrant, spice-tinged cassis and mulberry flavors and an emerging mineral nuance. Finishes alluringly sweet and extremely long, with…

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Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – James Halliday – Top 100 – Weekend Australian

The high quality vintage shines through this wine, illuminating its intricate multifaceted complexity; almost, but not quite, juicy cassis fruit is swathed in perfectly balanced French oak and gently ripe tannins. The only problem will be keeping your hands off it. The Weekend Australian Magazine

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Moss Wood 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – The Best of the West – Jane Faulkner for Halliday Magazine October 2015

Classic Wilyabrup characters starting with mulberries and chocolate, redcurrants and cassis too, then wafts of spice; cedary oak is prominent but not dominating, with ripe densely packed tannins. A powerhouse.

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Moss Wood 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – Andreas Larsson

Moss Wood 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon blind tasted by Andreas Larsson, world’s best sommelier 2007.

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Moss Wood 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – Will Lyons – The Wall Street Journal

Quite simply one of the best Australian Cabernet Sauvignons I have tasted. Replete with fruit and flower scents, it has a generous mouth feel with a strong, spicy, oaky flavor on the finish. Lovers of Australian wine will find this hard to resist. Read more

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Moss Wood 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – Peter Bourne – Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine

This is Margaret River’s most age-worthy cabernet sauvignon. Full stop. A dense, bold interpretation of Margaret River cabernet sauvignon, which only reveals its true personality after eight or more years’ bottle age. Deep blueberry and cassis flavours interplay with sweet spices and the distinct regional seaweed/iodine-like character. A dense swathe of inky tannins helps prolonge…

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Moss Wood 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – Ray Jordan – The Bottom Drawer

“A wine that needs absolutely no introduction. In my humble opinion this is going to rank with the top 3 or 4 Moss Wood’s ever made. I just love this wine, it captures everything that you expect in Moss Wood. It’s subtle, it’s soft, it’s got great fruit richness and intensity. This one is a…

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Moss Wood 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – 100 BEST AUSTRALIAN WINES 2015/2016 – Matthew Jukes

“The 2012 is an amazing standard for one of Australia’s more revered Cabernet Kings. Everything about this wine from tiny sub-region of Wilyabrup (the bull’s eye of Cabernet quality in MR) is restrained. The scent is pungent but not showy, the flavour is delivered soto vocce but resounding and the finish is like a massive…

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Moss Wood 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – “Best of the Reds”, Newcastle Herald – John Lewis

Moss Wood owners Keith and Clare Mugford rate this among the best cab savs they have made and I agree. It and the Katnook Estate 2010 Odyssey have a vibrancy and structure that make them the two cabernet sauvignon stars of this tasting. The Moss Wood is bright magenta, beguiles with scents of red currants…

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Moss Wood 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – Campbell Mattinson – The Wine Front, April 2015

A fascinating Moss Wood cabernet sauvignon. 

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Tasting Notes

In keeping with such a good season, the Moss Wood 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon ranks right up there with the best wines we have made and continues our dream run of quality vintages dating back to 2007.

The wine has an especially vibrant nose, with all sorts of lifted scents. There are violets, raspberries, mulberries and red currants fairly jumping out of the glass but underneath looms the classic complex notes of leather, earth, cedar and tar. Oak notes add further complexity. On the palate the theme of bright fruit notes continues. Generous mulberry and red currant flavours fill the palate and they sit over quite a firm tannin structure giving the wine good weight and length. It carries the Moss Wood hallmark of youthful balance and drinkability.

Vintage Notes

Climate Data
Growing Season Average Temperature: 20.58 °C
Hours accrued between 18 & 28 °C: 1025
Number of hours above 33 °C: 79

Days Elapsed Between Flowering and Harvest
Cabernet Sauvignon – 118 days
Cabernet Franc – 105 days
Petit Verdot - 120 days

No doubt about it, the 2012 growing season was excellent. Rainfall through 2011 was very slightly above average and in particular, rain through the growing season amounted to a respectable 238 mm, keeping our dry grown vines nicely watered. Luckily for us it fell at the right times so as not to disrupt flowering and yields for Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot were all up by around 5%. Our good fortune continued with Summer temperatures warm enough to promote consistent ripening. After a hot Australia Day, where the temperature topped out at 40.8, the vines settled into nice autumnal conditions, gradually proceeding to a maturity of 13.8o Baume on 22nd March. Ripeness was 5% above average and occurred 2 days earlier than average. Fruit condition was excellent with no disease or damage problems.

Production Notes

As is always the case at Moss Wood, to maximize quality, picking was done by hand. Despite the much greater expense, this is the only method that ensures absolutely sound fruit is delivered to the winery. Each variety was destemmed and the berries transferred to small, open fermenters. For reliable quality outcomes, fermentations were by pure yeast cultures. Each batch was hand plunged up to 4 times per day and the wine stayed on skins until the best balance of tannin was achieved. This was typically 12 to 15 days. All batches were pressed then underwent malolactic fermentation before being racked into 225 litre French oak barrels, 20% of which were new.

After 32 months wood aging, the wine was racked from barrel, lightly fined with skim milk and then sterile filtered and bottled on 18th Nov, 2014. The final blend is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc.

Cellaring Notes

Being such an attractive wine it is delicious to drink now. However, it is a wine in the mould of previous vintages like 2008, 1996 and 1985, especially the latter, if slightly more tannic than that vintage. Accordingly, for those who enjoy some maturity in their wines, we recommend a minimum cellaring time of 10 to 15 years. For those who like fully mature characters, the cellaring requirement is 20 to 25 years.