Moss Wood 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine Facts

Harvested: Cabernet Sauvignon – 16th March, 2014
Cabernet Franc – 4th March, 2014
Petit Verdot – 22nd March, 2014
Blend: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon
4% Cabernet Franc
4% Petit Verdot
Bottled:  21/11/2016
Released: 17/03/2017
Yield: Cabernet Sauvignon – 7.07 t/ha
Cabernet Franc – 4.84 t/ha
Petit Verdot – 6.38 t/ha
Baume: Cabernet Sauvignon – 13.6⁰ Be
Cabernet Franc – 13.1⁰ Be
Petit Verdot – 13.8⁰ Be
Alcohol:  14%
Vintage rating:  10/10


Find a Moss Wood stockist

Moss Wood 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – Peter Forrestal, Decanter

Celebrating 30 years of Mugford ownership this year. This is delightfully aromatic, with blackcurrants, brambles and bay leaf flavours that are deep and richly concentrated. There’s velvety texture, power and finesse with abundant ripe tannins.

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Moss Wood 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – James Suckling,

A stylish edition of regal Margaret River cabernet that has plenty of ripe dark cherries and blackcurrants as well as cedar oak, violets, hints of chocolate, terracotta, bay leaf and some gentle gravelly notes. The ripe tannins deliver a smooth and seamless palate that climbs in layers of complex flavors. Effortless power, great concentration and…

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Moss Wood 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – John Lewis, Newcastle Herald

Top 10 wines of 2017 – Best Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River’s Moss Wood 2014 cabernet sauvignon gets the gong as cabernet sauvignon of the year. It has sumptuous blackcurrant flavour with underlays of mulberry, Turkish delight, chocolate and mint.

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Moss Wood 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – Joe Czerwinski, Robert Parker Wine Advocate

The latest release of the wine that made Moss Wood’s reputation, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon doesn’t disappoint. Striking aromas of vanilla, cedar and crème de cassis lead into a palate that’s packed with fruit, dark chocolate and faint herbal notes that impart a savory edge to the flavors. It’s supple and creamy in texture yet…

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Moss Wood 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – Jane Faulkner – James Halliday, The Wine Companion

Moss Wood’s flagship wine is a structured beauty with nothing out of place. The gloss of the colour, the florals, blackberries and mulberries infused with black olives, dried herbs and eucalypt; the French oak and the fine-grained tannins seal the deal. Very even and will reward the patient.

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Moss Wood 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – Will Lyons, London Sunday Times

“Aussie rules the pommy palate” One of the priciest Australian wines I’ve recommended, but Moss Wood is an all-time great. Deep, velvety red in the glass, with notes of blueberries, blackberries and violets, it has a rich, generous mouthfeel.

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Moss Wood 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – Huon Hooke,

Deep red colour with a good tint of purple. The aroma is fresh and clean and loaded with both red and black fruits, with lifted floral/violet nuances. The wine is full-bodied and attractively flavoured, with tight, firm but ripe tannins, good fruit sweetness and a lovely long finish. No sign of greenness. Excellent cabernet.

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Moss Wood 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – Rob Geddes MW

One of Australia’s top wines with a very elegant vintage in 2014. Very good quality colour starts, fresh red fruits with excellent high quality oak all are important elements that help this well balanced and restrained style show it is intense but not heavy. The fruit aroma is concentrated with finesse showing fruits, minerals, blackcurrant …

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Moss Wood 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – Tyson Stelzer, Australian & New Zealand wines of the year 2017

Power and density meet violet fragrance and varietal definition in this vintage, built around a full and deep core of blackcurrant and mulberry fruit, well supported by cedar and dark chocolate oak. Vibrant acidity and fine, confident tannins bolster a long and full finish. Drink 2019-2029

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Moss Wood 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – Gary Walsh, The Wine Front

My favourite vintages of Moss Wood Cabernet since 1996, are 2001, 2005, and 2012: I think this is also right up there. Boysenberry, blackberry, violets, fennel seed, and that earthy/ferrous thing that Moss Wood often shows. Oak feels pared back and adds a layer of cedar and toast. Medium to full bodied, earthy and savoury,…

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Moss Wood 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – Graeme Phillips, Wine Picks, Hobart Mercury

Classic blackberry and leafy aromas and flavours with a savoury freshness from a touch of cabernet franc and petit verdot, elegantly structured with smooth, subtle oak and gentle, ripe tannins. Built to last.

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Moss Wood 2015 Amy’s – Matthew Jukes, 100 Best Australian Wines 2017/18

Back with a bang, 2015 Amy ’s is a Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot blend and it shows firm tannins and impressive structure in this vintage. Perhaps the days of forward-drinking Amy’s are long gone but this is not a problem because it still offers awesome value for money and if you have to cellar…

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Moss Wood 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – Matthew Jukes, 100 Best Australian Wines 2017/18

The Grand Vin is a very imposing wine with a flavour that drills down deep into the soul of this noble grape variety. Texturally, this is one of the most satisfying Moss Wood Cabernets I can recall. The traction on the palate, made up of sooty tannins and epic skins, is thrilling. The finish is…

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Moss Wood 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – Mike Frost, Courier Mail Brisbane

This Margaret River red is among Australia’s finest and the 2014 vintage does not disappoint. It has concentrated blackcurrant and cassis fruit on the nose and palate, with a touch of floral character in the background, finishing with firm tannins. Try it now with roast lamb but another five years will see it approach its…

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“Almost perfect” – Moss Wood 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Ray Jordan, West Australian

This exquisite wine from Margaret River is as close to perfect as any Margaret River has produced – and it gets my highest-ever score.

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Vintage Notes

Climate Data

Growing Season Ave Temperature – 19.97⁰C
Number of hours accrued between 18 and 28⁰C – 1091
Number of hours above 33⁰C – 36

Days Elapsed Between Flowering and Harvest

Cabernet Sauvignon – 116 days
Cabernet Franc – 110 days
Petit Verdot  - 119 days

We introduce our Moss Wood 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon by talking about the weather, as the best way to highlight how good the vintage was. Yes, we always emphasise the weather and regular readers know our strongly held view that the quality of any vintage is largely the product of the vineyard and the growing season it experienced.

As much as technology ensures we minimise the downside of poor weather or human error, ultimately, the quality we deliver in the bottle is almost entirely down  to  Mother Nature.

It’s an amusing truism that farmers complain about the weather and we grapegrower cockies are no different, watching it closely and fretting about what it will bring.  Of course, there’s nothing we can do about it but we can respond to varying conditions and do our best to shepherd the  crop safely to harvest. In reality, even in a tough season, the weather makes our lives interesting in a positive way. It seems contradictory but the more difficult the conditions, the more professionally challenging and satisfying the process can be, especially when we make really good wine, with 1989 a shining example.

And then there’s 2014. From the time the vines went through budburst until the grapes were harvested 6 months later, the weather was entirely in our favour. It’s hard to know where to begin.

We had above average rainfall through 2013 but most of it fell at times that caused minimum disruption. In our dry grown vineyards, this is always a bonus. It’s probably churlish to note the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc yields were very slightly down (about 4%), which we suspect was the result of 4 wet days during flowering. Petit Verdot, which flowered slightly later, wasn’t affected.

Temperatures were ideal, with consistent mild to warm conditions and virtually no extreme heat. The mercury exceeded 40°C on only one day, 11th January, lasting for 45 minutes and across the whole season, there were a total of 36 hours above 33°C, almost a little too cool for Cabernet Sauvignon, where we’d prefer more like 50 hours, just to be on the safe side. Most importantly, the vines do their best work when the temperature remains in the mid-twenties and they basked for hours in those conditions.

Our role was essentially reduced to that of bystanders but we’re proud to report we succeeded in avoiding disease and stopped the birds with timely application of nets.

With such good conditions, the Cabernet Sauvignon strolled effortlessly across the finishing line of full ripeness on 16th March, 10 days ahead of average.

Tasting Notes

The colour is deep brick red and condition is bright. On the nose the wine displays the full range of Cabernet fruit aromas - blueberries, blackberries and red currants, plus lifted perfumes of violets and pomegranate. As pretty as these characters are, underneath there are layers of leather, cedar and tar reminiscent of years like 1975 and 1995, adding significant complexity.

The palate is similarly a rich expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, with the full array of ripe mulberries and cassis, giving rich fruit depth and length. The structure is very supple and sits underneath this generous fruit. The acidity gives the flavours vibrancy and the tannin is concentrated but rounded, so the effect is one of smoothness and length. The finish is soft oak, leather and tar.

Production Notes

All this good news meant we were under pressure to deliver in the winery and 2014 is truly a “no excuses” year.

We have been repeating this statement for 45 vintages but will say it again, with feeling.  We applied the now traditional Moss Wood production  technique of hand picking all the fruit, destemming it into small, open fermenters and establishing fermentation with pure yeast cultures. Once underway, each batch was hand plunged 3 times per day and left on skins for between 16 and 19 days, according to taste, then drained and pressed to a stainless steel tank. Through April 2014, each of the batches underwent malolactic fermentation, and upon completion, were racked to wood. All barrels were French oak barriques and 17% were new.

At the beginning of November 2016, the wine was racked from barrels and blended in preparation for bottling. The blend is 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. Fining trials were carried out but none improved the wine, so it remained unfined. It was then sterile filtered and bottled on 21st November, 2016.


Cellaring Notes

We can’t help but feel with this wine we have made a true rival for 2001 and 2005. It is not exactly the same as those two, having slightly lower alcohol and with that more vibrant fruit lift, but this is splitting hairs. Like those two wines, the depth, balance and length point to long aging potential but in the short  term, we are more than happy to recommend it for early drinking, to enjoy its youthful generosity.  However, this wine will repay serious cellaring and develop to full bottle bouquet at around 20 to 25 years of age. After that, it will continue to provide enjoyable drinking until at least 40 years of age.

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