Moss Wood 1985 Pinot Noir
The 1985 Moss Wood Pinot Noir has a deep ruby, almost crimson colour. It has a voluminous nose with the strawberry and raspberry aromas integrated with dusty French oak. On the palate, it is soft with rich, ripe fruit of tremendous character, good acid and, at this stage, overtones of quite assertive, sappy oak. The wine is in balance, has a pleasing feel in the mouth and good weight, and might well be described as "generous". It is a well-structured wine of considerable power and style.
The 1985 vintage was picked at the usual time, in late February. After about ten percent bunch thinning, an average sized crop of pinot noir was produced. There had been only a little damage from the birds, so the fruit was in good condition and the beaume excellent.[hr]
Following successful experimentation with the previous vintage, it was decided to adopt fully the Burgundian techniques of including stalks in the fermentation process and of allowing the skins to remain in contact with the wine, on this occasion, for the relatively long time of twelve days.
Because of its huge fruit character, this spicy and voluminous wine was given fourteen months in barrel, half of it in new oak. This is a significantly higher proportion than usual because Keith Mugford believed that the wine had the fruit to handle this treatment.
The winemaker commented, "This is certainly one of the best pinot noirs and one of the best wines we've made at Moss Wood." It has the dimension and complexity to rival the 1981. The 1981 Moss Wood Pinot Noir has volumes of rich, ripe fruit. The 1985 has all other nuances you look for in the wines of Burgundy: lots of ripe, pinot noir fruit with strawberry and spicy cinnamon characters. The latter is due to stalk inclusion during fermentation and the percentage of new oak used in the maturation process.
Some who saw it in its early stages thought it slightly cumbersome, some almost too big, with overtones of musty oak and ripe berry fruit. Most who have seen the wine since it has been in bottle have praised its rich flavour and its interesting complexities.
Keith Mugford believes that it is worth looking at while young for its richness and then following its development over a ten year period.
Will develop over a ten year period.