Moss Wood 1986 Pinot Noir
The 1986 Moss Wood Pinot Noir has a perfumed nose showing restrained strawberry character and some complex Burgundian features reminiscent of light oak, cherries and mushrooms. On the palate, it has good acid, a pleasing softness, excellent structure, clean, flavoursome Pinot fruit, powerful though not aggressive tannins, and a long finish.
This is a luscious, seductive wine of considerable complexity. It is not a wine for current drinking, needing time for the tannins to soften and so allow the bouquet to fill out and the depth of flavour on the mid palate to intensify.
The 1986 growing season was consistently mild in Margaret River. Following the difficult summer of 1985, with its extremely hot February, this was good news for the vineyard and meant that the 1986 Pinot Noir crop was in particularly good shape. Thankfully, bird damage was at a minimum and so the crop level was average for Moss Wood – 5.8 tonnes to the hectare (or just under 3 tonnes to the acre).
The wine was made using the full Burgundian technique which has become common practice at Moss Wood. It was given two weeks skin contact and fifty per cent whole bunches were crushed. This increase from the thirty per cent whole bunches used in 1985 has become standard.
After fermentation, the wine received its usual twelve months in cask with twenty per cent being matured in new barrels.
Keith Mugford believes that the 1986 Pinot Noir is finer, more elegant and softer than the 1985 wine. It is similar to the 1984 Pinot but has more spine and more tannin as a result of skin contact and the crushing of whole bunches.
The 1986 wine is well up to the best of the Moss Wood Pinot Noirs and will improve over the next ten to fifteen years.