Moss Wood 2001 Pinot Noir
The wine has a medium ruby colour. On the nose the fruit aromas are quite floral, showing dark cherry, plum and quince jelly, with spicy and sappy complex notes. These are reminiscent of Thai herbs like coriander and match with linen and linseed characters. The background has toasty oak and some typical earth and mushroom as well.
The palate has initial impact of dark fruits and apricots that fill the mouth and combine with medium weight and lively acid to give good depth and balance. There are firm tannins on the mid and back palate providing good structure and there is soft oak and lingering ripe strawberry fruit on the finish.
Review: Jeff Collerson from The Daily Telegraph - 20/5/04 This is he best pinot noir I've seen from this outstanding Margaret River-based cabernet sauvignon producer. Margaret River pinots can be fine dry reds but mostly lack real pinot noir character. The Moss Wood team persists with pinot, inspired by great French Burgundies. Improving fruit sun exposure and lowering yields combine to make this a cracker.
Review: Glenn Davies from Homes & Living Spring Issue Moss Wood utilised Burgundian winemaking techniques with their 2001 Margaret River Pinot Noir and the result is quite promising. The wine is well-structured and has a complex and inviting nose of dark cherries and plums with spicy tones. This leads into a palate of ripe dark fruits with strawberry chacters lingering on the finish. It has firm tannins and a good balance between fruit and oak in structure.
Over the years, the style of this wine has evolved as we made changes to our technique. The 2001 vintage is another step in the process. We have been concerned about alcohol levels in the Pinot Noir, where above 14% they can swamp the delicate fruit characters of the variety. Virtually every wine made since 1993 has an alcohol above this figure.
The reason for this is largely associated with the yeasts used for fermentation, which are very productive. This is fine if the wine is being made in a climate where grape ripeness is barely adequate but of course, this is not the case in Margaret River. Our challenge then is to produce the best flavours in the vineyard at lower levels of ripeness.
In order to achieve this, we have begun an aggressive program in the vineyard, improving fruit exposure right through the season and also setting yields to a maximum of 35 hectolitres per hectare, as per the requirements of the great vineyards of Burgundy.
In contrast to the vineyard, winery production techniques have changed very little. The fruit was hand picked and then 95% was de-stemmed into open fermenters while the remaining 5% was included as whole bunches. The must was then chilled down to 10C, cold soaked for 3 days and pumped over twice per day. Each batch was then seeded with a pure yeast culture and allowed to ferment up to 32C. Plunging was done 4 times per day and the wine was pressed after 14 days on skins. All pressings were included and the wine was racked into barrel for malolactic fermentation. It stayed in French oak barriques for 22 months and was fined, filtered and bottled in March 2003.
For those who are keen to cellar this wine, it should continue to age well for at least 10 years. Pinot Noir as a variety ages really well in the bottle. In general we would expect our pinot noir wines to start to show their full potential at 7 years from their vintage and be giving their peak performances somewhere between 10 - 15 years.