Moss Wood 2018 Pinot Noir

Wine Facts
Median Harvest Date28th February, 2018
Mean Harvest Ripeness13.8 °Be
Yield8.73 t/ha
Weather DataGrowing Season Ave Temperature – 19.25⁰C
Number of hours accrued between 18 and 28⁰C – 1114
Number of hours above 33⁰C – 12
Days Elapsed between Flowering and Harvest110 days
Bottled31st October, 2019
Released1st September, 2020

Wine Facts

  • Median Harvest Date

    28th February, 2018

  • Harvest Ripeness

    13.8 °Be

  • Yield

    8.73 t/ha

  • Weather Data

    Growing Season Ave Temperature – 19.25⁰C
    Number of hours accrued between 18 and 28⁰C – 1114
    Number of hours above 33⁰C – 12

  • Days Elapsed between Flowering and Harvest

    110 days

  • Bottled

    31st October, 2019

  • Released

    1st September, 2020

  • Alcohol


WA Wine Review 2024

Ray Jordan “Moss Wood is a family-owned wine company and a pioneer of the Margaret River region. Planted in 1969, Moss Wood is an important founding estate of Margaret River. Clare and Keith Mugford, as viticulturalists, winemakers and proprietors, have been tending the vineyard and making wine at Moss Wood since 1984 and 1979, respectively.…

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Moss Wood 2018 Pinot Noir – Justin Keay,

Light and well balanced, this is a fruit-driven wine with predominantly red fruit and a surprisingly rich middle palate supported by good oak and balanced tannins. Very distinctive Margaret River Pinot. Published April 2021

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Moss Wood 2018 Pinot Noir – David Prestipino, WA Today

WA dances with wine’s most maligned (and magical) variety Western Australia’s curious and creative winemakers have long strived to show our hand at mastering new grape varieties foreign to our shores, with worthy success. Spicy, bright, ripe-driven reds such as Tempranillo (Spain) and Zinfandel (California) and minerally, fruit-driven whites like Italy’s Fiano and Vermentino varieties…

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Moss Wood 2018 Pinot Noir – John Lewis, Newcastle Herald

VIVACIOUS PINOT NOIR With 14% alcohol and bright ruby hues, the Moss Wood 2018 Pinot Noir has vibrant raspberry front palate flavour and middle-palate pomegranate, quince jelly, mint and savoury oak. Dusty tannins show at the finish.

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Moss Wood 2018 Pinot Noir – Andrew Corrigan,

Intense fragrant berry aromas with a savoury dark herbal edge (from the whole bunch and stalks component) followed by a juicy fleshy palate shape. A lovely Pinot Noir from an area better known for other varieties. Published Jan 2021

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Moss Wood 2018 Pinot Noir – Angus Hughson, Wine Pilot

You don’t get a hell of a lot of pinot noir in Margaret River. So you’ve got to hand it to the Moss Wood team as they persevere with what is a very unique style for Australian pinot. It’s not in the typical pretty and fruity style. It’s more savoury and brooding, and generally needs…

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Moss Wood 2018 Pinot Noir – James Suckling,

This has aromas of roasting herbs, redcurrants, dried red cherries and violets. The palate is smooth, ripe and even and has a sleekly layered red-fruit core with a juicy, fresh and focused finish. Ripe tannins hold red-fruit flavors well. Published Nov 2020

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Moss Wood 2018 Pinot Noir – Bob Campbell, The Real Review

Quite a floral pinot noir with violet and wildflowers blending with ripe cherry and raspberry fruit flavours together with spice, anise and subtle nutty oak characters. A pristine wine with appealing purity and power that’s delivered with great subtlety. Published Nov 6th, 2020

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Moss Wood 2018 Pinot Noir – Sam Kim, Wine Orbit

Sweetly fruited and splendidly complex, the bouquet shows Black Doris plum, dried herb, clove, cedar and game characters, leading to a wonderfully weighted palate delivering expansive mouthfeel and fleshy texture. It’s gorgeously framed by loads of polished tannins, making it powerfully structured and elegantly poised at the same time, promising a graceful future. At its…

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Moss Wood 2018 Pinot Noir – Fergal Gleeson, Great Wine Blog

Moss Wood founders Bill and Sandra Pannell were Burgundy buffs planting Pinot Noir in Margaret River in 1973. Despite an early start for the region, Moss Wood are still one of the few producers. Pinot made up just 0.4% of the total wine grape crush in 2019. Moss Wood 2018 Pinot Noir continues the tradition…

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Moss Wood 2018 Pinot Noir – Marc Malouf, Wines Worth Writing About

Lightly coloured crimson with an orange hue and a surprisingly Grenache-like nose of Hibiscus, blackberry, blood orange, dark cherry, raspberry soda, pink grapefruit, strawberries and chantilly cream. Underbrush notes of thyme and baystalk are accompanied by carob, licorice and juniper that lend some woody sweetness. The palate is zingy, crisp and sharply focus with a…

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Vintage Notes

After reporting the complications of the 2019 Chardonnay season, we now attempt to repair the reputation of Margaret River’s spring and what better way than with the 2018 Pinot Noir. It’s the first of our red wine releases from this vintage and we have high hopes for all and believe they will rival any of the great years from the past.

Having had such a late, cool season in 2017, it was good to enjoy conditions closer to our long-term average for the 2018. Looking back at them now, things seem almost boring by comparison but that’s OK because at Moss Wood we would take boring over challenging every year, if we had the choice.

For the record, Pinot Noir’s median flowering date is 9th November and for the 2018 it was 11th November. Weather conditions through this period were benign, with rain on only 5 of the 31 days and the temperature dropped below 8°C for only 4 nights. No surprise then that yields were up 39% to 8.73 tonnes per hectare. That is a rare treat!

People who visited Margaret River over the summer of 17/18 will recall a succession of days in the mid-20’s, just warm enough for the beach and perfect for grape ripening. Pinot Noir reveled in these conditions, ripening steadily over 110 days from flowering to harvest, using

up 1114 hours between 18° and 28°C, coming off at 13.8° Baume on 28th February. Sadly for beach-going sun worshippers, but happily for grapegrowers, there were only 12 hours when the temperature exceeded 33°C. Full ripeness was higher and later than the long-term average of 13.4° Baume and 23rd February, respectively and not surprising, given the heavier crop.

There was no bird damage and the fruit was in perfect condition when it was hand-picked and delivered to the winery.

Production Notes

The handling process was classical Moss Wood Pinot Noir. Approximately 92% of the fruit was sorted and destemmed into small open tanks and then the remaining 8% was added back as whole bunches. The must was then chilled and held at 5°C for 48 hours and was then allowed to warm before being seeded with multiple yeast strains for primary fermentation. Each batch was hand plunged 3 times per day and temperatures were controlled to a maximum of 32°C. After 15 days on skin, each batch was pressed to stainless steel and underwent malolactic fermentation. Once that was completed, each batch was adjusted for acidity and SO2 and racked to wood. All barrels were 228 litre French oak and 15% were new.

In October 2019, after 19 months in barrel, each batch was racked and blended in stainless steel. The fining trials were then carried out but none improved the wine, so it was then sterile filtered and bottled 31st October, 2019.

What was difficult about that, you may ask? And you’d be right. You see, we can (and do) enjoy easy years in Margaret River.

Tasting Notes

Colour and condition:

Medium ruby hue; bright condition.


Lots of pretty fragrances – black fruit notes like sour cherries, plus strawberry jam, musk, camphor and roses. Complexity comes from mushroom and earthy notes, almost charcuterie and there is a nice toasty oak background.


This is medium to full bodied, with bright and generous strawberry and cherry fruit flavours, with rose water and mushroom notes on the finish. The acidity gives good lift and the tannins are a subtle but firm presence, adding concentration and length. On the finish there is a touch of toasty oak.


This vintage is right amongst our best and so we have high expectations for cellaring. The bright and generous fruit characters make it extremely consumable as a youngster but for those with patience and room in their cellar it will reward long term ageing. It will need at least 10 years to develop the bottle-derived secondary notes of mushrooms and earth and these will gradually dominate the wine over the next decade or so. We expect full maturity at 25 years of age.