Moss Wood 2020 Pinot Noir

Wine Facts
Median Harvest Date12th February, 2020
Mean Harvest Ripeness14.0° Be
Yield3.00 t/ha
Growing Season Ave Temperature20.7⁰C
Number of hours accrued between 18 and 28⁰C1152 hours
Number of hours above 33⁰C68 hours
Days Elapsed between Flowering and Harvest98 days
Bottled1st November, 2021
Released1st September, 2022
Alcohol14.00 %

Wine Facts

  • Median Harvest Date

    12th February, 2020

  • Harvest Ripeness


  • Yield

    3.00 t/ha

  • Weather Data

    Growing season Ave Temperature - 20.7⁰C

    Number of hours accrued between 18° and 28⁰C – 1152 hours

    Number of hours above 33⁰C – 68 hours

  • Days Elapsed between Flowering and Harvest

    98 days

  • Bottled

    1st November, 2021

  • Released

    1st September, 2022

  • Alcohol

    14.00 %

Moss Wood 2020 Pinot Noir – Erin Larkin, The Wine Advocate

The 2020 Pinot Noir is concentrated and red fruited, with berries and garden mint. The mint character feels like a vineyard characteristic to me, as I see it so often in the wines, and it sits so well within the red fruit character of the wine, which includes red cherries, pomegranate, strawberry and Pink Lady…

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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 2020 Pinot Noir – Gary Walsh, The Wine Front

One thing you can say of Moss Wood Pinot Noir, is they are never short of character. Ripe strawberry, baked cherry with spicy pie crust, a little toast and tar, some musky perfume. It’s medium-bodied, a little savoury and earthy, ripe cherry and red fruits, fresh with fine grainy tannin, toasted spices and a smattering…

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Moss Wood 2020 Pinot Noir – Bob Campbell, The Real Review

A high energy pinot noir with assertive tannins balancing sweet fruit. I like the wine’s spiciness which adds extra complexity to dark cherry/berry characters. Ripe and moderately complex wine with cellaring potential.  2023–2030 January, 2023

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Moss Wood 2020 Pinot Noir – Ray Jordan, WA Wine Review 2023

The small intense vintage of 2020 has suited this variety from Moss Wood. Marvellous opening on the nose with a mix of cherry and rhubarb flicked with a little spice and underpinned by deeper meaty characters.The palate retains that linear chalky acidity but wrapped around the spine is the seductively warm flesh of the vintage….

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Moss Wood 2020 Pinot Noir – Ken Gargett, Wine Pilot

If the current Moss Wood Chardy is the best for many years, fair to say that this latest Pinot comes pretty close as well. A tiny crop, their lowest ever yield, seems to have been balanced by the quality on offer. Handpicked, destemmed, delivered to small, open fermenters with a variety of yeasts added, hand-plunging…

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More Than Cabernet From Moss Wood – Reviews of Moss Wood 2021 Chardonnay, Moss Wood 2020 Pinot Noir, Moss Wood 2022 Semillon – Ray Jordan wine review, Business News

More than cabernet from Moss Wood Moss Wood’s versatility is on full display with three wines from its 2020 crop. “The 2020 vintage was one of the smallest on record but the fruit that did come off the old vines was generous and beautifully flavoured. Moss Wood cabernet sauvignon is among the most anticipated wine…

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Moss Wood 2020 Pinot Noir – Edward Agg, The Cellar Post

Quality MR PN here. Complex aromas of crushed raspberries and dark cherries, dried herbs, clove, cinnamon, and sweet earth with a rounding, super subtle, vanilla creaminess. The palate offers great structure, balance, and acidity. Ripe red berries, dark cherry, ample savoury spice, polished fine tannins, expansive on the finish. It’s very very well done October,…

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Moss Wood 2020 Pinot Noir – Casey Bryan, Travelling Corkscrew

Say hello to the newly released 2020 Moss Wood Pinot Noir retailing at approximately $75. You don’t get a huge amount of Pinot out of Margaret River (WA) and of the ones you do, Moss Wood definitely know how to grow Pinot in the area and have been since the 70s. A rouge hailstorm impacted…

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Moss Wood 2020 Pinot Noir – James Suckling,

Perfumed aromas of red cherries, baked strawberries, black tea and overturned earth. Full-bodied with silky tannins. Tight structure. Earthy and herbal with bright acidity. Drink now. Screw cap. October, 2022

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Moss Wood 2020 Pinot Noir – Marc Malouf, Wine Worth Writing About

Ruby with a pink/purple hue and a pretty nose with sweet red fruits, red cherry, rhubarb, raspberries n cream gums, sugar plum, zesty citrus, white pepper, gentle underbrush, marshmallow root and toasted vanilla oak. It’s very charming and fine. In the mouth it bursts with intensity of flavour and crunches with texture. Chewy red fruits,…

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Moss Wood 2020 Pinot Noir – Ray Jordan, Business News

The small, intense vintage of 2020 has suited this variety from Moss Wood. Marvellous opening on the nose with a mix of cherry and rhubarb flicked with a little spice and underpinned by deeper meaty characters. The palate retains that linear chalky acidity but wrapped around the spine is the seductively warm flesh of the…

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Moss Wood 2020 Pinot Noir – Angus Hughson, Wine Pilot

An impressive Pinot despite being one of the few Margaret River producers that persevere with the variety. There is an intense core of fruit ranging from red currant, and black currant through to dried herbs and forest floor which are well integrated with a generous serve of French oak. The generosity continues on the palate…

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Moss Wood 2020 Pinot Noir – Fergal Gleeson, Greatwineblog

High end Pinot Noir is a unicorn in Margaret River.However Moss Wood‘s founders the Pannells were Burgundy buffs and planted Pinot Noir vines way back in 1973.This wine has a loyal following amongst Moss Wood drinkers and holds its own against Pinot from Tasmania and Victoria.Hail storms in Spring led to a record low yield…

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Vintage Notes

As mentioned in the discussion of the 2021 Moss Wood Chardonnay, the key story of the 2019/20 growing season was the hailstorms that hit the Margaret River region on 24th October. Moss Wood and Ribbon Vale weren’t spared and all varieties were impacted.

With hail damage, there’s very little we can do, other than treat the vineyard to ensure we don’t get secondary fungal infections on damaged vine tissue, so we applied a fungicide and waited for vintage to see exactly how bad the result actually was.

Apart from this rather aggressive outburst, Mother Nature was very kind to us. We had only limited rain during flowering and only one day where the temperature dropped below 8°C. At least this ensured the remaining bunches were able to flower in good conditions and maximise whatever crop was left. We were thankful for small mercies!

The season progressed with some nice warm weather and the vines enjoyed 1152 hours between 18°C and 28°C, plus 68 hours above 33°C. Between this and the tiny crop, the fruit charged through to ripeness, taking 98 days to go from flowering to harvest at 14° Baume on 12th February, 11 days earlier than average.

We have this thing with low yielding years where during the season, we assess the crop and when the estimates are really low, we invariably think, no, it can’t be that bad. Of course, when the crop comes in, our unrealistic optimism is exposed when the fruit finally arrives at the winery weigh bridge. So, it was in 2020, when the weighing scales revealed the bad news of a yield of 3.00 tonnes per hectare, down 52% and our lowest ever.

To digress for a moment, there is much debate about the relationship between grape yield and wine quality. In France, the figure of 40 hectolitres per hectare of wine, or roughly 6 tonnes per hectare of grapes, is considered the benchmark for high quality yields.

Above that, quality may be reduced, depending on the season. Typically, the warmer and drier the year, the better will be the quality at yields higher than this.

Our experience roughly confirms this although there are differences between our varieties. For example, Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon can produce wines with very firm tannin in the low yielding vintages and these are slightly atypical. Conversely, the opposite tends to be true at the other end of the yield scale and a good example is 2001, a really outstanding vintage, which cropped at 9.55 tonnes per hectare.

Returning to Pinot Noir, we’ve found it produces its best quality at lower yields and 6 tonnes per hectare seems to be about right. Indeed, prior to 2020, our lowest yielding Pinot was the 1981 and at 3.48 tonnes per hectare, was the greatest wine our vineyard has produced. The 2020 vintage, at even slightly lower yields, has delivered a similarly outstanding quality year.

Production Notes

All the fruit was hand-picked and delivered to the winery where it was hand-sorted, destemmed, placed in small, open fermenters and seeded with multiple yeast strains for primary fermentation. Temperatures were controlled to a maximum of 32°C and each batch was hand plunged 3 times per day for extraction of colour and flavour.

After 16 days on skins, each batch was pressed to stainless steel tank and underwent malolactic fermentation. The wine was then racked off gross lees, adjusted and racked to wood on 4th March 2020. All barrels were 225 litre French oak and 23% were new.

On 26th October 2021, after 19 months in oak, all the barrels were racked and blended in stainless steel. In preparation for bottling, fining trials were carried out but no treatment improved the wine so it remained unfined and was sterile filtered and bottled on 1st November 2021.

Tasting Notes

Colour and condition:
Deep ruby hue; bright condition.

Bright fruit aromas set the tone, with red fruits of strawberries and strawberry jam, combining with black fruits of cherry and plum. There is a rich background of musk, earth and spicy, toasty oak.

The same intensity shows on the palate where generous strawberry and cherry fruit flavours fill the mouth, supported by full body and good acidity. There are earthy and tarry notes on the finish. The tannins are quite dense and mouth-filling for a Pinot Noir, giving the wine a long, smooth finish.


In our commentary above, we referred to the mighty 1981 Pinot Noir as an example of the high quality our low-yielding years can offer and it sailed comfortably past 40 years of age in 2021 and looked fantastic. Although 2020 was a slightly warmer and earlier vintage than its older sibling, it has similar concentration and power, exactly the makeup it needs to deliver 4 decades in the cellar. If this is somewhat daunting, we share two other thoughts. It has delicious flavour and balance and can definitely be enjoyed now and for those who would like to see just a little bit of development in the bottle, we recommend short term cellaring of 10 years.