Moss Wood 1998 Semillon


Wine Facts

Harvested:  7/3/1998
Bottled: 29/7/1998
Released:  9/9/1998
Baume: 13.70
Alcohol: 14.50%
Vintage Rating:  9/10


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Tasting Notes

The 1998 Moss Wood Semillon shows aromas of ripe fig with some grassy notes, is soft, generous and mouthfilling and has ripe fig and honey flavours with light citrus undertones and some apple and grapefruit characters. It is a big, rich white with impressive intensity, good weight, excellent balance and a crisp, fresh finish.

We rate this wine as a cross between the 1994 and the 1995. It is in the mould of the 1994 with its rich, ripe structure while having the generosity and depth of flavour of the 1995. It is big and ripe without the pretty, perfumed aromatics of the 1990, 1993, 1996 and 1997 semillons from the vineyard.


Vintage Notes

Although happy with the quality of the 1998 Moss Wood Semillon, the harvest did present more than its fair share of difficulties at Wilyabrup. There was nothing untoward during the growing season with no wind or hail damage; average temperatures; no sustained heat spells; and good spring rains. After flowering, we had expected the crop to be of average quantity or higher but then the tiny "silver eyes" appeared, to present the vineyard with its worst problem from bird damage since 1985. Atypically, the silver eyes started eating the chardonnay while the grapes were still very green. A new net applicator was purchased and sections of the vineyard were netted for the first time. This reduced potential damage and the final result was that yields fell from being slightly above average to average.

The weather which had been kindly, turned and rain fell after the first day of picking. As soon as the rain stopped, however, the hearty Moss Wood team returned to the vineyard and picked the remainder of the semillon. The winery was able to ride out any potential problem as there was no damage from the grapes splitting and only a slight dilution in the juice from the second batch. We believe that the grapes taken off before the rains had better fruit intensity but were happy with the overall quality and felt that there was no need to keep the batches separate.


Production Notes

The 1998 Semillon was made according to standard practice at Moss Wood. It was crushed and drained immediately allowing no skin contact. With all pressings included, the clear juice was allowed to settle for 48 hours. It was then fermented with a pure yeast culture in stainless steel tanks at 18 C until dryness was achieved and was stirred once a day. For an eight week period post fermentation the wine remained in contact with its lees and was stirred once a week. It was protein stabilised, cold stabilised and then bottled.


Cellaring Notes

We regard it as similar to the very good 1983 Semillons at the same stage of its development and believe that the current vintage will age well despite its early generosity. Given good cellaring, he believes it will improve over the next ten years.