Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon

L27_20151118_MOSS WOOD_White bg label Cab Sav 2013 Magnum Ribbonvale

Wine Facts

Median Harvest: Cabernet Sauvignon – 27/03/2013
Cabernet Franc – 04/03/2013
Merlot – 12/03/2013
Bottled: 02/10/2015
Released: 18/11/2015
Yield: Cabernet Sauvignon – 3.55 t/ha
Cabernet Franc – 5.79 t/ha
Merlot – 5.46 t/ha
Baume: Cabernet Sauvignon – 13.7⁰ Be
Cabernet Franc – 13.2⁰ Be
Merlot – 12.6⁰ Be
Alcohol: 14.00%
Vintage Rating: 10/10


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It has taken 14 vintages but the Mugfords are finally happy that they have got the Ribbon Vale vineyard where they want it to be and can release a varietal Cabernet Sauvignon as the premier wine from the property.

Tasting Notes

It has a deep brick red colour and is in bright condition. The nose is classic, almost old-fashioned Wilyabrup cabernet sauvignon, showing all the hallmarks of the region and taking us back to the future - we could almost be tasting a 1983. There are aromas of redcurrant, mulberry and blackberry with the typical background of a touch of eucalypt and tar and behind this is a touch of spicy, toasty oak. The palate is full bodied, with generous red and black fruits. Whereas with the Merlot there is brightness and freshness, this wine has density and concentration. The tannins are firm and provide a long platform upon which the fruit flavours sit and yet the wine finishes with roundness and balance.

Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – Ray Jordan, The West Australian Wine Guide 2017

Opens on the nose with a powerful chocolaty blackcurrant mix with neat dusty earthy undertones. The palate is rich and supple but with a core of firmish tannin and oak providing ample balance. The natural tannins of this vineyard have been held with restraint to create a very tidy wine.

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Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – Matthew Jukes, Money Week

Wine of the week: an “everyday posh” red from Australia A rogue Aussie, from one of the finest estates in the country, Ribbon Vales sits in between Moss Wood estate cabernet and the forward-drinking Amy’s cuvée in both flavour and price (both of these wines are featured in my 100 Best Australian Wines 2018/19 report…

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Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – Will Lyons, The Sunday Times

Founded in 1969, Moss Wood is one of the most highly rated estates in Western Australia. Two years spent in French oak results in a smooth, rich wine that will improve well with age. Dark and robust, with notes of mulberry, cassis and chocolate.   (Published March 4th, 2018)

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Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – Josh Raynolds, Vinous

Opaque ruby. A highly fragrant bouquet evokes ripe dark berries, incense and candied flowers, and a smoky oak nuance builds in the glass. Sappy and penetrating on the palate, offering deep cherry and black currant flavors accented by a peppery note. Concentrated but lithe as well, delivering impressive finishing power, building spiciness and subtle, harmonious…

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Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – The Drinks Business

Wine pairing with five “bizarre” Chinese dishes ‘Century eggs’ or ‘thousand-year eggs’ or simply ‘Pidan’ in Chinese are in fact not aged for a century or a thousand years. They are preserved eggs made in a saline solution mixed with clay and rice husks for a few months that changes yolk into grey/black colour and…

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Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – Maryann Worobiec – Wine Spectator

Firm, crunchy tannins have a peppery, herbal side, with trim currant and cherry flavors. Herb notes gain momentum on the finish. Drink now through 2029. 86 Points

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Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – Jancis Robinson

Healthy mid crimson. Very classic iodine nose. Open and friendly, with some sweet fruit. Nicely put together – with some cassis notes. Rather dry on the end at the moment. Serve with food! Drink 2017-2025 –  16+

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Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – Jancis Robinson –

Wilyabrup. Dark crimson. Complex balsam scents with quite a bit of subtlety. Some plum fool aromas. Firm acidity and pretty youthful with light tannins well in evidence. Definitely more tarry than luscious. I’d wait before opening this. 16.5

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Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – The Wine Companion – James Halliday

A forthright Cabernet, medium to full-bodied with fruit, oak and tannins all making significant contributions. It is easy to see why the wine was given such a lengthy stay in oak – it must have been a handful when young. Even now it is chock-full of blackcurrant fruit and bay leaf. To 2048. 5 stars…

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Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – James Suckling –

A gently leafy and minty nose that has bright ripe red fruits as well as blueberries and cassis, plus violet-like florals too. The palate is dense and handsomely structured; there’s a light peppery edge, tannins are chalky and there’s a reassuring tautness to the finish. Best from 2018.

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Moss Wood 2013 Ribbon Vale Cabernet Sauvignon – James Halliday – Wine Companion

92% cabernet sauvignon, plus 4% each of cabernet franc and merlot, half destemmed to a small open fermenter, …

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Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – Lisa Perrotti Brown MW – Robert Parker Wine Advocate, March 2016

“The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Ribbon Vale has a deep garnet-purple core, with pretty cassis and red plum notes, spice box and pencil shavings, as well as a hint of menthol. Medium-bodied with a medium level of chewy, approachable tannins, this Cabernet has a nice, refreshing lift in the long finish.” 88 Points

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Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – Bob Campbell MW –

Dense, intense Cabernet Sauvignon, with bright black berry and cranberry flavours together with a liberal influence of spicy oak. Attractive Cabernet Sauvignon, with in an elegant and quite powerful style. Needs time to develop its full potential

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Moss Wood Ribbon Vale 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – Cameron Douglas –

Like its Merlot brother from the same vineyard – it takes a while for this wine to give up its bouquet as well – with the same result: Lots of dark berries with blackberry and blue fruit aromas; a mix of hay, tobacco and baked bell-pepper; loads of oak with spice, new wood and sweetness,…

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Vintage Notes

We had a generally excellent growing season and yet we began the 2013 vintage with a degree of fear and trepidation. This was not because of any quality concerns but rather, we’d had a monumental hail storm on 30th November, 2012, the likes of which we hadn’t seen since 1996 and we were worried just how small our yields were going to be. The thing is, it is possible to see the damage but we don’t know the true extent until we actually start picking.

The first of the Ribbon Vale reds to come off was the Cabernet Franc on 4th March and its yield was down by 30%, which wasn’t as bad as expected. When we started Merlot 8 days later, we hoped for the same and yes, we were in luck. That left Cabernet Sauvignon, which started on 27th March and sadly our hopes were dashed - its yield was down by just over 50%. Such is life in agriculture. What did matter was quality and that was very encouraging.

Despite the stormy conditions outlined above, the season was warm to hot, especially at the end of December where we had one day with a maximum of 40⁰C, the hottest day for the summer. January temperatures eased but things warmed again at the beginning of February, although not quite as hot as December. March delivered typical autumn weather, so all the varieties moved gently to full maturity, especially Cabernet Sauvignon.


Production Notes

Cabernet Franc was hand-picked and destemmed into a small, open tank, seeded with a pure yeast culture and allowed to ferment at up to 30⁰C and hand plunged 3 times per day. After 13 days it was pressed to stainless steel, underwent malolactic fermentation and was finally racked to barrel on 13th April, 2013. The casks were all 228 litre French oak.

Merlot was hand-picked and destemmed into static fermenters, seeded with pure yeast culture and allowed to ferment up to 30⁰C and were pumped over 3 times per day. Skin contact time was 16 days, after which the wine was pressed to stainless steel. Malolactic fermentation was carried out by selected bacteria and after MLF the wine was racked to 228 litre French oak barrels on 23rd April, 2013.

Cabernet Sauvignon was hand harvested then separated into 2 batches. The first was destemmed into a small open fermenter, the second into a static fermenter and both were seeded with pure yeast culture. In the former, extraction was by hand plunging 3 times per day and in the latter by pumping over 3 times per day. The open tank stayed on skins for 17 days while the closed tank achieved its tannin balance a little sooner and was pressed after 14 days.

After malolactic fermentation both batches were racked to barrels on 27th May, 2013. All barrels were 228 litre French oak and 8% were new.

In a first for Ribbon Vale under the Mugford ownership, we now produce this flagship as Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was blended on 12th January 2015 and is 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Merlot. After the blending it was returned to barrel till 14th September, 2015, 28 months in oak, when it was racked to stainless steel in preparation for bottling. The balance of the wine was excellent with no need for fining. It was sterile filtered and bottled on 2nd October, 2015.


Cellaring Notes

When discussing a Wilyabrup cabernet sauvignon these days, it almost goes without saying this is a wine for the cellar. Although it’s from the Ribbon Vale vineyard, it shares some of the style of Moss Wood 1983 and we have no doubt it will develop in a similar way and so proudly recommend it for a minimum aging time of 20 years.

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