Moss Wood is one of the Margaret River ‘originals’ (planted 1969; first vintage 1973) and this iconic flagship wine – Langton’s Classified since 1990 – has long been Western Australia’s leading Cabernet Sauvignon.
This legendary Cabernet Sauvignon is intensely perfumed and finely structured with cassis-blackcurrant aromas, hints of cedar and touches of violet. The oak and fruit are neatly balanced.
With proven ageing potential the wine develops subtle earth/demi-glace briar characters on the bouquet, and complexity and suppleness on the palate. The unirrigated and widely spaced vineyard (now 14.86-hectares) is planted on gentle north-east facing slopes with sandy loams to a gravelly red/brown loams over clay.
Typically the fruit is hand-picked, de-stemmed into open tanks and hand-plunged four times a day until completion of fermentation. At the end of vinification, the wine is allowed to macerate for around 10 to 14 days prior to pressing off into barrel. The wine is matured in 30% new and seasoned French oak barriques for 24 months.
The 2007 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon barrel samples were simply exquisite. The wines are perfumed and beautifully textured with pure blackcurrant pastille/ redcurrant/ plum aromas, touches of violet, cedar and smoke. The palate is fresh and well concentrated with buoyant cassis/ redcurrant/ blueberry flavours, underlying savoury/ ginger oak, lovely mid-palate richness and perfectly ripe loose knit grainy tannins. It finishes classically velvety with lovely sweet and savoury flavour length. This is a really generously proportioned wine with understated puissance and finesse. This is an utterly brilliant vintage for Moss Wood with all the elements for medium to long term cellaring. Move over Chateaux Margaux. Andrew Caillard MW
Moss Wood, located in the Wilyabrup sub-district of Margaret River can boast one of the choicest and most beautiful vineyard sites in Australia. Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon – first vintage 1973 – is regarded as one of Australia’s great wines offering elegance, restrained power and site specific aromas and flavours. The wine is extremely perfumed and finely structured with cassis-blackcurrant aromas, hints of cedar and touches of violet. The oak and fruit are very neatly balanced. With proven aging potential the wine develops a touch of earth/demi-glace briar characters on the bouquet, and complexity and suppleness on the palate.
Dr Bill Pannell established Moss Wood in 1969 and is regarded as one of Margaret River’s early pioneers. By the early 1980s the Cabernet Sauvignons were regarded as something very special. Clare and Keith Mugford – who began as an assistant winemaker – purchased the property in 1985 and have taken Moss Wood to the pinnacle of Australian Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 5-hectare vineyard at Wilyabrup is planted on gentle northeast facing slopes and soils ranging from sandy loam to a gravelly red/brown loam over clay. The combination of site, vineyard management and soil conservation has been the key to ultimate fruit quality. Longer skin contact time during fermentation and a change in encepagement with the inclusion of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot in the blend has made the wine deeper in colour, more perfumed and textured.
Since the 1996 vintage, all Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon sees extended oak ageing of 24 months in French barriques. The first vintage was 1973 with a production of 250 cases. Recently Langton’s sold a bottle of 1973 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon, the winery's first vintage for AUD$2,301 (£962), the highest price ever paid for a post-1970 bottle of Australian wine. Moss Wood is a strong proponent of the use of screw caps – approximately 70% of the vintage is now bottled with this alternative closure. Andrew Caillard MW
The 2007 harvest was the earliest in Margaret River’s viticultural history, so early in fact the grapes beat the new wine barrels to the winery. Without the normal overall wet and windy spring conditions, flowering lasted only for about a week bringing forward vintage and allowing even ripening. Heat spikes during March accelerated the harvest, but the fruit was picked at the optimum; the Cabernet Sauvignons are showing excellent flavour development, tannin ripeness and acid retention. Finally, the Petit Verdot, the latest ripening of all the varieties, was probably the biggest winner from the early season and matured beautifully, producing deep and complex wines. This is a fantastic vintage. Keith Mugford – winemaker
Located three hours south of Perth, Margaret River is Western Australia’s most prestigious wine-growing region. Serious vineyard development began only in the late 1960’s following the publication of a report by John Gladstones in 1965 stating that the area had a similar climate to Pomerol or St Emilion, with low frost risk, plenty of sunshine and equable temperatures within the growing season promoting even ripening. Margaret River’s climate is warm and maritime, with some cooling influence provided by southeast trade winds. The soils derive from granitic and a gneissic rock over which laterite has formed. The region can be divided in three sub-regions: the cooler south between Yallingup and Karridale with predominantly lateritic gravelly loamy sands and sandy loams; the warm and sunnier Willyabrup in the centre with predominantly gravelly loams, but some gritty sandy loams and granitic gravels; and Margaret River in the north with similar soils, but slightly cooler temperatures. This is entirely consistent with style; the wines from Willyabrup being more generous than the highly structured wines of the north and the elegant styles of the south. Margaret River is best known for high quality Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blends and top notch Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends. Over the years, the region has established an astonishing reputation illustrating a consistency in quality and a strongly focused winemaking culture.