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 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon; 1973 was the first release. This 2013 release was matured in all French oak, as you’d expect, though only 15% was new, as you might not. It’s a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc... Seriously fine grained. It may seem like a funny thing to mention first-up, but it’s almost the chief characteristic both of this release, and so often of Moss Wood Cabernet. Or at least historically so. Oak has also been a key player over the past decade and even at 15%, it’s still plain to see/taste here too. Amazingly enough, it helps make for a seductively textural wine, backed by blackcurrant, boysenberry, black olive and mint. Length is excellent. So too balance, especially in the context that this is still super-young. Suggestions of tobacco are nothing more than that. There is no question that this will age well. 95 points, The Wine Front.
Hand-picked, destemmed to open fermenters with cultured yeast, seven days fermentation and seven days post-ferment maceration, matured for 28 months in French barriques (30% new). A powerful, full-bodied Cabernet that still manages to achieve finesse thanks to the perfect balance of fruit, oak and tannins. An autocratic portrait of Cabernet, and of photographic reality. 97 points, Wine Companion.
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.