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.
Moss Wood's flagship wine is a structured beauty with nothing out of place. The gloss of the colour, the florals, blackberries and mulberries infused with black olives, dried herbs and eucalypt; the French oak and the fine-grained tannins seal the deal. Very even and will reward the patient. 97 points, Wine Companion.
This exquisite wine from Margaret River is as close to perfect as any Margaret River has produced – and it gets my highest-ever score. Moss Wood’s Keith Mugford reckons that if he couldn’t make a good wine from the 2014 vintage he might as well give up. Well, he and wife Clare sure have made a great wine – the best Moss Wood Cabernet yet and a drop that I award my highest-ever score. In what was a brilliant growing season, Mugford has created a near-perfect wine. He has captured all that is exceptional about Moss Wood Cabernets: ethereal perfumes and refined palate profiles. With the first sniff of the 2014, I was taken back to the 2001 and 2005, and the more distant 1975 – Moss Wood vintages that are among the greatest. But this new release stands alone. The wine follows the usual combination of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, with small amounts (4 per cent) of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Just 17 per cent of the French oak is new, showing that when you have great fruit sometimes less new oak is more. And like most recent vintages, the slightly earlier picking dates have allowed Mugford to produce wines of slightly less alcohol, which contributes to the overall elegance and refinement. So, my dilemma was: would I push my points to a score I have never given – a huge 99 out of 100... This is such a classic Moss Wood. As elegant and stylishly poised as any I have tasted through the years. Red berry and violets, with distinctive mulberry and cedar perfumes on the nose and that little oak influence. Such gorgeous perfume, which really makes this wine. The palate is balanced and refined with an elegance you only get in the very best of these wines. Wonderful integration of fine-grained, understated oak and fine, chalky tannins. Almost impossible to fault. A truly great wine and the best ever to come out of this magical region. Drink to 2050.
99 points, West Australian, 2017
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.