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.
In some ways, the 2018 is the style of Moss Wood that caused slightly negative comments on the earliest Moss Woods, suggesting the wines were nice but wouldn’t last. Well, weren’t they seriously off the mark? You see, Moss Wood is subtle, refined, understated and almost pretty. The 2018 is so exquisitely perfumed, almost in the vein of a Margaux, and beautifully poised and refined with an effortless length and power all expressed with that typical Moss Wood polish. After sipping my Moss Wood tasting bottle, I took it with me to try with friends later. And it was spectacular, even better on the second day. I reckon if it were possible, I would be enjoying it even more in 40-years time. It is classic Moss Wood that ranks with their best. Is it their best? Yes. As I suspected in anticipation, a great wine from a great vintage. This is a glorious statement from one of the great estates in Margaret River. Classical medium weight in that understated Moss Wood way. Perfectly integrated oak and fine, chalky tannins for support. Leafy cabernet notes on the nose with a touch of light bay leaf and brick dust. The minerally edge to the palate holds the line through to the very long finish. The length on the palate is extraordinary.
99 points, The West Australian (April 2021)
One sniff of the black/purple liquid swirling in your glass and you know you are looking at a world class Cabernet. Blackfruits, mulberries, cedar, cigar box, coffee beans, dark chocolate. A wine with balance, intensity, elegance and astonishing length. The silkiest of tannins. A sweet core of floral notes and dark berries. The construction is immaculate but not in any way constraining. Sensational stuff. Sure, at around $150 a bottle, it is not cheap but compare it with the big guns from the Napa or First and Second Growth Bordeaux, against which it sits comfortably, and this is a steal. I looked at this last night and gave it 97. Today, it is an easy 98. Tomorrow? I’ll never know.
98 points, Wine Pilot (2021)
Intense, dense cabernet sauvignon with ripe cassis, blueberry, violet, black berry, wood-smoke and spicy French oak flavours. A sumptuous, almost decadent wine that is built for the long-haul but is dangerously accessible now. Incredibly concentrated.
97 points, The Real Review (April 2021)
The colour is very deep red/purple and there are rich, ripe berry fruits on the bouquet, blackberry to dark plum with dark chocolate and cocoa powder overtones, while the palate is full-bodied, rich and dense, with masses of drying tannins. Fabulous concentration and balance. The style is of a riper or warmer-year cabernet, without the leafy notes or much of the bright cassis fruit that the region can deliver. A touch of coffee-mocha on the finish. A solid wine, less detailed than we might expect: a very good Moss Wood cabernet.
96 points, The Real Review (April 2021)
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.