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.
"Marked by notes of ripe cherries, red-skinned plums and hints of cassis, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon was being bottled the day of my visit, so I tasted it from tank. It's medium to full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long, long finish. While previous vintages showed more oak influence, this (and the 2018 and 2019) show a more nuanced touch and barely noticeable cedar and vanilla shadings."
93-95 Points, Wine Advocate (Tentative tank score)
"Very attractive aromas of blue fruit, as well as red cherries and redcurrants with cedary, savory nuances, stones, flowers and woody spices. This is both pristine and full of interest. The palate has elegant style with a fine brand of elegant, long tannin and fresh red-berry flavors. Up there with the finest releases, this is beautifully balanced and very drinkable already, though cellaring will bring further rewards."
96 points, JamesSuckling.com (April 2020)
"A compelling rendition of the variety; the gloriously expressed bouquet shows cassis, dark plum, olive and spicy oak characters with a lovely violet overtone. It's impressively weighted and dense on the palate, offering terrific fruit intensity and power, while remaining refined and classically structured by fine chalky tannins. Built for the long haul. At its best: 2023 to 2042."
97 Points, Wine Orbit
"Supremely elegant cabernet sauvignon with red and blue fruits, floral, violet, shoe box, cedar, nutmeg and nutty oak flavours. No single flavour dominates creating a delicious medley of appealing characters. Power delivered with subtlety. While it can be appreciated now I'd love to taste it in another decade (or two)."
97 Points, The Real Review
"Deep red colour with a purple tinge. The bouquet is shy and closed, with some char-oak aromas plus blackberry, violet and other black fruits, the palate full-bodied and savoury, well-endowed with savoury, fine-grained tannins which run the full length of the palate. A stunning wine in the making. It's all about potential. Must cellar for best results."
96 Points, The Real Review
The 2017 vintage was one of the milder vintages in WA. The latest Moss Wood captures this vintage perfectly and is without doubt one of the more restrained and tightly framed Moss Woods of recent years. Not the opulence of 2014 or the firm power of the 2016. Yet it retains the elegance, perfume and soft approachability that is Moss Wood. And hidden within is a wine that I suspect will still be drinking beautifully in 30 years.
97 points, The West Australian (April 2020)
It’s typical Moss Wood in style, which means powerful and ripe, if perhaps not the most vibrant of wines. Flavour profile runs to rum and raisin chocolate, black fruit, freshly sawn wood, roast beef and olives, submerged floral notes, and mint. Tannin is rich and deep, very savoury, pulls somewhat fresher on the finish with red cherry and a smattering of dried herb. Length is good, grainy tannin trailing. It’s pretty sullen as at now, but sure to unfurl with appropriate bottle age.
93+ points, The Wine Front (June 2020)
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.