Moss Wood — muscular and full of finesse

So far I haven’t had a chance to try a lot of wines from Margaret River. I heard a lot that they have some of the greatest Cabernets over there, so I was pretty excited when I could try one of their stars — Moss Wood.

Margaret River is a region in South-West part of Australia, about 200 km South from Perth. It has maritime and dry climate. Summers are hot with little rain (about 200 mm) while winters are pretty wet (over 1100 mm). Fortunately, grapes are cooled by the wind from Atlantic ocean, so they have chance to keep their freshness and acidity. Margaret River is famous from its Bordeaux blends, elegant Chardonnays and herbal Semillons.

Moss Wood was one of the pioneers in the Margaret River. They planted their vines in 1969 and from 1985 the winery is owned by Clare and Keith Mugford. For many years Moss Wood has been regarded as one of the best producers of its region. Let’s see how their wines taste.

First wine I tried was a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon from 2014. It was much more ripe Sauvignon comparing to the ones from New Zealand. It had more tropical fruit, more body (probably thanks to Semillon) and less green fruit. Fortunately, it had high acidity and grapefruit bitterness which brought nice freshness.

Another wines were two Chardonnays from 2012 and 2011, both similar, but obviously the second one little more evolved. They both had aromas of nectarines, peaches, oranges, toasts, nuts and vanilla. Elegant on the palate, little bit oily and buttery. Perfect balance between fruit, oak and acidity. Full bodied with long finish. Great Australian Chardonnay!

Amy’s 2013 was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot. It was full of black fruit: black currents, cassis and plums, all very fresh. But also cherries with chocolate, little bit of pepper and spices. Medium+ body, tannins still aggressive but they should get more velvety in next few years; medium+ acidity.

Another wine was a blend of two Cabernets with Merlot from 2012 from Ribbon Vale vineyard. Strong and muscular wine, with black and red fruit, leather and coffee aromas. Very concentrated, full of flavours which can intimidate at the beginning but after a moment they give great joy and pleasure.

I finished the tasting with the star from Moss Wood: Wilyabrup Cabernet Sauvignon (with a bit of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot) from 2012. Beautiful wine with enticing fruits, herbs, leather, wet wood and earthiness. Everything well composed, with amazing structure, velvety tannis, high acidity and very long finish. Superb mixture of finesse, complexity and power!

With the wines from Moss Wood I must say that Margaret River lives up to my expectations.


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