2018 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon
Pitch black at its heart with a deep dark red black tinged hue. Intense ripe blackcurrant aromas intermingle with liquorice and mulberry followed by cedary tobacco, fresh herb, spicy vanillin cedar and black olive notes. Rich and deep the medium to full bodied palate is awash with ripe blackcurrant, red liquorice and mulberry fruits. Refined yet powerful with a polished tannin structure providing a solid framework for the long term. Elements of vanillin cedar, subtle bay leaf, earthy black olive and spice also chime in. Concludes long and finessed. Although quite approachable now it will comfortably cellar 10-15 years.
“BEST JUST GOT BETTER”
This is getting just ridiculous. From the time the heavyweights of WA wine started to reveal their wines from the 2018 vintage, it has been a cavalcade of one great wine after another. A few weeks ago, I got pretty excited about the latest Leeuwin Art Series chardonnay.
Now, I have another problem, albeit it a good one. Moss Wood have just released their 2018 cabernet sauvignon. And, oh, here's a shock, it is without doubt one of their greatest - dare I suggest, it might be their greatest. Read on for that pronouncement.
Winemaker Keith Mugford reckons that 2018 was just about perfect.
“If you couldn't make a decent wine from this vintage, you only have yourself to blame." he said.
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 of 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.
Ray Jordan - The West Australian
92/4/4% cabernet sauvignon/petit verdot/cabernet franc. Hand picked from 52yo vines, matured for 29 months in French oak (15% new). Rippling layers of flavour and texture here. So long that it carries itself over the palate and through into the finish… what a finish! Pedigree and happenstance have collided to create a legend. The 2018 will go down as one of the greatest Moss Wood cabernets ever made, alongside the 2001. Drink by 2061.
Erin Larkin - James Halliday's Australian Wine Companion