x
  • Country ranking ?

    16
  • Producer ranking ?

    1
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    2020-2035
  • Food Pairing

    Lamb

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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The Story

Moss Wood, located in the Willyabrup sub-district of Margaret River – can boast one of the choicest and most beautiful vineyard sites in Australia. The Cabernet Sauvignon – first vintage 1973 - is regarded as one of Australia’s great wines offering elegance, retrained power and site specific aromas and flavours. The wine is extremely perfumed and finely structured with cassis-blackcurrant aromas, hints of cedar and violet. Extended oak aging to 24 months – since 1996 – and the introduction of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot have made the wine deeper in colour, more aromatic and textured. The oak and fruit are very neatly balanced. The wine develops a touch of earth/demi-glace briar characters on the bouquet, and complexity and suppleness on the palate.

 

Top Vintages 2012, 2010, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2001, 1999, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1987

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Vintage 2018

 Very promising quality with the most bullish commentators declaring 2018 great in every region and for every variety. The more circumspect view is that early frosts reduced yields, but good, consistent weather throughout the second half of the growing season did indeed result in great potential.

2018 Barossa vintage one to savour

Barossa 2018 vintage wrapped up at the end of April 2018, with grape growers and winemakers happy with a high-quality vintage and good yields.

“Flavours and colours in reds are wonderful, and natural acids in the Eden Valley whites surprisingly high, with early standout varieties this year including Riesling, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet”, said Yalumba head of winemaking Louisa Rose.

The growing season started off well, with Winter 2017 rainfall around 10% higher than average. However, Spring rainfall was only 78% of average in Barossa Valley (BV) and 98% in Eden Valley (EV), and December rainfall was only 57% of average in BV (88% in EV).

Drier soils, combined with warmer than average October and November days (October 2ºC above average in BV (1.8 ºC in EV) and November 1.1ºC above average in BV (1.6 ºC in EV), meant the vine canopies grew quickly; flowering well and setting a good number of bunches.

January and February were warm and dry, with very warm temperatures in February slowing down the pace of ripening. January was slightly above average (1.4ºC during the day but closer to average at night) and February was about average during the day, but with significantly warmer than average night time temperatures in Barossa Valley (5.8ºC warmer).

With summer rainfall 50% of average, growers with access to water, soil moisture monitoring, good irrigation management and healthy soils experienced less stress – and subsequently delivered sound fruit and consistent yields.

The Indian summer of March and early April was ‘the icing on the cake’, with average temperatures, without extremes, perfect for finishing off vintage. The 28-30mm of rain on 14/15 April did not cause any major problems for picking – and was a welcome post-harvest watering for most Barossa growers.

Overall, in 2018, Barossa Valley crushed 56,970 tonnes*, down 22% from the 2017 vintage but 9% above the five-year average. In 2018, Eden Valley crushed 11,593 tonnes*, down 3% from 2017.

The total Barossa crush of 68,563 tonnes* contributed 9% of the total volume and 25% of the total value of the South Australian crush.

Average prices for Barossa Valley varieties remained steady in 2018, with Shiraz at $2252 per tonne 1% down on last year. In Eden Valley, the average price for Shiraz increased 11% to $2636 per tonne and Cabernet Sauvignon increased 15% to $2354.

*Wine Australia estimates the SA Winegrape crush response rate is 85%, so the actual total Barossa crush is estimated at 75,000 to 80,000 tonnes.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 – The first boutique winery in Australia was Lake’s Folly in the Hunter Valley. Naturally, its wines quickly became ‘must-have’s’ for those few early wine-obsessed drinkers, who helped drive the transformation in the industry from ‘fortified dominant’ and ‘big producers only’ to what we enjoy today. There were others. Stuart Anderson’s Balgownie Estate was a winery where winelovers lucky enough to be on the mailing list would plead for a bottle or two. So too, Mount Mary. Virgin Hills, anyone? From the West, nothing personified ‘cult’ like Moss Wood. 

These days, some have risen and fallen. Others have stayed the course. We have wineries like Wendouree, Giaconda, Torbreck, Cloudburst, Bindi, Clonakilla and others. Indeed, just what makes, and what is, a cult winery today might make a terrific topic. Over to you, editor? 

Moss Wood. It might have been the famous 1982 and 1983 Cabernets from Cape Mentelle which really put Margaret River on the map, but the wines everyone wanted came from the tiny Moss Wood. It would be fair to say that it has had a few ups and downs over the years but in recent vintages, it has been right on its game, especially with its flagship Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Put simply, if you love Cabernet, whether it be from Bordeaux, the Napa, Margaret River or anywhere, Moss Wood Cabs should be on your radar and in your cellar.

The latest, the 2018, continues its recent run of hot form. 92% Cabernet, 4% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc, it comes from a year the Mugfords, the caretakers of this wonderful estate, claim is a cracker (well, my words but you know what I mean). To be honest, claims of a great year in Margaret River tend to fall on deaf ears. When isn't it a great year there? The day a MR winemaker tells me they had a shocker, that is when I’ll listen.

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.

  • 98p
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Origin

Margaret River, Western Australia

Highlights

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