Moss Wood Masterclass With the Winemakers

Wine Ark held a sit down masterclass for the new release Moss Wood wines (including a couple of vintage ones!), with winemakers Keith and Clare Mugford…


What a lovely evening it was! Small, intimate, informative and relaxed. The line up was pretty good; and I was surprised about the wines other than the well famed Cabernet/Cabernet blends that Margaret River Western Australia craft so well, especially the Pinot Noir.

Moss Wood is located in the Wilyabrup sub region of the well known Margaret River (known to produce premium wines), making some of the top Cabernet wines in Australia that age really well. With beautiful aromas that show complexity (think ripe dark berries, a whiff of herbal freshness, old fashioned oak and leather, cocoa, even coffee…), they are intense and concentrated in flavour, with a firm structure and grip, but with an often seamlessly smooth feel, and lingering finish… Moss Wood have their Ribbon Vale vineyard, Moss Wood vineyard and others.


MOSS WOOD RIBBON VALE SEMILLON SAUVIGNON BLANC 2012 – Very fresh, almost effervescent, but clean. On the nose it’s very bright, full of goosberries, but ripe as well with passionfruit and citrus. On tasting, very crisp and juicy – mouth watering! With a round, full body, leading to a clean finish. Considering how bright and vivacious it is, there is no tart-ness in flavour. The Semillon component will really help it age (for how fresh the wine is, it’s interesting to know it can age if you wanted it too, but it has its value to drink now). Good value Sauv Blanc blend that has elegance as well as the approachability. Cellar Door $30/btl.

MOSS WOOD CHARDONNAY 2011 – Very lifted aroma – full of fresh stone fruits, with some floral and soft lime notes.. Full flavour, clean, smooth and ripe, with a hint of nuts, giving an all well-rounded palate and long, smooth finish… Will age well into the more nutty/toasty spectrum. Very nice, elegant Chardonnay. Cellar Door $60/btl.

MOSS WOOD MORNINGTON PENINSULA PINOT NOIR 2010 – Immediately you notice the bright red fruit aromas – very ripe strawberries and red cherries, with a nice earthy, subtle spicy note. Vibrant palate as well, with both red and dark fruits (berries, plums), with well rounded oak, subtle earthy characters, spice and warmth, and silky tannins. Yum! Cellar Door $48/btl.

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MOSS WOOD MARGARET RIVER PINOT NOIR 2009 – 🙂 Very elegant Pinot, well balanced. I haven’t tried many good WA Pinots but this was one of my favourites in the line up. On the nose there was lifted fragrance of red fruits, roses and more spices than the Mornington Pinot, with some savoury complexity. Well rounded oak on tasting (which I love), with all the fruit flavours – on the whole was deep and concentrated, yet soft. Long, smooth finish. Yum! Cellar Door $35/half btl.

MOSS WOOD RIBBON VALE MERLOT 2010 – A medium-full bodied, plush red. On the nose you get concentrated red and black fruits – mulberry and blackcurrants, with a hint of herbaceous, earthy and smoky notes… Palate is quite well rounded and mouth-filling – full of dark fruits, earthy characters, and chalky tannins that give firmness but don’t overwhelm. On the whole, quite juicy, especially leading to the sweet/savoury finish. Good example of Merlot in Australia… Cellar Door $48/btl.

MOSS WOOD RIBBON VALE CABERNET MERLOT 2010 – Attractive aromas with currants, floral notes (violets/roses) and leather. Juicy palate – savoury but bright with all the fruits. Tannins are firm and structure is good. Cellar Door $48/btl.

MOSS WOOD AMYS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2011 – 🙂 Great wine. Genorous, ripe fruit – full of blackberries and some blueberries, with warm spices, well rounded tannins (with a subtle firm grip) and good savoury elements (cedar, menthol, leather and earth). Overall a nice level of ripe fruit and juicyness! There is also softnedd and smooth texture. Well balanced. A solid wine with approachability. Good value for quality wine. About $38/btl.

MOSS WOOD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010 – Yes… a powerful wine. The flagship! Nose is a bit reserved – shows how much ageing it is ready for to open up. Subtle floral notes are intertwined with berries and currants, with the added dimensions of leather, cocoa and oak. Palate very dense – full of black fruits and mulberries, sweet and savoury notes, cocoa, earthy characters, firm but well integrated tannins; all with a vibrant acidity – making the whole palate feel smooth and elegant. Leading through to a beautiful finish with toasty oak, coffee and a gentle grip from the tannins. Very well and seamlessly crafted. Cellar Door $105/btl.

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MOSS WOOD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2005 – 🙂 Really enjoyed this vintage… Very similar to the 2010 – didn’t find much difference in age, still quite intense and robust, but there is more fruit showing. Good finish and tannins show their grip. Has a lot more cellaring to go but also drinkable now (Listed for $100/btl at Wine Ark)

MOSS WOOD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 1997 – Colour shows age/more developed hue, bit less crimson/purple, but no overt brown. Nose also shows age with more mushroom and leather characters. Fruit is there too but definitely much softer and subtle. Very rounded and developed – tannins are very soft. Acidity and alcohol is still vibrant, with some spice. I was surprised it was still drinking/not toppled over.

Every year Moss Wood produce exceptional quality wines – there are no excuses for poor wine quality! Across their range you can see attention to each style/wine and it being very well done… They don’t even make a Shiraz.


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