NEW RELEASE : 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, Moss Wood - one of the greats from an outstanding estate

NEW RELEASE : 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, Moss Wood - one of the greats from an outstanding estate

2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, Moss Wood

'One of the greats from an outstanding estate'

£275 per 6 bottle case in bond

My inbox is filling up with offers of Cabernet-based wines from an unremarkable vintage at unrealistic prices. Yours might be too. Maybe it is me, but when the compulsion to purchase is simply that less made was in a particular vintage, I remain nonplussed.
With this backdrop in mind, I thought I would sooner send you an offer of a sublime Cabernet Sauvignon from a great vintage at a price that offers real value. And I have no idea whether their production was up or down on the preceding year as it is irrelevant. This is a great Cabernet Sauvignon that will reward time in the cellar – yet even a bottle broached at an early stage will easily signal its qualities.
Moss Wood is, to me, the greatest estate for Cabernet Sauvignon in Australia – others may disagree, but they would most likely have it in the top four or five examples. Established in 1969, Moss Wood is located in Western Australia in the Margaret River. Current proprietors, Clare and Keith Mugford have been involved in the winemaking and viticulture of the estate since 1984 and 1979 respectively. Cabernet Sauvignon has been the main focus since the estate’s inception and, rather than adopt some European role model for their wine, they are intent on expressing what is individual to their vineyards in the Wilyabrup region, and they are keenly focused on pushing quality ever higher. The maritime climate is key to the quality of the Margaret River and has led to this region, just 120 kilometres by 27, being recognised for the quality of Cabernet-based wines.
The centrepiece for the estate is their old vine Cabernet Sauvignon, which has an illustrious rollcall of great vintages, and I am really pleased to be able to offer the hugely impressive 2019 here. 2019 was a cool vintage for the region, one to rank alongside successful cool vintages such as 1982, 1990, 1999 and 2017. I remember being lucky enough to taste the 1999, which made me reassess my views of Margaret River Cabernet in quick fashion. The Mugfords have high hopes for the 2019, as they harvested riper Cabernet in this vintage than in, say, 2017. The year brought its challenges but the quality in the glass stands out for its purity and precision. See my full note below.
2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, Moss Wood
£275 per 6 bottle case in bond

96% Cabernet Sauvignon with 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. 
Aged for 28 months in 225-litre French oak barriques of which 15% are new oak. 

Bright, deep purple in the glass, the nose is beautiful with lifted, violet nuances adding to the blue and black fruit characters. So pure, there is a fine blackcurrant leaf note as well as hints of graphite that signal a very classy Cabernet, all framed by discreet toast from the barrel. This impression of finesse is carried forward on the palate, where there is intensity, but no sense of weight. Crème de cassis, black fruit pastille and hints of spicy tannins show here with such fine clarity. This is all underscored by a mineral-infused acidity that carries the layers of fruit to a long, lingering finish. A certain minty character comes through to the finish with a more savoury nuance. This is so finely expressed, the tannins are as silky as can be, barely obtrusive in such a young wine. This will be fascinating to revisit in time, and time is all it needs for the oak to integrate further, but there is nothing short of startling harmony in this young Cabernet. A truly classical style and a great success. (SL) Drink 2030 to 2042+.

I have heard a lot of wines described as 'unmissable' these last few weeks, all of which I have taken with a pinch of salt. This wine however should be considered as such for anyone fascinated by the heights that Cabernet can reach in both the old and the new world, as there is a classicism and individuality about this style, that sits somewhere between the two.
Please let us know of your interest.
All the best,

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