Initially there is a real impact of bright, fresh fruit aromas, dominated by the black fruits like blackberry and cherry, something we normally associate with Cabernet Franc, plus, of course, blueberry, red currant and the perfumed notes of violets. There are soft oak notes in the background that combine with some tobacco and tarry notes that Cabernet Sauvignon builds with long term barrel age.
This theme of lively fruit notes continues on the palate, where the generosity of the red and black fruit provides fleshy mouthfeel. This layer of red currant and blackberry flavours balances what is for Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon, quite a firm structure, with bright acidity and firm tannin. On the finish there is just a suggestion of toasty oak, tar and leather, giving the wine good length and persistence.
The idea of twins has come up again as we reflect on the style and quality of our new release 2015 vintage except this time they’re identical. We keep accurate records of vintage conditions and we have never had two seasons so alike as 2014 and 2015. The similarities between temperature, rainfall, season length and ripeness are remarkable. Down the track, it will be interesting to see who of the keen judges will be able to tell them apart in blind tastings. We even got some useful rain in February, something we don’t see too often, when 18mm fell in the first 2 weeks. The Cabernet varieties can benefit from that sort of top up, which allows them to finish the last 4 weeks of the season without excessive moisture stress.Most noteworthy is 2015 had near-perfect temperatures, with 1029 hours in the ideal range of 18 to 28⁰C. There was just enough extra warmth to really push Cabernet Sauvignon to ripe fruit notes, with the mercury spending 35 hours above 33⁰C and with a maximum for the season of 37.3⁰C on 3rd February, if you’re interested.
The Cabernet Sauvignon batches were pressed after 16 days on skins, the Cabernet Franc after 13 days and the Petit Verdot after 14 days. All pressings were blended in straight away. After malolactic fermentation all batches were racked to 228 litre French oak barrels, of which 14% were new. On 29th November, 2016, all batches were racked and blended and the completed wine was returned to barrel, where it stayed until 6th November, 2017, when the final blend was assembled for bottling. The makeup is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Fining trials were then carried out but none of the treatments improved the wine, so it was not fined. It was then sterile filtered and bottled on 14th November, 2017.
It will need 10 to 15 years cellaring to ensure the development of some bottle complexity but will reach full maturity between 20 and 25 years of age.
Deep, brick red, in bright.