Moss Wood is probably the most consistent producer of benchmark Australian cabernet sauvignon. It is aided by both climate and producer intent. The Margaret River climate is similar to warm to hot vintage Bordeaux, and its style sees generally higher contributions from later ripening cabernet sauvignon. The Moss Wood blend in 2009 is 88% cabernet sauvignon, 8% petit verdot and 4% cabernet franc. Petit verdot is later ripening than cabernet sauvignon and was picked on 6 April 2009 cf 23 March 2009 for the cabernet sauvignon, and the size of its contribution is usually a reliable indicator of a warm vintage. The cabernet franc will have been added for fragrance. Unlike most Bordeaux, there is no merlot in this blend. 2009 Margaret River vintage conditions were very favourable based on reports from Margaret River Wine and the vintage is given a generous 10/10 rating by others. Moss Wood itself provides detailed commentary here.
In the glass at 12 years of age, this is a very even, clean and well proportioned Moss Wood. Its aroma reminds of blackcurrants and sweet black fruits. Its new oak contribution (which tastes substantial) is still integrating, offering a cedary backdrop. The palate is medium bodied, its high 14.5 alcohol passes unnoticed and the fruit is ripe and flawless. The wine finishes with long length (20 to 30 seconds). This is primarily a wine to be enjoyed for its refined expression of exactly ripe cabernet fruit aged in first rate French oak, rather than perhaps offering other complexities. Its refinement and balance are self-evident. The absence of obvious tertiary development after more than a decade suggests that this wine will benefit from a further 5 to 6 years of cellaring. It then should have a peak drinking window of a decade or longer. Rating: Outstanding. Website: Producer; Vivino: Wine Searcher. Reviewed: October 2021.