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2014 Moss Wood Chardonnay Margaret River Chardonnay

Winemaker's Notes

Tasting notes: The wine has a medium to deep straw colour and is in bright condition.

The nose has the full complement of Moss Wood Chardonnay fruit aromas – limes, peaches, marmalade, roast almond and malt biscuit. The extended barrel age and malolactic fermentation has added in some toasty, spicy oak and interesting bread and caramel notes. Complex, indeed.

The same themes continue on the palate, with full body and high acidity combining with peach, nut and cheese flavours, providing generosity and length. The finish has some toasty oak, with some tannin evident.

Vintage notes: If we wanted to reproduce an ideal growing season for Chardonnay, we’d almost certainly use 2013/14 as the blueprint where just about everything worked in our favour. We had good rain during spring that fell at the right time, so there was no disruption to the flowering. Our management of the vineyard worked well and we avoided disease and bird damage and all of this combined to give us crop levels of slightly above average.

Most importantly, Mother Nature smiled on us, giving us literally day after day of good ripening conditions and the numbers tell the story. In the end, Chardonnay enjoyed a luxurious 1046 hours between 18 and 28⁰C, when all it needs is 700 to ripen the crop. In addition, it received 29 hours above 33⁰C, enough to ensure consistent ripe fruit characters but way below our designated excess extreme heat level of 80 hours. All up, we picked some of the best Chardonnay fruit ever at 12.7⁰ Baume on 20th February.

Production notes: After a positive start in the vineyard, we dared not make any mistakes and set about carefully shepherding our new baby through the winemaking process.

The fruit was whole bunch pressed and the juice was captured and settled in stainless steel tanks for 48 hours. The clear juice was racked off, with a light inclusion of solids and fermentation commenced in stainless steel, using pure yeast cultures. Once successfully under way the fermenting juice was then racked to barrel. All casks were 228 litre French oak and 43% of them were new.

Moss Wood has 5 individual Chardonnay vineyards, all of which ripen at slightly different times and so this wine typically starts its life as at least 3 individual batches. When they all finish fermentation, they are blended together and returned to barrel as a finished wine and this was carried out on 17th March 2015. Next, it underwent a full malolactic fermentation, whereupon it was racked once more, adjusted with tartaric acid and sulphur dioxide and returned to barrel.

It stayed in oak until 8th September 2015, giving the blended wine a total 20 months. Fining was with bentonite for protein stability and then it was sterile filtered and bottled on 30th September, 2015.

Cellaring notes: As usual for Moss Wood Chardonnay, it is a very drinkable youngster and can be enjoyed now. However, it is definitely a wine for the cellaring enthusiast and will begin to show some bottle development by 10 years of age. For those who like their Chardonnays to mature to the point where the secondary characters are dominant, they should wait until the wine is at least 20 years old.

expert reviews about

2014 Moss Wood Chardonnay Margaret River Chardonnay

Expert Reviews

James Halliday (2014 Vintage) says
Hand-picked, whole bunch-pressed to tank for initiation of fermentation with cultured yeast, transferred to French barriques (43% new), a full mlf followed, with adjustment of tartaric acid and SO2, 20 months maturation. While diminishing acidity (by mlf) and then adjusting it is an uncommon approach. It's hard to find fault in the wine; it has an incisive edge to the mouthfeel, the fruit flavours precisely placed on the tipping point between citrus and stone fruit, benefiting from both, but not at the expense of the other.
Drink by 2025
95
Huon Hooke (2014 Vintage) says
Mid-yellow colour, bright. The bouquet is full of honey and lemon essence: it's quite Burgundy-like in this. The palate is intense and full, lively and bright, and not as rounded as expected, but it has line and length. The honey is almost too much: it’s quite exaggerated. There's a lot of lemon as well, on the nose and palate. This should take some age well.
2017 - 2024
92
Ray Jordan (2015 Vintage) says
“Chardy party”. Lots happening in one of the best Chardonnays from Moss Wood. There’s a light creamy nougat aroma with a touch of brioche and lightly roasted cashew. The palate has a fine minerality with an expert combination of oak and fruit. Well weighted and very long in the mouth. Love the precision here.
Drink by 2027
97
Bob Campbell MW (2015 Vintage) says
Intense Chardonnay with citrus, grapefruit, gun flint, toast and nutty oak flavours undershot with vibrant acidity. The wine is a little closed right now and will clearly benefit from bottle development although it can certainly be appreciated. A classy Chardonnay.
95
Rob Geddes MW (2011 Vintage) says
Honey and fig aromas in the friendly Moss Wood style of accessible fruit power with subtle creamy fine oak. The full bodied texture is creamy with lees and fruit concentration creating the silky mouth feel of great wine. Intensity of structure, depth and a clean slightly drying finish in youth. Good with food now, it will be great in a few years. Not the nervy acid style of the latest trend, this is a full bodied mouth filling creamy satisfying wine that will unfold nougat and honey with age.
2018
Rob Geddes MW
93
James Halliday (2011 Vintage) says
Mid gold; grapefruit, cashew and struck flint are evident on the bouquet; the palate is restrained with a fleshy mid-palate and a lingering tail of mealy texture to finish; a fine and understated wine in keeping with the estate.
To 2018
Australian Wine Companion 2014 Edition
94
Jeremy Oliver (2011 Vintage) says
Round and generous, but rather unpolished and awkward, with an emphasis on the development of wild, funky complexity at the expense of freshness and finesse. Its pungent, creamy and slightly meaty bouquet of stonefruit, melon and grapefruit precedes a brassy and heavyhanded palate whose creamy peach/melon flavour is partially submerged by bacony, mineral and butterscotchlike complexity, fnishing with raw, edgy aspects.
2016-2019
The Australian Wine Annual 2014 Edition
89
James Halliday (2010 Vintage) says
Full yellow-green; the rich and complex bouquet presages an intense, complex palate with strong barrel ferment inputs to the white peach, melon, fig and cashew flavours; a tight strand of acidity stops any possibility of the palate wandering off on a frolic of its own.
2018
Wine Companion Aug/Sept
95
Jeremy Oliver (2010 Vintage) says
Very evolved, waxy and oxidative, with a spicy, lanolin-like bouquet of brown apple, apricot and white peach, vanilla oak and dried flowers backed by suggestions of clove and cinnamon. It's round and generous, with a deep, powerful presence of apple, melon and citrusy fruit backed by creamy, slightly meaty and leesy notes, finishing long and savoury.
2015-2018
The Australian Wine Annual 2013
91
Ray Jordan (2010 Vintage) says
This is pretty wild and out there. You get that from the first sniff. Aromas of butterscotch and brioche with a layer or two of stone fruit and meal. Tuck into the palate and you get multiple layers of flavour complexity held a minerally acid that carries it to a long finish. There is a creamy richness and deep lingering power. Score: 95/100
5 years
WA Wine Guide 2013
95
Rob Geddes MW (2010 Vintage) says
Shows a deeper gold and more richness as a young wine. Rich style with butterscotch and some funky yeast aromas. Generally the wine has mandarin acidity, a lovely silky texture with citrus flavours and butterscotch, and a slightly phenolic finish that says ?keep me for a while?. 2011 shows a ripe layered complex nose subtle pear, plenty of lees, figs and honey. The palate immediately generous and honeyed seems quite mature, appealing roundness with a yeast lees finish from battonage. Big and bold in character.
2013
Rob Geddes MW
89
James Halliday (2008 Vintage) says
Brilliant green-straw; a tighdy wound, highly focused chardonnay with the fruit depth that is the mark of Margaret River, and that has easily absorbed the oak.Will have a long life (for chardonnay).
Australian Wine Companion 2011 2010
95
Regan Drew (2008 Vintage) says
Unashamedly Burgundian. Struck match and Gunsmoke nose. Plenty of buttery lemon, balanced acidity and big oak. Old school, but done well!
92
Tyson Stelzer (2008 Vintage) says
Approach with caution. This is a powerful, concentrated Moss Wood Chardonnay with layers of grapefruit, white nectarine and fig fruit. It holds its 14.5% alcohol effortlessly, thanks to the calming influence of its fresh acidity and structured minerality. Ultra-classy vanilla pod oak rises the occasion, propelling the fruit onward and upward.
95
Rob Geddes MW (2008 Vintage) says
Rich style with butterscotch and some funky aromas. The wine has mandarin, a lovely silky texture with citrus flavours and butterscotch, and a slightly phenolic finish that says ‘keep me for a while’.
Australian Wine Vintages 2010
90
James Halliday (2007 Vintage) says
Strong colour; typically rich and powerful palate, with ripe stone fruit and melon augmented by toasty cashew notes; insistent finish.
Australian Wine Companion 2009 2008
94
Jeremy Oliver (2007 Vintage) says
Scented with penetrative aromas of lemon rind, grapefruit, grilled nuts and sweet vanilla/cinnamon oak, this stylish and focused chardonnay reveals suggestions of yellow flowers, wheatmeal and white peach. Its long, taut and linear palate underpins its voluptuous, stonefruit and citrus flavours with spicy vanilla oak and a fine minerality, finishing with exemplary austerity, tightness and precision.
Australian Wine Annual 2010 2009
95
Rob Geddes MW (2007 Vintage) says
The 2007 is rich with butterscotch and some funky aromas. The wine has mandarine citrus, lovely silky texture with fruit flavours and butterscotch, and a slightly phenolic finish that says 'keep me for awhile'.
Australian Wine Vintages 2010 2009
92
Ray Jordan (2007 Vintage) says
A Chardonnay of wonderful delicacy and poise. The subtle nutty cashewy minerally fruit strikes a great balance with the fine grained slightly vanilla bean oak. Very fine but with excellent length and controlled persistence.
Ray Jordan's 2009 WA Wine Guide 2009
92
James Halliday (2006 Vintage) says
Finely sculptured; restrained oak is perfectly balanced and integrated with the nectarine, grapefruit and melon fruit; long finish.
Australian Wine Companion 2009 2008
94
Ken Gargett (2006 Vintage) says
Two great things from the west: Margaret River chardonnay and the silken tonsils of Dennis Cometti. Co-commentator, as a player lines up for goal: 'This is the bloke you want if someone was kicking for your life.' Dennis: 'I'd rather have my mum.' Awkward silence. 'At least she'd care.' The timing was pure gold—as is this wonderful chardonnay. They don't make much and it's not cheap. But oooh, it's seductive.
Don't Buy Wine Without Me 2008 2007
93
Jeremy Oliver (2006 Vintage) says
Stylish and citrussy, this sumptuous between peach, melon, nectarine and grapefruit flavour and dusty, toasty, clove-like vanilla oak has a floral lemony perfume with undertones of butter. Long, smooth and seamless, it's richly fruited but artfully elegant and refined. Underpinned by a powdery chalkiness, it finishes fresh and savoury, with suggestions of grilled nuts and pecan pie.
Australian Wine Annual 2008 2007
95
Rob Geddes MW (2006 Vintage) says
Rich style with butterscotch and some funky aromas. The wine has mandarin, a lovely silky texture with citrus flavours and butterscotch, and a slightly phenolic finish that says ‘keep me for a while’.
Australian Wine Vintages 2010
92
Jeremy Oliver (2005 Vintage) says
Rather flat, dull and oxidative, with buttery aromas of peach, grapefruit and lemon backed by nuances of nougat, sweet vanilla oak and wet hessian. It's initially forward and citrusy, but becomes leaner and thinner down the palate, finishing with quite assertive oak influences and tight, lemony and mineral acids. Lacks length and depth of fruit.
Australian Wine Annual 2007 2006
87
Rob Geddes MW (2005 Vintage) says
Rich style with butterscotch and some funky aromas. The wine has mandarin, a lovely silky texture with citrus flavours and butterscotch, and a slightly phenolic finish that says ‘keep me for a while’.
Australian Wine Vintages 2010
90
James Halliday (2004 Vintage) says
Very complex, strong, funky barrel ferment aromas; ultra rich and complex mouthfeel; manages alcohol well.
Australian Wine Companion 2007 2006
94
Jeremy Oliver (2004 Vintage) says
A tightly focused, measured and superbly balanced benchmark-level chardonnay of texture and vinosity. Its delicate and rather closed perfume of jasmine, peach and grapefruit is backed by slightly mealy undertones of minerals and wet stones. It flaunts its extended lees contact and new oak, but delivers a seamless integration between these elements and its lemony stonefruit flavours. Its babyfat-like mid palate finishes long and mineral, with lingering funky edges.
Australian Wine Annual 2006 2005
96
James Halliday (2003 Vintage) says
Ultra-complex bouquet, quite Burgundian; a powerful and complex palate which does, however, shorten fractionally.
Australian Wine Companion 2006 2005
93
Jeremy Oliver (2003 Vintage) says
Very stylish chardonnay whose pungent aromas of sweet spicy tropical fruit, quince and lemon essence, cloves and cinnamon, are supported by finegrained oak. It presents a long, concentrated and assertive palate whose fleshy, sappy texture is likely to build handsomely in weight and structure.
Australian Wine Annual 2005 2004
95
James Halliday (2002 Vintage) says
Mouthfilling, round, nectarine and peach; viscosity from alcohol.
Australian Wine Companion 2005 2004
89
Ray Jordan (2002 Vintage) says
Palate length and persistence are the highlights of this wine. Love the smoky creamy leesy characters on the nose, which carries through to the palate. Mineral and deep fruit characters with a beautiful rich texture and soft oak and fine tannins. The slightly charry character adds another dimension. Perhaps it's the screw-cap, maybe the vintage, or simply the style but this wine is so fresh and lean at the moment you will really need to leave it a year or two before drinking. Then you can cellar it for 10 years or more
Ray Jordan's 2004 WA Wine Guide 2004
92
James Halliday (2001 Vintage) says
Medium yellow-green; the smooth, complex bouquet has nutty/oaky overtones to the underlying nectarine fruit; the generous, full-flavoured palate is at the big end of town, with peach and nectarine fruit together with lashings of oak.
Australian Wine Companion 2004 2003
90
James Halliday (1998 Vintage) says
Medium yellow-green; a typically powerful bouquet with concentrated fruit and smoky oak is followed by a power-packed palate in which the fruit and oak have been seamlessly welded together, neither predominating.
Australian Wine Companion 2000 1999
91

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