By Fergal Gleeson*
Moss Wood Wilyabrup Margaret River Pinot Noir 2011, RRP $60
In social media speak (which is a euphemism for gibberish) Pinot Noir is trending. It’s one of the few French grape varieties in Australia where plantings are increasing (the others being Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris). Saying you love pinot nwahh is a way to acquire instant sophistication. It makes you nuanced and ethereal just like the grape. But it’s not all that long ago that the view was that Pinot Noir was too finicky a grape to grow in Australia and best left to the Burgundians. You will be surprised to hear then that Moss Wood have been making Pinot at Margaret River since 1977. Clare Mugford, joint owner and winemaker, was telling me that customers still remark “Oh I didn’t know you make Pinot?” which I have to admit was exactly what I was thinking. She added that we are missing out on one of the dark horses in the Moss Wood stable.
You see Margaret River built it’s fame on Cabernet Sauvignon. The region is not known for Pinot in the way that the Yarra Valley or Tasmania are but Moss Wood demonstrate even fickle Pinot can do just fine here. Keith Mugford, mentioned that they benchmark Burgundy for inspiration rather than Australian, Kiwi or American pinots albeit he is not trying to recreate Burgundy in Western Australia.
Moss Wood Pinot Noir 2011 is a polished and highly drinkable wine. It tastes of red fruits and has the lightest of dusty tannins. It’s not showing many signs of it’s 6 years of age and still has years ahead of it if you wish. It will hold it’s own in any company. 4/5.
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*Finalist- New Wine Writer of the Year 2016- WCA /Gourmet Traveller WINE