|Moss Wood Cabernet 2008
Has the love gone?
Falling out of love with.. Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Moss Wood Cabernet 2008 (Margaret River, WA)
14.5%, Screwcap, $120
Source: Had a glass from someone else’s bottle
Maybe it’s just me. Perhaps I’ve become another one of those fashion chasing, natural wine drinking sycophantic fanboys, happy to drink my BD Champagnes and obscure Sicilian reds whilst giving the old favourites (like Moss Wood Cabernet) the middle finger. Not biodynamic/imported/cloudy? No good…
But I’m not though. Or at least I don’t think I am. My cellar is still full of Margaret River Cabernet, topped up only recently with a few bottles of 07 Cape Mentelle Cabernet and 07 Vasse Felix Heytesbury. So I think I’m in the frame.
Yet I didn’t love this 2008 Moss Wood Cabernet. Nor was I particularly convinced by the 07 for that measure. Or the 06. In fact, all of these last three vintages of Moss Wood have been – to my tastes at least – slightly disappointing.
Who cares right? It’s probably just me who has changed, It’s simply not ‘my wine’ anymore surely???
But it’s not as simple as that, especially given my Moss Wood context, a wine that three years ago I thought was the shit. Once upon a time – 3 years ago even – it was the wine I would drool over. Get excited about. But not anymore. Now, I just no longer love the wines like I should (given the vintages, vineyard, my history with the winery, the lot). In other words, the love affair is over.
Why exactly I no longer feel the love is quite apparent too – the wine style has, in my opinion, failed to adapt, change, evolve and improve. Moss Wood Cabernet has stood still stylistically whilst the world has changed. It’s still going to appeal to those who have always loved it – the dyed-in-the-wool followers – yet for those outside the Moss Wood fan club the wine is just not going to win you over like it once did.
This wine? Or more correctly, the Moss Wood Cabernet style that I no longer appreciate it? Well it’s a big and ripe and heavy wine, kicking off with a nose that shows oak and rich gum leaf edged blackberry fruit washing through, everything edged with volatility and latent alcohol warmth. It’s a nose of bulk actually, of winemaking, of power too but no grace.
Unsurprisingly the palate too is rich and concentrated, the fruit sweetened with oak, that sweet vanilla oak then filling every cranny that the four square fruit cannot, before finishing with a bang of alcohol warmth.
It is, in my opinion, an overwrought wine, a wine of maker not terroir, a wine that impresses with so much of it’s potential and power yet shows no life to be seen. In a bigger lineup this may well still impress, and all that oak and fruit are certainly high quality, yet in the scheme of things it’s a hardish, warmish wine that you just can’t love.
My score is still reasonable because I know the DNA in there is bloody great and it may well prove me wrong. But gee the artifice around it doesn’t quite match up… 17.4/90++
Anyone else feel the same?