Ranked #2 of 79 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon from Wilyabrup
Deepish red colour with a good tint of purple, and a bouquet of sweet berries, violets, mulberries and cassis. A fragrant, almost floral cabernet, the elegance of the nose reflected on the palate, which is medium to full-bodied and juicy, delicious and finely-textured. A lovely wine, already drinking well, and a lighter vintage for this maker - but gorgeous. (Unfined, but sterile filtered)
Drink: 2021 to 2041
99 Points James Halliday
WINNER: Halliday 2021 Wine Companion Awards Best Cabernet Sauvignon!
Includes 5% petit verdot and 4% cabernet franc, hand-picked, destemmed, open-fermented, 14 days on skins, matured in French barriques (18% new). A luscious, plush cabernet, its voluptuous palate trimmed by dry herbs and foresty notes. A great vintage maximised by the thoughtful vinification. Drink to 2051.
Source: James Halliday.
All the fruit was hand-picked and delivered to the winery where it was de-stemmed and placed into small, open fermenters, where each batch was seeded with multiple yeast strains. Fermentation was maintained at a maximum of 30°C and extraction of colour and tannin was by hand plunging, 3 times per day. It is a testament to the ripeness of the fruit that skin contact times were relatively short, with Cabernet Sauvignon on skins for 2 weeks, Cabernet Franc for 9 days and Petit Verdot for 12 days.
After pressing each batch underwent malolactic fermentation in stainless steel and was then racked to barrel through April 2016. All the barrels were 228 litre French oak barriques and 18% were new. On 22nd January 2018 the final blend was made up and returned to barrel, where it stayed until late October 2018, when it was racked to stainless steel in readiness for bottling.
The final blend is 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc.
We pride ourselves on ensuring Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon is ripened as well as the vintage allowed but each year, just to be on the safe side, we carry out fining trials to assess tannin balance and see if it can be improved. Once again with the 2016, we found none of the agents benefited the wine, so it remained unfined. It was then sterile filtered and bottled on 6th November 2018.
Deep brick red, in bright condition.
Showing all the classic Moss Wood aromatic features with Cabernet Sauvignon’s blueberries and mulberries, Cabernet Franc notes of blackberries and violets and Petit Verdot giving sweet musk lollies and dark jubes. Since the wine had such long barrel age, these fruit notes are underpinned by tar, leather and cedar notes as well as a touch of charry oak. These all combine to give the ‘16 a notable intensity, making it one of the more complex Cabernet Sauvignons we’ve made for some time, sharing many similarities with the mighty 2005.
Each of the varieties work their magic on the palate, combining to give generous blueberry, blackberry and red currant flavours. As we mentioned above, the season delivered near-perfect conditions for fruit ripeness and this is evident in the tannins which are classic Moss Wood. The requisite balance, smooth and supple velvet texture are present but the tiny yields have given greater concentration, meaning there is a density only seen in the very best years. Everything is rounded out by a subtle oak note, just a little reminder of its 2 years in French oak barriques.
The youthful intensity of the wine is such that it can be consumed as a youngster. The aroma intensity and palate concentration really lend themselves to enjoyable early drinking. Nevertheless, it will reward those with patience. We noted the similarity with the 2005 and that vintage is just beginning to show some maturity at 14 years of age. We are very confident the 2016 will develop in a similar way, reaching full maturity at around 25 years of age.