Chief winemaker & Co-proprietor, Keith Mugford has been making wine & tending the vineyard at Moss Wood since 1979. In 1984 he was joined by his wife Clare Mugford. They consistently seek and apply proven knowledge & technology, enhancing grape & wine quality & constantly strive to purvey flawless wines from their exceptional sites. The couples exacting viticulture ensures the production of grapes of excellent quality & together they have created a stable of fine wines distinguished by their consistency over each vintages & their ability to age superbly. Their admirable viticultural holdings now include Ribbon Vale Vineyard. Purchased & completely re-trelised in 2000; this Wilyabrup, dry grown vineyard, is only 1200 metres from their original estate & now produces fine Cabernet, Merlot, an exceptional Sauvignon Blanc Semillon.
The Moss Wood and Mugford names are synonymous with uncompromising quality; their relentless & constant goal is to produce the very best possible fruit & faultless great wine.
Colour and condition: Medium to deep straw hue, with green tints and in bright condition.
Nose: Very generous Chardonnay stone fruit-like aromas of peaches and nectarines, combined with the typical Moss Wood complexities of orange marmalade, honey, caramel and roast almonds. The near 50% new barrels have given a lightly toasty background.
Palate: Here the wine replays the combinations of the nose, with stone fruits, oranges and caramels combining to give a rich but lively feel. This length and depth of flavour is underpinned by crisp acidity and a well-hidden but firm tannin, ensuring the right sort of structure for good cellaring.
Production Notes: Everything came together on 21st March when this sound fruit was hand picked and delivered to the winery, where it was sorted then wholebunch pressed. After settling in stainless steel, the clear juice was racked and seeded for fermentation. These days we use multiple yeasts, acknowledging the complexity they bring to the wine, without the inherent quality risks of off odours and stuck fermentations associated with using wild yeasts.
As a brief explanation as to the impact on the Moss Wood Chardonnay style, the yeasts essentially bring two components to a wine. On the nose, the nearsubliminal complex aromas, usually described as earthy, akin to mushroom and truffle, occasionally presenting as more obvious sulphide-derived compounds. We prefer former, of course. On the palate, they enhance a wine’s mouthfeel by producing more glycerol, although this effect can really only be noticed when the alcohol is below 12%.
Once primary fermentation was underway, the juice was racked to 228 litre French oak barrels, of which 48% were new and this was followed by a full malolactic fermentation. At this point, all the barrels were combined and the blended wine was returned to oak, where it stayed for a total of 16 months.
At the end of July 2018, the wine was racked and blended in stainless steel in preparation for bottling. Fining trials were carried out and after tasting it was decided to fine only with bentonite for protein stability. The wine was then sterile filtered and bottled on 10th August, 2018.