Whitey picks three extreme blondes in the wild south-west.
Moss Wood Ribbon Vale Vineyard Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013
$34; 14% alcohol; screw cap; 90 points
Now we’re talkin’. This wine bears no resemblance at all to Hunter Valley Semillon or Niewzillun Savvy-b. The dark methoxypyrazine/tomato-leaf acridity of the Sauvignon is so mellow here that it seems simply to add the gentlest acrid hint to the buttery loquat of the Semillon. The wine has a viscous but grainy quince/pear texture. It also brings Sapodilla and Cherimoya fruits to mind. The tannins are like the furry skins of those fruits. Firm but unobtrusive acid helps draw the whole hit out into a lengthy, drily delicious business. The overall feeling reflects the warmer conditions of 2013: all those alcohols stack up to a number that would normally deter me with a blend like this. But the wine’s such a cosy puppyfat squish I’ll forgive it. It sometimes seems more like a new white variety rather than a blend of two that are so familiar. It sure is a blonde, whichever eyeline you take. Lamb korma with spinach would set it curling a rather provocative, sensual dance: the yoghurt would complement that Breathless Mahoney alcohol. (Breathless, for those who came in late, was the steaming blonde in Dick Tracy, famous for interchanges like this: Mahoney: “I’m wearing black underwear.” Tracy: “You know, it’s legal for me to take you down to the station and sweat it out of you under the lights.” Mahoney: “I sweat a lot better in the dark.”)
Moss Wood Vineyard Margaret River Semillon 2013
$38; 13.5% alcohol; screw cap; 94+++ points
Who needs Sauvignon blanc when you can get Semillons like this? More Martina Navratilova on the beach than Breathless Mahoney in the copshop (just check those forearms), this marvellous thing has more of your actual sport than bordello. Its breath is slightly salty, like dimethyl sulphide, the smell of healthy ocean, with sandy dunal grasses and greens rather than lovers’ leap cliffs. It’s still very husky in the voice department, and if you must have fruits it has similar whiffs of Sapodilla and Cherimoya. The flavour’s much more stringently muscle and sinew – with none of the chub of the Ribbon Vale blend – and its hemp and sand tannins take me straight to Maggie R’s Boranup break. It does have some clean, lithe, slightly buttery flesh under all that angular muscle, but compared to the blend, it’s a very different set of seductions. It’s an extremely fit wine. I could think of nothing more appropriate than applying it to crays and some oily scallops on that Boranup beach. Stunning. Forget the bloody Hunter and all those simple Semis the wine show mob lazily bedeck with bling. This is the best Semillon in years.
Moss Wood Vineyard Margaret River Chardonnay 2012
$70; 13.5% alcohol; screw cap; 95+ points
Oh Jeez. Spice first. A tiny pinch of fresh mace, the skin of the nutmeg. And some actual nutmeg. Old white pepper tin. Fruit? Lightly poached Passe-crassane pear and the peel of the canteloupe. Flesh? Sloppy aged goat cheese. Wood? Like freshly sliced Buderim ginger root. There are many very famous Chardonnay-growers in Burgundy who would like to lick their sticker around this bottle. And I haven’t even tipped any of into me yet. So let’s try that. Ewww. Almost sickly in its fatty acid content. Human mother’s milk, without the salt. I’d love to see its isovaleric acid count. It’s seriously sensual swoon city. All the above, distilled into a heavenly smooth unction with green melon. Perfectly drawing acidity that sucks the blood to the surface of the inside of your lips. It feels like you’ve been kissing all night. It is its own food. Cheap for its sublime quality. Have it near a bed.
Local News Matters
Media diversity is under threat in Australia – nowhere more so than in South Australia. The state needs more than one voice to guide it forward and you can help with a donation of any size to InDaily. Your contribution goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. Please click below to contribute to InDaily.