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Categorized | Australia, General

MollyDooker Update


182 MollyDooker Update


I promised to let you know the results of the preliminary grading tasting of the 2011s.

First of all, a quick reminder that we have something special for you for the holiday season. Ground shipping is included with these specials, if you are interested, be sure to get your order in by today, Monday December 12 for Christmas delivery. You can order by clicking here.

And a quick note to let you know that this year, after the Velvet Glove container accident in July, we packed each remaining Velvet Glove securely snugged in foam in its own gorgeous presentation box, and then packed that box inside its own shipper. The Velvet Glove has just been chosen as a Hot Wine and had a fantastic review from the Wine Spectator, so to celebrate, during December, we will ship it to you for $185 including 2-day shipping. It makes a fantastic gift – we can send it for you with a gift message (to allowed States). You can find it on the Order Our Wines page. Order by Monday December 19 for Christmas.

Now for the Preliminary Grading Report, 2011 vintage wines.

The bad news is that 2011 was a difficult year, cold and wet, with a lot of botrytis. We lost all the fruit from the Padthaway and Langhorne Creek vineyards, so our production is down by one third. The good news is that the McLaren Vale fruit was superb and we have made some great wines.

It is amazing to see the difference between wines which have undergone the complete Watering Programme cycle, and those which haven’t. Darren and Belinda Joppich picked their Langhorne Creek fruit as soon as the botrytis struck. They knew that it wouldn’t qualify for Mollydooker, but wanted us to make wine for them to sell. The wines are grading at 20% fruit weight, compared with the 80% they usually reach. They were flavorsome and pretty, but didn’t have the richness and intensity and deliciousness that we look for. But, they are obviously commercially acceptable because most of the batches have already been sold!

The remaining wines are showing great promise. We have started blending the Scooter, MaĆ®tre D’, and The Boxer, we’ll be able to make a small amount of Gigglepot, most of our own Shiraz vineyards are qualifying at Blue Eyed Boy level, we’ve got Carnival, and we are likely to have more Velvet Glove than we have ever had, including one parcel which is absolutely gorgeous. Now all we have to do is pray that there are no accidents!

We don’t know the final results yet. Sarah and Sparky taste wines every day at this time of year, working quietly at home, trialing various small blends, to see which parcels work well together. Those of you who have come to our Blend a Hand Dinners will remember the huge range of possible combinations. The blending trials last for 4 months (interrupted by a ski-ing trip to Beaver Creek). This is work that Sarah and Sparky do alone, and Sarah is the ultimate gatekeeper. Last year we had a parcel of wine which was 94.5% fruit weight, and Sarah rejected it for Velvet Glove, (even though all the other Velvet Glove parcels were well above 95%, and when blended the wine would have been above 95%) because it didn’t have the creamy character that she looks for. So we never know exactly what we will be producing until Sarah gives the final OK.

I’ll keep you updated as the blending progresses. And…sitting in my office, looking out at the beautiful view, I can see 2012 taking shape. Spring has been perfect, the olive trees have been pruned, and the vines have not been watered for several weeks, and have got very close to the point where all the growing tips have burnt off, and we will start watering them again. We’ve had a very good fruit set, and have gone through the vineyards and taken off any excess fruit, so that we can be sure of intensely flavoured, high quality grapes.

I’ll drop you a line in a few days and let you know the Wine Spectator scores and comments.


134 MollyDooker Update

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