Vintage Report 2011

2011 Winemakers Tasting Notes and Vintage Report

Excerpts of the winemaking team’s tasting notes

2012 VIOLINIST Verdelho 
This wine is fantastic. It was exciting to taste it through all the winemaking stages, because it always kept the fresh vibrant fruit that was there the night we picked the grapes. I see tropical fruit bowl, citrus, pear and a creamy texture. For me, it’s the creamy texture that makes this wine so enjoyable, just like fruit salad and ice cream. At 71% Fruit Weight, it is really standing out as one of the best Violinists of all time. Andrew

2011 THE SCOOTER Merlot
Good aromatic lift, great balance, fresh plum, spice, chocolate cream. Seamless structure. Sparky 
Wonderful aromas of plum and spice, the most aromatic and varietal Merlot that I’ve known us make. Just gorgeous. Can I order 5 dozen? Leigh
Flowery. Resonates in your throat. Rosina (Rosina isn’t on the winemaking team, but she is on the wine drinking team, and I just couldn’t resist letting you know her comment) Janet
We only made a tiny amount. Currently only available in the 2011 Winemaker’s Dozen.

2011 THE MAITRE D’ Cabernet Sauvignon
I love this Cabernet for its sweet varietal fruit and the generous, creamy mouth feel. It is seamlessly balanced with smooth tannins, integrated spicy notes and intense fruit characters of fresh raspberries, black current, nutmeg and cloves, followed up with the power of licorice, black cherry and vanilla. It is so good! Matt

2011 TWO LEFT FEET Shiraz/Cabernet/Merlot 
The Two Left Feet is looking amazing with real complexity of aromas on the nose. It really displays our fruit flavour spectrum showing beautiful dark berry and plum fruit with lots of spice. The palate is round and filling and has concentrated sweet fruits with layers of chocolate and cream. It is such a wonderful example of how Shiraz, Cabernet and Merlot can be blended together to fully complement each other. Two Left Feet has always been a stand out for me and this vintage is exceptional. Candice

2011 THE BOXER Shiraz
Wow, this wine is definitely punching above its weight, and no wonder - the Fruit Weight is 73%, so it is almost at Party wine level! The power of the fruit is so enjoyable. It has a massive array of flavours, and awesome intensity but the thing that really finishes the wine off is the creamy layers and smooth mouth feel. It’s so voluptuous. Peter and Andrew

Sweet, multi layered fruit, chocolate, fresh plum – a complete flavour spectrum. Excited to hold it in my mouth. Sparky

2011 GIGGLEPOT Cabernet
Our 2011 Gigglepot is a gorgeous wine which is distinctly Cabernet, from the intensity of dark fruits to the direct tannins and fresh acidity. Completely balanced in every way, it has layers and layers of sweet fruit rolling over dark chocolate and a rich creamy palate. It ends with anise spice and lingering coffee flavours. Stunning! Candice 

2011 BLUE-EYED BOY Shiraz
Gorgeous! Oh my golly, it is so smooth and rich and satiny. Extra delicious this year. 
Just incredible. Janet

Liquid black forest cake! Layers after layer of flavour. black cherry, chocolate, velvety 
creamy mouth feel. Andrew

Wow! A flavour explosion in the mouth. Cream, spice, multi-layered, really rich.
Fresh, aromatic fruit. Sparky

2011 ENCHANTED PATH Shiraz Cabernet
The Enchanted Path is a blend of 71% Shiraz and 29% Cabernet. Tasting this wine is an exciting journey. Begin with the wine at 16C (or 60F), crack the top, pour a little out into a spare glass, do the Mollydooker Shake on the rest and start the experience: the classic Cabernet flavours will dominate, filling your mouth with currant, blackberry, cinnamon and cigar box flavours. As the wine warms to a temperature of 18C (or 64F) the Cabernet blends with the Shiraz in perfect harmony and you see raspberry, spicy plum and aniseed. If you have any left and it warms above 20C (or 68F), the powerful Shiraz characters of raspberry, plum, coffee and chocolate start to dominate. Three wines in one! I love it. Peter

2011 CARNIVAL OF LOVE Shiraz
This is the wine I tell all my friends about. To see the look on their faces after their first sip is priceless. The 2011 COL so clearly shows the essence of Mollydooker. It has elegance; a complete, intense, seamless flavour spectrum; a sumptuous mouthfeel and perfect balance. At 92% Fruit Weight it is a wine to go WOW about, an absolute beauty. Peter 

2011 VELVET GLOVE Shiraz
This wine has a phenomenal 96% Fruit Weight and is simply AWESOME. It is immensely complex, from the aromatic fresh flowers and berry fruit to the spices, tobacco, plum, coffee, and several kinds of chocolate – just put it in your mouth and entertain yourself for hours with the array of flavours. The perfect balance of structure and Fruit Weight gives this wine an explosion of flavour, a rich, opulent, silky mouth feel and a length that seems to never end. It is a classic Velvet Glove. Andrew

VITICULTURE 2011 VINTAGE REPORT 

Vintage 2011…. “La Nina”
Australia is blessed with seemingly random weather fluctuation, brought about by the relative temperatures of the Pacific and Indian oceans, to our North. On most occasions it is the dry hot “El Nino” that we notice and remember, but in early 2011 the girl child “La Nina” brought Adelaide its record highest rainfall. In each of the first three months of the year, Adelaide and surrounds experienced rainfall heavy enough to cause significant flooding, and there was catastrophic flooding in parts of northern NSW and southern Queensland.

The consequence of such conditions is always disease, starting with Powdery Mildew (which is what your Zucchini get) and progressing to Botrytis or Bunch rot (which is what your Strawberries get). Fortunately the combination of expert vineyard contractors and our own canopy management system meant that we escaped relatively unscathed. Because vintage was a little later than usual we had some underemployed cellar hands who cut off any diseased bunches in the only two (lowest) spots affected. So our harvested crop was very clean.

Things were not so good in other areas….Padthaway (which is our coolest region) looked to be progressing to a total wipe-out so we released the grower to sell his crop elsewhere, which he did. Langhorne Creek vineyards fared even worse with 100% losses on one vineyard and the other grower managing to salvage only half the crop for bulk wine sales.

Even so we managed to pick a total crop of 813.9 tonnes with the last harvest on 21st April, just before the Easter weekend and the Australian National Go Kart titles in Perth. We were able to hand over to the winemakers nice clean and fully ripe fruit, which has resulted in beautiful wines in 2011. Leigh, Pete, Russ and Marcella.

WINEMAKING 2011 VINTAGE REPORT 

The Mollydooker 2011 vintage wines are wholly of McLaren Vale Fruit, with our vineyards in Langhorne Creek and Padthaway not being able to escape the effects of the wet growing season, and not being harvested for Mollydooker at all. McLaren Vale on the other hand being protected by the moderating effects of the Southern Ocean was, as usual, the perfect place to grow grapes. The only effects we felt were a delay to the start of harvest, so with a full team geared up eagerly anticipating the first ferment, we just had to wait: preparing, cleaning, scrubbing, and training.

When the grapes came into our winery and we started the ferments, we quickly saw deep colours, intense flavours and the beginning of some beautiful wines. After pressing the wines and barrel fermenting every batch, the oak integration and development of the small parcels really moved along.

With 50 parcels of fruit being meticulously inspected from the vineyards to delivery to the winery, tasting each batch of wine is our main tool to monitor the progression and ensure the quality is up to our standard. When fermenting, the wines are inspected 4 times per day and tasted 2 times per day. After fermentation, full tastings of every parcel are done weekly, assessing Fruit Weight and deciding on what action to take to gain that extra 1% of quality. Fruit Weight assessment on these wines was exciting, we knew early that the wines we would work on for the next year would be special. 

The final stage of the winemaking program is the blending program. This is an intensive 3 month (December, January and February) tasting, blending, checking; tasting, blending, checking program controlled by Sarah and Sparky in what is affectionately know as the “Cone of Silence” where Sarah and Sparky are never interrupted so they can focus on creating wines that have our signature “WOW” taste. The 2011 Mollydookers were bottled in March 2012 and we have tasted them each 2 weeks since. We know when you get them on 1 October 2012 that you will be able to see the love that has gone into each of these wines. Andrew, Peter, Matt and Candice.