Tasting Notes & Vintage Report

Winemaker's Tasting Notes

Velvet Glove
When I first tasted the Velvet Glove, I was lost for words. There were so many descriptors running around my head and all I could come up with was WOW. To say it’s a complex wine is an understatement. It has a brilliant deep colour, with flavours of rich black cherries, black berry, creamy vanilla, chocolate, mocha, coffee and spice. The list seems endless. Every time you take a mouthful, a different character and flavour appears. It’s a beautifully balanced wine with a fine silky texture and smooth lingering mouth feel that just keeps you wanting more. Only the very best fruit parcels from the Gateway vineyard that reach a minimum of 95% fruit weight go into the Velvet Glove and you can see why. Anna Saville

Carnival of Love
For my first vintage at Mollydooker, I was amazed at the colour of the Shiraz grapes, coming from the Gateway vineyards. The depth and intensity of colour in the juice was amazing and I could see why this fruit is used in the Carnival of Love. You will be blown away by the depth and complexity of this wine. It is a big wine yet remains elegant. There are layers of rich cherry and blackberry fruits, creamy vanilla notes, chocolate and even some pepper and spice. It has great intensity and a silkiness that lingers over the palate. I love sharing this wine with friends, but I can tell you that once a bottle is open, it’s hard not to keep it all for myself. Anna Saville

Enchanted Path
It’s always an exciting time at the blending table when we prepare to make the Enchanted Path. To find the perfect balance of two varieties (Shiraz & Cabernet) working in harmony is always a hard job, which entails lots of tasting! Initially, the Enchanted Path radiates varietal Cabernet notes of fresh plum, clove and hints of choc mint. Only moments later the Shiraz chimes in voicing big red berry fruits, aniseed spice with layers of milk chocolate. Supple tannins and creamy mouth-feel allow the concentrated flavours to be enjoyed on the palate while maintaining beautiful balance and finesse. Peter Tavella

Blue Eyed Boy
I often get asked which Mollydooker I would recommend. It’s a tough question because I would recommend them all, however, a personal favourite of mine is the Blue Eyed Boy. It reminds me of taking a bite from a blueberry muffin. - A mouthful full of rich, creamy vanilla followed by an explosion of blueberries. A powerful wine with vibrant dark berry fruits, plum, and chocolate cream. A silky texture is laced with luscious layers of fresh fruit, spice, coffee and a seamless finish that lasts for eternity. Peter Tavella

In the past, when my family asked what my favorite McLaren Vale wine was, I wouldn’t have said it was a Cabernet. That was until I tasted the Giggle Pot. The 2012 Giggle Pot is a complex Cabernet with real finesse. The wine is layered with flavour, showing luscious black berries, dark chocolate and hints of mint. It has a wonderful balance and rich creaminess across the palate and leaves you with a spice and coffee finish. The Giggle Pot is a stunning example of McLaren Vale Cabernet, and has quickly become a favorite at family get togethers.
Anna Saville

The Boxer
The 2012 Boxer really packs a punch, a WOW wine for sure! The Boxer is the first wine I share with my friends, a real crowd pleaser. It is rich and opulent, revealing an enormous lift of cherry, spice, and milk chocolate. The palate is layered with fresh plum, chocolate cream and toasty oak. This is a powerful, yet delicate wine which leaves you asking for more. Peter Tavella

Two Left Feet
Two Left Feet is the wine that I look forward to seeing in the bottle each year. It always exceeds expectations; it is magical how well it comes together. Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon work together brilliantly! The combination brings complexity and depth to this wine. Rich fruit and luscious flavours dance upon creamy mouth-feel and firm structure. Perfectly balanced and intense this wine is exciting and already very drinkable.
Matt Walker-Brown

The Maitre D'
Rich, round and complex, this wine is simply awesome. The Maitre D’ has an enticing perfumed nose of blackberry, plum, cigar box and a touch of cinnamon. Overwhelming flavours of blackcurrant and dark cherry carry forward, accompanied by mouth filling layers of mocha, spice and vanilla. Amazing! Peter Tavella

The Scooter
The 2012 Scooter has vibrant fruit and fragrant spice that makes the wine extremely attractive. The berry and plum fruit is complemented by mocha layers - it’s a gorgeous wine that shows the full Mollydooker flavour spectrum. I believe the 2012 Scooter is an amazing example of McLaren Vale Merlot. Matt Walker-Brown

The Violinist
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 Jericho

Viticulture Vintage Report

Vintage 2012.... “The Hail Vintage”
Early into the growing season, when the shoots were about 300mm long and very tender, McLaren Vale was hit by a hail storm which passed as a band across our Gateway (Velvet Glove/Carnival) blocks and the top of our Coppermine Rd blocks.

As a result, the total crop this year was only 759 Tonnes, with Velvet Glove production a third of the previous year. The great news is that there are good quantities of the Love wines (Carnival of Love and Enchanted Path).

The weather, for the rest of the vintage, was kind, with good winter rains and useful rainfall in each of January, February and March. November was reasonably warm which helped with the flowering.

The season generally was in step with the early vintages that are becoming the norm, with our first harvest on 3-March, 2012 and the last on 5-April, 2012 (in Langhorne Creek). Again, in general terms, the seasons have moved forward (earlier) by about two weeks over the last 10 years.

Our ‘new’ blocks (Shiraz, of course!) grew very well. We cut the fruit off and the vines to be ready to produce high quality grapes next year. Vineyard health is improving from year to year with Carbon levels approaching the ideal, which fosters beneficial soil organisms, and soil salt (Sodium Chloride) decreasing (a testament to the quality of our reclaimed water system).

Work continues on upgrading areas of the vineyard and we are making big investments in the irrigation pumping equipment and renovation of the dripper lines and trellising in several blocks. Leigh, Pete, Russ and Marcella


We believe the vineyards are responsible for 90% of the quality of the wines, so we rely on the Viti team to bring us in superb fruit, and then we do our part through careful attention to the ferments, weekly tastings and detailed oak profiling to gain 1% increases in quality at the various stages through the year.

This year we had 64 individual parcels of wine to look after. From the first crush, the colour, flavours and Fruit Weight of the grapes were exceptional. The Viti team were behaving like the Father of the Bride, imploring us to love and cherish them and help them reach their full potential. No pressure!

But the quality of the grapes made it easy for us. The ferments were very well behaved, progressing through the natural malo-lactic stage faster than ever before. From the very first tastings the parcels showed the complete flavour spectrum and great richness that is Mollydooker.

Each parcel had its own individual oak programme, with barrels specially selected to suit its flavour spectrum. Once each parcel had sufficient oak complexity, we assessed the Fruit Weight and decided which wine they qualified for. We always say that we decide on Fruit Weight, but it is actually more complex than that, because we take flavour profile into account too. We always want you to have a wine that is as good as, or better than, the wines we have made for you in other vintages.

We are so excited at the result. The 2012 Mollydookers are amazing wines with great balance, depth, complexity and length. Enjoy! Peter, Anna and Matt