In the glass this Merlot shows a slightly paler purple than I was expecting. The nose, after I performed the ‘Shake‘ exhibits gorgeous black berry and cinnamon notes. On the palate I am greeted with a really smooth dose of Ribena, some meaty notes, and a fresh ensemble of tannins that are ever present but not cloying. The wine is full flavored, make no mistake- but it does so with a very gentle build-up. Extraction is at its fullest and with that comes a well hidden 14.5% alcohol. The mid palate is somewhat muted after the initial uptake, the finish is where it’s at. More dark berries emerge as well as a blueberry pie component. I hate to say it, but this wine needs a touch more oak. Yup, I said it. Not lashings, but a tiny more vanilla, perhaps a little more tannic bite. At one point I’m sure the wine had plenty of it, perhaps just fading at this point. The structure is good though and the wine is balanced. I would drink up as the wine is at peak and there is not much in the way of tertiary flavors. It is relatively easy-going and will do well with a variety of dishes. I am going with 90 points and 4 stars for this $28 effort. Salut….
I have written about the Mollydooker Two Left Feet 2012 vintage before. I sat on this bottle for an eternity and since we are moving house, it’s time to drink up. I have not read my old review so as not to taint this one.
I must say, all Mollydooker red wines appear dark and very purply in the glass. This one is no exception. Extraction is the key to their success methinks. It has a nose of plums, sarsaparilla, fig. I already performed the Mollydooker Shake in case you were wondering. The palate gives up super smooth flavors of blue fruits. Blueberry, plum, currant jam, that root beer thing again and some super ingrained tannins. Like, so smooth and barely detectable. The astringency hits on the finish, but the wine drinks beautifully with nice, if somewhat restrained acidity. The mouthfeel on this wine is sublime, extracted, rich and smooth. The finish shows a faint trace of the well hidden, monstrous 16% alcohol. Beware…
I am pairing it with pan seared Flat-Iron steak that I coated with Santa Maria rub, plus some sautéed mushrooms, a tomato salad and edamame to boot. 91 points from me for this $25 offering. 5 stars for this blend of 69% Shiraz, 16% Cabernet, 15% Merlot. Salut….
I’m a huge fan of this winery and am working my way through their offerings and revisiting some that I have had a chance to cellar. I keep a stash of wines in my locker at ‘work’. Those of you that know me will realize that my locker is half way around the world from home, but I have some gems in there that have been sitting patiently in near perfect conditions- 60 F, humid and dark. I met up with a mate from downunda, whom we shall call Mr. Rangley and I pulled this one out for a tasting. The last time I drank the 2011 Blue Eyed Boy it was delicious so I was really looking forward to it.
Blueberry nose with plum ganache- delicious. On the palate is a thick, long blueberry note with dark chocolate and graphite. The mid palate involves a full blown explosion of more blue fruits, vanilla bean and rolling tannins. I detect some heat which makes sense as this one packs 16% alcohol. The finish is long and full of blueberry pie, 92 points all day long. I did not notice too much evolution over the past three years which is interesting. I’m not sure where this wine is going over its life span but it is built for the long haul and may yet develop nuances of age and secondary flavors. If it doesn’t that is fine too – a unique tasting Shiraz that is well made and a treat. 5 stars at $40. Drink all by itself for the ultimate experience of this wine but if you must pair it- Filet Mignon with Bearnaise sauce and some asparagus will do the trick. Salut….
I first opened a Miss Molly in January of 2014. This second bottle has been cellared in hopes of seeing evolution. I only drank it in a flute, rather than tasting it as I did the first time.
Wowsa, this is a huge, delicious, complex, layered, smooth killer of a wine. I wrote that it was purply purple in the glass, can you picture it? Like really beautiful purple hues dancing in the Riedel. Initial nose of heat but then layered plums, blackberries and a hint of eucalyptus. Long, drawn out introduction of plums, blue fruits and raspberry coulis that are wrapped in gorgeous tannins and a hint of acidity. The mid palate is a seamless extension of the upfront fruit and it glides into a long finish. This is one complete wine that absolutely rocks. The combo of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon has never been my favorite but it works so well in this wine. The skillful way in which they have coaxed all this fruit and finesse while hiding the 16% alcohol is amazing. I served this bottle up with some charred/blackened Ribeyes, which was a perfect pairing. I would love to get more and sit on them for another 10 years or so. Pricy at $65, it is a treat to open one of these for a special occasion. 95 points from me and 5 stars, this one is on my radar. Yet another stellar Mollydooker wine from Mclaren Vale, Australia. Salut….
I opened the Gigglepot from Mollydooker right after we finished the Blue Eyed Boy. It’s interesting to drink both $50 offerings in the same sitting and be able to compare the grape varietals. The Shiraz was to me more finite, focused and pure of fruit. The Cabernet based Gigglepot was more open, easier to drink and perhaps more appealing to the masses. Both are excellent wines and I enjoyed each for their merits. This one was equally dark in the glass, showing off a nose of plums, cherry and mint. I usually associate the minty note with Chilean Cabs and really enjoy it when I come across them. The palate had the same basic flavor profile I got but with some added black fruits. A certain spiciness that I cannot pinpoint was evident as were the fine grained tannins. The wine seemed to go on for ever on the palate and had a long finish. Balanced with nice acidity there is a healthy dose of alcohol that is neatly hidden, drinker beware! Drinking beautifully now, this wine has the structure to go long haul. I would guess a cellaring potential to 2022 at the least. I don’t have much experience with older vintages from this winery except for my Carnival Of Love tastings, where I did get to see a little bit of evolution in 4-5 year old vintages. I would imagine this particular bottle may gain some secondary flavors and complexity as it gets some cellar time. I am giving it 91 points and 4 stars. Salut….
Wow- talk about extraction, power, depth, complexity and a mouth full of blueberry. This is a huge wine, with some really great flavors intertwined with fresh acidity and smooth tannins. Just by pouring it I knew I was in for a treat. Nearly black in the glass with a huge nose of blueberry, vanilla and black cherry. The initial attack was uber long with sweet dark berries, mocha, plum and lavender hints. More fruits evolved as I swirled the wine, showing off cassis and oak. The long finish was impressive as was the way they managed to hide the whopping alcohol. This is a well made, very precise wine that is not for the faint of heart. Atypical in style it appeals to me for it’s purity of fruit and ease of drinking. The mouthfeel is impeccable. I always enjoy Mollydooker wines and this one is no exception. Priced at $50 it gets 92 points from me and 5 stars. Salut….
It’s Sunday, March 16 in Northern Virginia, a few days before spring. It’s snowing outside, I’m listening to the BBC radio from England and drinking this amazing Mclaren Vale Shiraz from Australia….
We promptly lost all electrical power at 6 pm and finished our evening sipping this purple nectar whilst playing Pay Day with two of our kids by candlelight.
The evening started with me sending this young bottle of Shiraz through my Vinturi and into a large Riedel decanter for about an hour. I figured this wine would need coaxing to get it going at such a young age. It has just recently been released and WS gave it a whopping 98 points. I have had numerous wines from Mollydooker and have grown accustomed to their style and sort of know what to expect with respect to the profile and tastes involved. I did not know to what level and depth this particular cuvee was capable of…. I’m jumping the gun.
I decided to grill some Cornish hens after marinating them in garlic, herbs and lime. The sides included riced cauliflower and sautéed spinach with goat cheese and pine nuts. I figured this melange would be able to stand up to the wine and vice versa. It worked a treat. Now to the wine.
I first poured off a half glass to make room for the ‘Shake’ prior to decanting. My initial impressions: Dark and brooding in the glass with a nose of tar, licorice and black fruits. On the palate I got an intense black berry component. I timed a 2+ minute finish. The wine covers the palate in an indescribable way, from front to back. I believe they call it fruit weight, a catchy term but very appropriate.
I then moved on to the aerated and decanted wine and was in for a further treat. The first thing I noticed was a bracing acidity on the front end that was entwined with a gorgeous black cherry component. Capsicum and blue fruits came across in various waves as the wine progressed, an interesting combo if you ask me.
Close your eyes and imagine drinking—— purple. That is possibly the best descriptor I can think of to emphasize the wine’s purity and concentration. It is rich and layered, precise without being bombastic, lengthy. A slight hint of its 16% alcohol comes out on the nose yet is well crafted into the wine so you can’t taste it. The wine gives me the impression that it was stirred with an oak ladle, imparting only a touch of wood and not over doing the treatment. The extremely fine-grained tannins are a pleasure on the palate and give this wine a drinking window between 2016-2025 in my opinion. I would look forward to this wine evolving somewhat but think it will be a pleasure to drink at an early age.
At $180 this is no everyday drinker, but a super special treat wine. I think its depth and complexity will please any fan of red wines as it offers multi-dimensional flavors and great length. Pairing it with food would be ideal, but enjoying it on its own is certainly one way of experiencing its many nuances. I have only had a handful of 98 point wines in my life, to be able to taste near perfection is truly a treat. If you can find a bottle or two, get them, cellar them and enjoy them. PS. Did I mention that the packaging is amazing: a velvet black bag and velvet-like labels with a lithe bottle shape- all adds up to an incredible wine. 4 stars when you weigh the price and value. Salut….
The fourth vintage of this wine for me and served on Valentine’s Day, how appropriate! I really enjoyed the previous three and was slightly hesitant about opening such a young wine but in the interest of keeping the momentum going on my vertical tasting I delved right in.
I ran the first glass through my Vinturi to give it some much needed air and then I performed the ‘shake’ on the bottle to open it up some. The telltale inky purple color was ever present and the nose was quite alive after I shook the bottle. I got a brambly nose of blackberry and cassis with some plums. On the palate it became much more interesting with dark chocolate, oak, blackberry and more cassis. I did not get the same blueberry core as the 2011 vintage, this one being more brooding with the black fruits in prominence. I did get a good dose of the really tidy tannins which were ever present yet unobtrusive. A fine grained dryness on my gums and teeth rather than a full blown case of tannins was quite tasty. My son told me he could smell the wine when I poured another glass, he was sitting more than 2 feet away from me. I asked him to describe what he could smell- “Dark red grape”. Pretty much sums it up from an 11 year old’s point of view. This wine is delicious, with complex fruit structures and fine tannins. I did get a whiff of the 16% alcohol initially, but it soon subsided. The last glass contained a bit of sludge which surprised me a bit, so you may want to decant or at least keep an eye out when nearing the bottom. I don’t know what the pro’s gave it but I am going with 94 points and for $75 this is a 4 star wine in my books.
Recapping my last four nights of Love…. The 2009 was amazing, getting 94 points and 4 stars from me for it’s concentration, balance and complexity. The 2010 could best be described with a picture of a bowl full of black and blue berries. The wine was open, opulent and refreshing with its lively acidity. I gave it 92 points and 3 stars. The 2011 was the most aromatic and complex so far and had an incredible concentration of blueberry that had me reeling. It got 93 points and 4 stars from me. The 2012 is the baby of the group but I reckon it may be the best one yet, giving the ’09 a run for the money. I believe it will evolve and gain complexity like the others have, and the tannic structure will hold it in good stead. It too got 94 points and 4 stars.
The one main factor that I have noticed with all of the Mollydooker wines that I have tasted thus far is their level of concentration and their relative ease of drinking at such young bottle age. The wines all share some of the telltale signs of the house style and I really like it. Very rich, focused and balanced. The more reasonably priced wines are delicious for everyday drinking while the upper echelon have proven to me that they can hold their own on any festive occasion against a variety of foods. Most of them are relatively high in alcohol but this has been very cleverly disguised by the excellent wine making. You cannot get such concentration and complexity without pushing the boundaries but they have done so in a great fashion. I will continue to drink my way through the current vintages of Mollydooker and look forward to what the 2013 vintage brings. Salut….
This is the third installment in my 4 year vertical of Mollydooker’s Carnival Of Love. Check back later for the finale, it’s gonna be the 2012.. I hate to sound like I’m repeating myself, but the wines are very close in profile year after year and yet they offer annual nuances that I find intriguing. The 2011 had the same telltale inky purple appearance and the nose had the same basic components yet I also got cherry and violets on this one. I grew up in Kenya where my mother started collecting African Violets, she does so to this day. They have a unique fragrance that is unmistakable to me. This wine had traces of purple.
On the initial attack I was amazed by the piercing blueberry core. It was like I was slurping pure blueberry essence, but not the sweet kind- just magnified and intense. Later on came the nuances of cola, nutmeg and some plum action. This wine is super smooth and very silky with traceable tannins lurking in the background. I did not notice as much acidity as the 2010 but the wine was totally in balance. It’s funny how this vintage scored slightly lower with the pro’s yet I find it more appealing over the previous year! I believe 93 was awarded by RP and I agree this time. I paid $72 for it on my worldly travels and give it 4 stars. I served this wine up with some Scampi Shrimp and Garlic Broccoli, a pairing I kind of regret. It needs a nice leg of Lamb or perhaps a juicy steak. I am starting to see a trend here that I will bring up on the final installment of this mini-vertical. For now have a great Valentine’s Day. Salut….