2014 Moss Wood Sauvignon Blanc-Sémillon Margaret River Western Australia

SKU #1253161 94 points James Halliday

 A powerful and complex blend, seemingly made without oak (and not needing it); there is a broader spectrum of flavours than those of the Sémillon, but with slightly less intensity.  (7/2015)

91 points Vinous

 (fermented in stainless steel tanks, with 40% of the wine then transferred to used French oak barrels for three months): Pale gold. Lively, mineral-tinged aromas of pink grapefruit, green apple, nectarine and chamomile, with a gingery topnote gaining strength with aeration. Palate-staining citrus and orchard fruit flavors show very good clarity and power, with a hint of tarragon building on the back half. Finishes spicy and chewy, with strong mineral-driven persistence. (JR)  (9/2015)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Delicately scented of white peaches, fresh apples and lime blossoms with a grass laced undercurrent, the 2014 Ribbon Vale Sauvignon Blanc Semillon is softly spoken in the mouth with a lovely satiny texture and great freshness on the finish. (LPB)  (4/2016)

Wine & Spirits

 Moss Wood, one of the founding vineyards of Margaret River, purchased Ribbon Vale in 2000, adding 15 acres to their Wilyabrup estate. While the Moss Wood Sémillon is bottled as a single variety, harvested in three tranches to build layers of flavor, the Ribbon Vale wine blends in Sauvignon Blanc, both varieties harvested early, with an expectation that the Sémillon will take over as it ages. This sees no oak, the winemaking focused on lees stirring for the semillon only. For now, the wine is tight and green, with vibrant floral citrus notes. The leesiness of the Sémillon begins to come through with air, along with a deeper flavor of apple butter. Cellar it for a year or two and let the wine relax in a decanter.  (2/2016)

K&L Notes

About the producer from Vinous: "With its first vines planted in 1969, Moss Wood is one of Australia's iconic producers and the first winery to be established in the Margaret River region. Keith Mugford, the owner and winemaker, began working at the property in 1979 after receiving his degree in enology from Roseworthy College and eventually purchased the property (then comprising 80 acres, 22 of them planted to vines) from the Pannell family in 1985. Mugford now has 40 acres of vines and his winemaking style, which emphasizes structure and ageworthiness, has remained unchanged since the outset." (JR, 03/2016)

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Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/22/2016 | Send Email
Serious "Sem-Savvy" blend here, folks! A pretty, Pessac like white with rich yellow stone fruited elegance and impeccable balance. This was one of my favorites, white or red, in a recent NZ-Australia-South Africa line-up put together by buyer Ryan Woodhouse.

Additional Information:


Sauvignon Blanc

- One of the best known "international" varieties originally cultivated in France and considered the parent of, with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon. Sauvignon's wonderfully distinctive aromatics generate some of wine's most colorful descriptors, among them "cat pee," herbaceous, grassy, citrusy the world over. In France, the apex of Sauvignon Blanc production is the Loire Valley, in the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where the terroir expresses itself most beautifully through the grape. Sauvignon Blanc is also the leading white grape varietal in Bordeaux, where it is paired with the fatter, richer Sémillon to varying degrees. Relatively easy to cultivate, though more suited to cool climates, Sauvignon Blanc has made inroads in Europe outside of France, especially in Northeastern Italy's Friuli and Alto Adige, but also on the Slovenian border. These lovely wines are often overshadowed by Sauvignon Blanc's achievements in the New World, namely New Zealand, South Africa and California. New Zealand's Sauvignon Blancs, more conspicuously fruity than most French examples, landed the small island nation on the world wine map in the late-1980s and 1990s. South African Sauvignons are one of the most successful international varieties produced in that country and are often quite elegant and affordable. In California, Robert Mondavi managed to, almost single-handedly, created a market for Sauvignon Blanc by renaming his oak-fermented version Fumé Blanc. While some wineries still use the name, California Sauvignon Blanc has secured its place in the California wine pantheon, particularly those from the Napa Valley. Washington State, Chile and Argentina also have considerable plantings of the grape.


- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley and Pyrenees in Victoria; and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. While many equate Aussie wines with “value,” there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world. View a list of bestselling items from Australia.

Western Australia

Specific Appellation:

Margaret River