Lock down. All travel aspirations on hold. Under such duress the mind plays tricks, as it did immediately after I eased the cork from a bottle of the 2013 Laughing Jack Moppa Block Shiraz.
2013 Moppa Block Shiraz is a knockout!
Transported to a kaffee house in Baden Baden, pre-emptively sniffing at a finely cut slice of Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte. The same raft of aromas: the sweet sour cherries, the kirsch, the heady vanilla bean, the finely shaved dark chocolate. Layers of perfume, as there are layers to the cake. But the wine also enjoys an undercurrent of subtle ferrous geological contribution sucked from the rufous ironstone soils atop Moppa Hill. The biggest impression however, is of freshness and pure delivery of fruit.
Cherry kirsch follows on the palate; deep, rich mocha and vanilla. There’s no suggestion of pruniness or overripe fruit. Rather, a freshness and linearity achieved through a coil of acidity which corrals Barossa Shiraz’s natural boisterousness, keeping the wine kinetic and persistent. Tannins are soft; quality oak effectively frames the fruit and adds to the wine’s sophistication.
This is a wine that reveals its sense of place. Fruit from low yielding, high altitude vines perched on the upper reaches of the eastern face of the ironstone-rich Moppa Hill, picked well before over-ripeness might result in ambiguity of terroir. Nevertheless, the wine is rich, aristocratic and flavourful, poised to evolve over the decades to come.
Words by Sommelier – Grant Dickson