Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mollydooker Delights

Mollydooker winemaker and co-proprietor, Sparky Marquis, visited Vancouver in March for a whirlwind tour of wine shops and choreographed press tastings, keeping alive the fine Australian tradition of a personal approach to selling their wines. That's not to say that the Aussies have cornered the market on communicating the story behind the bottle for consumers but they do it well and in a honest way: a well rehearsed-honesty to be sure, but honest just the same.

Sparky's charm is rooted in his storytelling ability, a common trait among the many Australian winemakers I've had the pleasure of meeting. The stories behind the Mollydooker wines are endless but tend to begin and end around the central theme - an Aussie term for a Left-Handed person - alternately used as a verb and adjective.

The winery aims to "wow" with big wines that, on occasion, announce as a scream their varietal character. There are three main tiers of 'Dookers with the entry-level wines being the "loudest" and the cellar-worthy, top-end wines having the most to say.

The "Lefties"
The entry-level tier of wines are the bread and butter of Mollydooker. Varietal releases, mostly, with one blended wine, take to the loudspeaker to announce their provenance. "I'm an Aussie Shiraz!" you can almost hear spoken when you crack open the Stelvin cap of The Boxer. It's an unmistakable message, but one you'll be happy to receive as the wines are very well made and do, for the most part, live-up to the hype.

2009 The Maitre'D - $29-36
Classic Aussie Cabernet Sauvignon aromas of eucalyptus, menthol and ripe cassis fruit on the expressive, sweet'n'sour nose. A relatively light weight Aussie Cab with a short finish. Other examples may offer better value.
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2009 Two Left Feet - $29-36
A blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot aged in (mostly) American oak. The Shiraz leads the way here with major influence on the quaffable nose and massive, yet fruity palate.

2010 The Boxer - $29-36
This is a big, in-your-face Aussie Shiraz that manages to tread the perilous fence between overdone and subdued power leaning slightly towards the side of subdued. The best of the "Lefties" range.
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The "Party" Wines
So-called as they are designed to be the type of wines that Marquis would take to a dinner party or shindig. However, in the Canadian market with the large import mark-ups, the middle tier wines are hard to grasp. Great juice, but a hard price-point to justify when the truly amazing "Love" wines are a (relative) few dollars more. If you're willing to dole out $50+ for a bottle of wine, might as well spend $100 and go all-out.

2009 Gigglepot - $50-60
Mollydooker's middle tier Cabernet Sauvignon which is chalk full of minty eucalyptus and extremely ripe dark blue fruits.

2009 Blue Eyed Boy - $50-60
Truly getting close to the wow factor level that Sparky Marquis suggested was the aim for all of their wines. An excellent Shiraz with loads of dark red fruits, great concentration and a long, balanced finish.

The "Love" Wines
Starting at $100 in Canada, these are "experience" wines, but one definitely worth having. Sublime is an understatement, they truly are amongst the very best Australia has to offer.

2009 Enchanted Path - $100-110
Mollydooker's elite Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon delivers classic characteristics of both varieties with the dark cassis fruit and eucalyptus from the Cab complimenting the spicy red fruit from the Shiraz.
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2009 Carnival of Love - $100-110
100% Shiraz created with amazing concentration and refinement. Super sweet nose with enchanting red fruit and oak aromas. Long and elegant with supreme balance.
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2009 Velvet Glove - $250
The massive concentration is so well refined and balanced that just a drop on your tongue will express enough character for you to remember that moment forever. The 2009 vintage will be the last 'Glove to be enclosed with cork. As of the 2010 vintage all Mollydooker wines will be under screw-cap.
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 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

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