Screwing an American M.W

Spent the weekend with American M.W Sheri Sauter Morano and decided she needed a good screw. Many bottles of our country’s finer droops sealed under screwcap were served over a couple of dinners and I think Sheri and her husband Bill were impressed. A 2005 Peter Lehmann ‘Margaret’ Semillon was all pithy lemon and butter. It had good richness and finished with squeeze of lemon juice. Petaluma’s 2002 Riesling is an absolute cracker, crammed with Tahitian lime, slate and bath salts it possesses great intensity and poise. It’s just getting a little toasty development sneaking in but under this closure it should hum for another decade or two. The 2007 Pewsey Vale ‘Contours’ Riesling is really good but got blown off the table by the Petaluma. It has some pleasant potpourri notes coupled with lemon and musk aromas and flavours. It is dry and refreshing. As an interesting exercise we lined up 2000 Moss Wood Cabernet from both screwcap and cork next to each other. I had bought both of these on release and cellared them perfectly ever since. The cork version was really good. It had dense cassis fruits, sweet cedar and tobacco with some earthy woodsy notes. The screwcap version was better. It looked a coupled of years younger and the fruit was brighter and more lifted. It also seemed to be richer. The 2010 Ruggabellus Timeaus was perfumed and spicy with engaging whiffs of violets, raspberries, cherry and plum. It is velvety in the mouth with generous flavours but everything is pared back and in the right proportion. It is bright and detailed with an earth infused finish. The 2010 Red Art Shiraz is aged in old wood and has some whole bunch action. It has an engaging scent of violets and blood plum. It has terrific intensity and proportion with deliciously juicy fruits and some earthy undertones.

Not to say the wines we had over the weekend were bad under cork it’s just that there was some variation. A 1995 Wenouree Cabernet was dense and chewy but had a bit too much caramel oxidation. The 1996 Rockford ‘Basket Press’ Shiraz was just stating to work into stride after the best part of 15 years in bottle. It has some leather and earth development coupled with bright raspberry and plum fruits. There’s some Christmas cake spice and dark chocolate. It has good balance and proportion and finishes with bright acidity and some baked earth savoury notes. The 2002 Giaconda Shiraz was brilliant. It looked like very smart Côte Rotie from a ripe year. There ripe berries and blood plums were infused with flora. It had some bacon fat and the underlying structure was chewy and supportive of all the flesh. Length of flavour was excellent. The bottle disappeared faster than Bill ‘Tex’ Landreth.

I hope we didn’t hurt Sheri too much but I think she now appreciates my preferred closure and understands there are some fabulous wines from Australia, you just have to know where to look.


Hi Jeremy,

Very interesting tasting, especially the Screw Vs Cork '00 Moss Woods.

Love the Giaconda shiraz, a very smart wine…

but the really brilliant thing is the thread title and the introductory sentence!
Very few decent Aussie wines available in my market.

Thanks, Jeremy. Love the Rockford and the Landreth line

Thanks, Jeremy. Cute! I’ll look for some of these wines…

I too am planning a 2000 Moss Wood CS cork vs SC trial at some stage. Always elicits keen debate!

Great tasting, Jeremy. Too bad about the Wendouree, wish we could find that stateside. I had 2002 Giaconda this fall after doing a vertical of Henschke Edelstone, but that Giaconda was so voluptuous and graceful. Good show!

How do you all feel about Wendouree under screw cap? I had a chat to the owner at cellar door and he said it came about due a consistent fault rate of around 7% no matter what the tried or sourced.