Featured Reviews

Mollydooker McLaren Vale 2011 ‘Lefty’ Red Wines

18 July,2013
The Mollydooker wines from the McLaren Vale of Sarah and Sparky Marquis are unashamedly idiosyncratic, crowd pleasing expressions that may give purists a shudder. They’re big, ripe, sweet and mouthfilling and weighty as anything out there, as well as soft and cuddly and thoroughly accessible. The sheer opulence, richness and hedonism is startling, and the style has earned them accolades galore, especially from the American critics. For those who hanker for finesse, elegance, varietal beauty and transparency, these are the antithesis of those ideals. But their success cannot be disputed, and if that’s the case, they’re truly valid expressions of the grape.

Mollydooker is Australian slang for ‘left hander’ and refers to the fact that both Sarah and Sparky are left handed. Much of the branding and marketing is based on colloquialisms and familiar references to the Marquis family. The essential focus of the wines is ‘fruit weight’ and the tiers are graded on the perceived fruit weight of the wines. The lightest and most approachable are the ‘Lefty’ wines which must attain a rating of 65-70%. No wine is bottled under the Mollydooker brand if it is less. The top wine, the ‘Velvet Glove’ must reach a fruit weight rating of 95%+. The wines are available through the Fine Wine Delivery Co. www.finewinedelivery.co.nz Here I review three of the ‘Lefty’ red wines from the 2011 vintage. www.mollydookerwines.com


Mollydooker ‘The Maitre D’’ McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia – South Australia


‘The Maitre D’’ refers to Sparky who put himself through winemaking college working as a maître d’. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from estate vineyards, barrel-fermented to 15.0% alc. and 3.4 g/L rs, the wine aged in 83% American and 17% French oak, of which 52% was new. Impenetrable black-red colour with ruby hues on rim. This has a full, fragrantly ripe nose of blackcurrant fruit intermixed with aromas of black plums, earth and cedary oak. The nose is harmoniously concentrated and densely packed, the varietal character expressed positively. Full-bodied, this is solid and dense with a concentrated core of sweet blackcurrant and savoury black olive fruit flavours. The mouthfeel is rounded and the tannin extraction is fine, grainy and supple, and balanced with the fruit, offering accessibility. The alcoholic power is noticeable and along with good acidity drives the palate to a very long, lingering finish with flavours of dark herbs and bitter chocolate. This is a full-bodied, warm Cabernet Sauvignon with real density and drive. Serve with roasted or grilled herb-marinated lamb over the next 6-8+ years. 18.0+/20 Jul 2013 RRP $36.99

Mollydooker ‘Two Left Feet’ McLaren Vale Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2011

Syrah from Australia – South Australia


‘Two Left Feet’ refers to Sparky’s clumsiness in dancing. 72% Shiraz, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot, a blend of ‘The Boxer’, ‘The Maitre D’’ and ‘The Scooter’ wines. McLaren Vale fruit barrel-fermented to 15.5% alc. and 2.6 g/L rs, the wine aged in 96% American and 4% French oak, of which 56% was new. Bright, saturated purple-hued black-red colour. This has a full, intense and penetrating nose with lifted and fragrant blackberry and blackcurrant fruit aromas along with black plums, spices, shiny oak and cedary elements that unfold in layers. Dry to taste, powerful flavours of ripe, spicy black fruits and black pepper form a rich and sweet-fruited core. The fruit is encased in a fulsome, rounded and smooth structure and underlined by strong alcohol drive. There is tannin and acid cut, guiding the palate to a luscious and juicy finish with bitter chocolate and spice notes. This is a powerfully, alcoholic Shiraz blend that is smooth and lush. Match with roasted game meat dishes over the next 5-7+ years. 18.0/20 Jul 2013 RRP $36.99

Mollydooker ‘The Boxer’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2011

Syrah from Australia – South Australia


The first person who tasted this said "It’s a knockout!”, so it was named ‘The Boxer’. 100% Shiraz from estate vineyards, fermented to 15.5% alc. and 2.4 g/L rs, the wine waged in 100% American oak, 60% new. Very full and deep, impenetrable black-red colour. This has a full and voluminous nose of great presence, with some lift. The fruit expression a little restrained, but reveals black fruits, Asian spices, plums and black pepper. Full-bodied, this is packed with dense and weighty flavours of black plums, liquorice, pepper, with oak cedar forming a layered melange. The fruit is mellow and broad, but lusciously rich and sweet, the plushness enhanced by some alcohol warmth and generosity. The tannin extraction is significant, but supple, and the mouthfeel soft and opulent, the flavours becoming richer and sweeter with ripe raspberry nuances on the finish. The fruit is fully ripened and broad, but this Shiraz has real richness and lusciousness, the alcohol and power adding to the generosity. Serve with slow-cooked game meat over the next 6-8 years. 18.5/20 Jul 2013 RRP $36.99

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