Seriously? 17% Alcohol in a Merlot? WTF guys? Ok, Austin. Settle down.
A 'Mollydooker' is Australian slang for a left-handed person. It is also the name of one of Australia's cult wineries. Created by Sarah and Sparky Marquis after the disintegration of the relationship between Winemaker Marquis and Importer Dan Philips, MollyDooker exploded into the American wine scene more than a decade ago. The style was one of extremity: big fruit, big alcohol, big extract, big humorous labels. Buoyed by a glowing 95 point Robert Parker review and a $20 price, MollyDooker's "The Boxer" Shiraz became one of the 'must have' wines of the season.
ButTimes have changed. Australian wines have experienced devastating losses in the American market. Only the low priced Aussie wines seem to be making much of an impact. Things are also different for Mollydooker. Prices are up considerably and, while scores are still high, popular taste has moved away from the ultra-ripe style that Mollydooker embodies.
It had been years since I tasted these wines. So I hosted a tasting at Walt Churchill's Market and tasted the 2013 vintage. Why so young? Well these are wines that show their best in their youth and that is how most customers drink them. The winemakers recommend "The MollyDooker Shake" as shown in the video below.
MollyDooker 2013 "The Maitre D'" Cabernet Sauvignon. $29.99 OH Retail. "Crimson black red. Aromas of grape jelly and blood. The palate is smoke and spice and red jelly. Some brightness to the fruit and a touch of heat. Less heat than expected for 15.5% alcohol." 88 points.
MollyDooker 2013 "Two Left Feet." $29.99 OH Retail. "A blend of Shiraz, Cab Sav, and Merlot. A medium dark red color. Strawberry jelly on the nose. Burnt cherries and heat in the mouth. Kinda disjointed. My least favorite of the set." 82 points.
MollyDooker 2013 "The Boxer" Shiraz. $29.99 OH Retail. "This is the wine that built MollyDooker in the marketplace. Very black center and a dark purple rim. A nose of dried cherries embedded in dark european chocolate. Big everything. Big pepper. Big spice. A hard punch of flavor with fruit, oak, and both white and black pepper. Serious heat." 90 points.
MollyDooker 2013 "The Scooter" Merlot. $29.99 OH Retail. "Ruby Red color. The lightest wine of the bunch. Smokey hazelnut chocolate nose. Huge mouthfeel!!!! Waves of undulating alcoholic black jelly. Burnt toast finish." 88 points.
Mollydooker 2012 Enchanted Path. $79.99 OH Retail. "One of the big boys. A Shiraz-Cabernet blend at 60-40. Absolute black-purple. Sweet sexy nose of flower and jelly. Fresh plums and delicious black cherries. This is the first of these wines that hasn't been totally jellified. This is an enormous wine and wears that weight well. A dry dessert wine. Excellent but specialized." 93 points.
So, there we are. What do I think of these wines? Well... there was a time when these would have been among my favorite wines in the store. Today? Probably not. Maybe I've matured in my palate or maybe tasting thousands of wines per year has biased me towards the unique and the esoteric. I wouldn't doubt it.
These are high-quality professional wines that know their style and own it proudly. And for many, these will become beloved wines. So, if these descriptions sound good you, don't hesitate to pick up some MollyDooker. And don't forget to do "The MollyDooker Shake."