A Costly Drop in More Ways than One

When McLaren Vale tall poppy Mollydooker recently lost about a million dollars worth of wine as a forklift malfunctioned and dropped a container of their most expensive wine, some people made cruel jokes.

Whatever you think of Sparky and Sarah Marquis’s wine style, their bizarre labels and specifically their Velvet Glove Shiraz (and I generally find these wines overripe and too alcoholic), they have a lot of fans and the loss is to be lamented. Schadenfreude (taking pleasure in the misfortunes of others) is not an attractive emotion.

The American market for over-the-top Aussie reds might have dried up somewhat, but being a favourite of Robert Parker’s and gaining no less than five 99-point reviews from his The Wine Advocate over the years must have done some good for the Australian wine cause.

The accident happened as the wine was being loaded for shipping to the US. A high-level fork-lift dropped the wine, which was stacked in a container, six metres onto a dock. The 462 cases of Mollydooker 2010 Velvet Glove Shiraz (retail value $185 a bottle) constituted one-third of the wine’s annual production. Sparky Marquis said he felt ‘gutted’, but happily the wine was fully insured.

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