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Moorilla cut from the same cloth

Moorilla Cloth Label range (Photo: Moorilla Estate)

It must have been in 1981 or 82 that my parents returned from a trip to Hobart with two bottles of cloth-labelled Moorilla Estate red, one of which was a pinot noir, the other a weedy and best-forgotten cabernet sauvignon.

The story was that Moorilla’s owner and founder Claudio Alcorso was in the textile business; hence he used cloth labels on his wines. That was long ago, but the cloth label has been resurrected more than once by succeeding custodians. Currently, Canadian-born winemaker Conor van der Reest uses a cloth label (could be linen; not sure) for a multi-varietal blended white and red wine. At $110 each, these are the flagship wines of Moorilla (tastings).

The red is the better wine in my view: an elegant, medium-bodied wine, which is the perfect options game wine. “Is it based on cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir?” would slay most of your audience. Or this: “Is it a pinot noir, a cabernet sauvignon, or a blend involving both?”

Anyone getting it right would deserve a medal. This 2013 wine breaks all the rules and cheers to that. It’s a mixture of pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, shiraz and even some white grapes. In France, they’d have conniptions. An east-west blend? Quel horreur!

But it’s a lovely drink now and will I’m sure age well for a decade and more, building fascinating matured complexities.

Only one problem. The labels fall off. Conor: you haven’t got the right glue!

Come on, man! Right now, mine is a $110 cleanskin.

The Moorilla wines are in a higher league today, quality-wise, but back in 1980 they at least had the right glue.

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