Drunk August 2012
Sparky Marquis and Sarah Watts married in 1991 and started work as winemakers with Sarah’s parents at Fox Creek. In 1999 they became Australian Winemakers of the Year. In 2002 they won the Bushing Award for a record breaking third time and in the USA Robert Parker commented ‘The greatest red wine values in existence’ and ‘Run, don't walk and secure as much as you can of these wines!’ and gave their Integrity 99 points.
In March 2006 they founded the Mollydooker winery– Aussie for left hander - because they are both left handed. A mere eighteen months after being down to their last $17, Sarah and Sparky were able to buy a winery, and 114 acres of vineyards on the Seaview Ridge in McLaren Vale, home of most of the iconic McLaren Vale wines due to their wine making prowess at Mollydooker.
They are both passionate about their motto ‘We make wines that make people go WOW, through attention to detail and commitment to excellence!’ and never take shortcuts or compromise on quality. They barrel ferment, using new or one year old barrels, and their used barrels fetch the highest prices in the industry.
They guarantee the quality of their wine by rating it on its Marquis Fruit Weight™ (the measure of how far back on your tongue the velvety sensation of fruit goes, before the prickly sensation of tannin is exposed). If they don’t have parcels which qualify at the required Fruit Weight, they don’t make those wines (in the 2008 vintage they only bottled Lefty wines).
This was an interesting wine indeed. The shiraz grapes were grown on the Longbottom vineyard in Padthaway, the Birchmore vineyard in Langhorne Creek and the Hunt Creek, Semmens and Mollydooker vineyards in McLaren Vale. It was Barrel fermented and matured in 60% new and 40% one year old American oak. The Marquis Fruit Weight was 70%.
The MollyDooker Boxer had a whopping 16% alcohol. It was extraordinarily deep red/purple and big on jammy fruit. There were plenty of flavours there but I was somewhat overwhelmed by the fruit punch effect. Maybe the Boxer improves with age but it tasted too unsubtle for my liking and certainly lived up to its name. This was despite being a fan of big reds generally especially those made with shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. At £25 I think there is better value out there, and when I compare it to fellow Australian red, Joseph Moda, at £30, there is a discernible difference in value. Enjoyable yes, but not a regular purchase for me.