It’s finally happening—Notes is covering one of the most beloved cult wines in the 2017 The Boxer Shiraz from Mollydooker Wines. For those of you used to seeing California Cab and Dave Phinney projects (past and present) here, just turn your gaze west across the Pacific to Australia and this big, jammy flavor bomb.
Since I know you’re curious too, a “Mollydooker” is a left-handed boxer in Aussie slang. So there’s your tie-in between producer and product. The winery is located outside of Adelaide in the McLaren Vale, and that puts their grapes in a Mediterranean climate conducive to great wines. Mollydooker encompasses 114 acres of Shiraz, Cabernet, and Merlot grapes that are grown sustainability (always love that).
The Boxer 2017 vintage, however, is more than that. Mollydooker pulls grapes for The Boxer (48,929 cases of this vintage!) not just from its own Coppermine Road and Mollydooker Home vineyards in McLaren Vale, but also Birchmore and Joppich vineyards in Langhorne Creek too. They barrel-ferment this wine and allow it to mature in American oak using a combination of new (42%), one-year old (42%), and two-year old (16%) barrels. If you haven’t yet sampled the Boxer, know that the wine is bigger than the sum of its parts.
It’s a complex, fruity, and layered wine and embodies everything I like about good Cab and Syrah. The Boxer offers you cherry flavor and plum too; I’d say balancing the red and black berry fruits but folding in too some chocolate notes too.
Says the winemaker, “This alluring and unashamedly bold Shiraz has hints of spiced plums, blackberry jam and cherry all at the fore and finishes with coffee cream, licorice and vanilla. Full bodied with vibrant berry fruit characteristics, yet elegant with restrained tannins, resulting in a soft mouthfeel.”
I really didn’t sense any vanilla in the mix, so it may be a note too refined for my palate. I nod vigorously at the cherry and plum, though. The 2017 The Boxer has a lot of character and a long finish that does remind me of a Swift red blend. I had this wine with oregano-seasoned chicken over a nice bed of couscous, mixed with poblano pepper, sweet roasted peppers, olives, a spicy sour cream. Sorry that you didn’t see this final product (only sent that photo privately) but know it was a much-needed meal and drink after a long work week in New Jersey.
The Boxer was well worth the wait–and I’ll be faster to the trigger for my next one. Enjoy!