Mollydooker Wines is a family estate in the McLaren Vale district of South Australia particularly known for its full-bodied, silky red wines made from classic Australian grape varieties like Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. These frequently gain high ratings from Wine Spectator and Robert Parker and are among the most sought-after wines produced in Australia.
The label made its debut in 2006, though owner Sarah Marquis already had extensive experience working in the wine trade. Success came rapidly for Mollydooker; The Wine Advocate rated the first edition of The Boxer Shiraz the best value red wine in the world, with the estate's Two Left Feet Shiraz – Cabernet coming second. Mollydooker's Maitre D' Cabernet Sauvignon came in fourth, and just for good measure The Violinist white wine topped the best value white wine list. Unsurprisingly the wines sold out in days and this early success fueled the purchase of vineyards and a winery in 2008.
Mollydooker's three vineyards are planted to Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and total 116 acres (47 hectares). They are situated on the Seaview Ridge and enjoy a Mediterranean climate. The winery crushes around 1300 tons per year and aims for an annual output of 80,000 cases. The only white wines – one still and one sparkling – are made from Verdelho sourced from Gemtree.
The wines are made to emphasize fruit over tannin, and Mollydooker has even trademarked a tasting system to test this. The red wines are barrel-fermented, then oxygenated in tanks before barrel-aging. Specific vineyard lots are vinified and aged separately. The final wines are rich, smooth and approachable when young. They often reach alcohol levels of 16 percent and above, but their huge weight of fruit means that sensations of alcoholic heat are avoided. Mollydooker has also trademarked its own vineyard watering system, which allies close monitoring of vine development with carefully timed irrigation to achieve the healthiest grapes possible.
The term Mollydooker is old slang for a lefthander – owner Sarah Marquis is a southpaw.