Thursday, February 3, 2022

Mollydooker "Scooter" Merlot

Mollydooker "Scooter" Merlot - whimsical label branding

Son Alec stopped by, so for casual midweek sipping with fresh fruits and some artisan cheeses, I opened from our cellar, this Aussie Merlot from a favored producer.

This is from the producer Mollydooker, who offer a brand and portfolio of whimsical labels, each featuring a cartoonish character on the label. Even the brand name, Mollydooker, which is Australian lingo for a left-handed person, is a comical play on words, named for the two left handed owner/producers/founders Sarah and Sparky Marquis. 

The 'Scooter' label is named after co-founder Sparky Marquis' racing cars which is/was his hobby. Sparky raced a big tyre scooter when he was younger.

In addition to Scooter, who adorns the Merlot label, other cartoon characters in the series of labels feature The Boxer (Shiraz), The Violinist (Verdelho), Two-Left Feet (Red Blend), The Maitre-D (Cabernet Sauvignon), and Miss Molly (sparkling Shiraz).

They also feature cartoonish carnival posters of their two 'Love Series' premium labels, 'Carnival of Love' and 'Enchanted Path'. We have fun collecting these wines and regularly and customarily serve the 'Love Series' labels at family occasions.

The Mollydooker "Family Series" labels features photos of  Sara Marquis' two children. The 'Blue Eyed Boy' label shows Sarah’s son Luke, shown stomping grapes as a kid, who now heads up the Mollydooker Sales Team. The Gigglepot label shows Sarah’s daughter Holly, who couldn’t stop laughing wearing some crazy black glasses. She does marketing for the Mollydooker brand. There also used to be 'Goose Bumps' sparkling Shiraz. I'm not sure where or how this fits but it appears to have been discontinued, or isn't currently available.

We collect and hold a vertical collection of Blue Eye'd Boy, their Shiraz/Syrah, as one of signature wines for our own 'blue eye'd boy', son, Alec.

Sadly, the producers founders, Sarah and Sparky Marquis have split up, Sparky departing the business, and Sarah, who is also winemaker, remaining as CEO. Interestingly, Sparky is a personal friend of my Australian colleague, with whom I interact weekly in running my global enterprise software business, my day job. They're friends and race car buddies, both owning and racing their cars on the amateur circuit down there. I'll look forward to meeting Sparky when I eventually visit down-under, once Covid subsides and business conditions warrant. I'll also look forward to visiting the winery and vineyards there. 

Mollydooker, under Sarah's leadership was awarded by Australian telcom company Telstra in the the SA Telstra Business Awards.  From the 21,000 entries, Mollydooker was not only awarded winners of the ‘Medium and Making Waves’ category, we were also named 2019 Telstra South Australian Business of the Year!

Mollydooker "Scooter" Merlot 2007

This is from Mollydooker McLaren Vale, Long Gully Road Vineyard.

Interesting, that like the 2007 Napa red we opened the other night, this vintage release of this label also rates better than any other year for this wine, according to Vivino.

Wine Advocate gave this wine 91 points.

Wow what a surprise - (wife) Linda loved this - she prefers big bold spicy, peppery wines, ala a Aussie Shiraz. The profile of this was more so, obtuse, bold fruits, than a Bordeaux Merlot varietal profile of more reserved softer fruits as used in blends to soften the more tannin and structured Cabernet. At fifteen years, this was showing nicely and seemed to be still within its prime drinking window, showing no signs of diminution from age whatsoever.

Bright ruby colored, medium full bodied, vibrant expressive red and black berry fruits accented by bold spice with notes of pepper, cedar, and hints of cassis and bitter dark mocha with a full round tannin bright acid laced finish. 

RM 89 points.   

Cellartracker members' reviews were mixed - many finding this over the top, even over the hill several years ago. Most of them consumed this a decade ago! 

2/11/2012 - Colia wrote: 89 Points - "Still totally black and dense. Tannins are huge but soft, the fruit is a little muddled, but chocolate covered dried blueberries with a cup of doffee is pretty close. The finish is a little bitter."

6/9/2011 - ADiamond Likes this wine: 89 Points  "Big fruity, jammy wine. It went extremely well with a spicy Turkish meal. As long as you are selective as to what meal, it needs a meal, to drink this with you will love it."

1/15/2012 - tcarter Likes this wine: "Big jammy flavor coupled with leathery, earthy tones. Drinking great right now but probably best to drink this year."

5/3/2011 - ADiamond wrote: 88 Points - "A real fruit bomb, jammy, a ton of spice and boy is it hot Not a sipping wine, drink this wine with a heavy, rich meal and both will be enjoyable"

4/21/2011 - powrsurg wrote: 89 Points - "Spicy as usual. Fruity, with a strong pepper"