2005 Moraga Red
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes 

This is the first red wine to be made at Moraga’s new winery and we are very pleased with its quality.  The year began with heavy rainfall in January and February, loading the soil profile with a full reservoir of moisture to begin the growing season. Budburst and flowering occurred under near-optional conditions.  What began as a normal growing season took a turn in a different direction as the daily coastal overcast pattern started in July, quite a bit earlier than normal, resulting in slightly cooler temperatures.  This trend continued for the rest of the growing season, setting up conditions for extended hang time and flavor development, as well as a later-than-normal harvest.  In an unusual event, it rained on September 20th, well before harvest of the Merlot which began on October 10th.  Picking continued as each individual vineyard block reached optimal ripeness and the final cabernet sauvignon grapes were not picked until November 5th.  It rained once more on October 17th, but thanks to the open canopies, very exposed fruit, and extremely well-drained soils, wine quality did not suffer.  In order to ensure that only perfect grapes made it into the fermenters, we sorted fruit in the vineyard the day before each pick, sorted clusters in the winery prior to destemming, and finally, individual berries were sorted after they were destemmed.

The aroma of 2005 Moraga Red wine is absolutely beautiful and quite intense.  Brimming with cassis, boysenberry and brown spices, there are also notes of tobacco, cedar and sandalwood.  Although the wine was aged for eighteen months in 100% new French oak barrels, the wine is so dense that only hints of barrel spice and wood tannin make their presence known.  The mouth is full and viscous, revealing complex flavors of cassis, tobacco, chocolate and a streak of minerality common to all Moraga red wines.  The wine finishes with ultra-fine grained tannins, extraordinary persistence, and a mouth-watering juiciness.

Our goal at Moraga has always been to make the best wine possible from this unique little piece of earth and to let the terroir take center stage. With the completion of our winery and our newly established ability to perform the entire winemaking process on the estate, we feel that we have hit our stride with the release of our 2005 Moraga Red wine.  We are thankful for the interest and appreciation that you have shown for our efforts and all that this singular vineyard in the midst of Bel Air has to offer.

Tom Jones, Proprietor 
Scott Rich, Winemaker
Carlos Contreras, Vineyard Manager