2012 Moraga Red
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes 

Coming after a very wet year, the 2012 vintage marked the beginning of a protracted drought in Bel Air.  There was little rain during the winter prior to harvest and absolutely no precipitation was seen from the beginning of May until a miniscule shower arrived in mid-October.  We saw bud break in mid-March and flowering at the end of May. Weather during flowering and fruit set was perfect – the dearth of rain eliminated the complications that we sometimes experience with rain during flowering and pollination.  June through august temperatures were very mild, punctuated by short, very minor heat spikes at the end of August.  September was just slightly warmer than usual, allowing the grapes to coast to maturity with great hang time, stunning flavors and unctuous tannin development.  October saw mild weather that warmed slightly in the middle and at the end of the month to provide the final push to ideal ripeness.

Following our usual practice, we picked each part of the vineyard at the peak of flavor and tannin development, sometimes only picking a few rows within a block.  The fruit was inspected on the vine and we removed any less-than-ideal fruit the afternoon prior to picking.  After the fruit was picked early the next morning, the vineyard crew hand-sorted the clusters and after destemming, sorted the individual berries.  Each tiny lot was fermented and aged separately until blending just prior to bottling.  Aging took place in 100% new French oak barrels.

The 2012 growing season gave us an incredibly beautiful, complex wine with both power and elegance.  The aroma is sensual and perfumed, a mix of spicy cinnamon, sandalwood, and burnished leather combined with fruit notes of blueberry, bright cassis, and blackberry pie.  The entry is cloaked with soft, round tannins that seductively coat the entire palate and seamlessly glide into layered dark cherry and boysenberry concentrate supplemented with anise and a streak of minerality.  This wine has the heart of a ballerina, built on graceful strength. It finishes on a high note – enough acidity to sing, extraordinary concentration, and great persistence. 

We hope you enjoy the unique wine from this very special vineyard.

Scott Rich, Winemaker
Carlos Contreras, Vineyard Manager