2016 Moraga White
2016 Moraga White
While many thought the drought ended with the first substantial rains that we had seen in many years, Moraga only received a scant 8” during the 2015/2016 rainy season, less than half of the 18” that we have long considered normal rainfall for the vineyard. During an unusual extreme heat event on July 19th, we saw the temperature rise to 112°F in the vineyard, an occurrence that we’ve seen less frequently than once a decade. There was significant damage to some of the fruit and by the time we removed all of the damaged clusters, our crop was about half of normal.
When we harvested the Sauvignon Blanc the first week of September, the fruit that remained on the vines was in excellent condition the tiny crop provided the elements for exceptional concentration and texture in the wine. Winemaking proceeded according to our tried-and-true procedures. The grapes were gently pressed and the resulting juice was purposely oxidized to eliminate most of the oxidation potential in the finished wine. Twenty percent of the juice was put in new French oak barrels and the remaining 80% was paced in stainless steel barrels. Then we waited patiently for the yeasts endemic to Moraga to do their stuff. After three weeks the wine in the oak barrels was used to top up the stainless steel barrels, where the wine aged on the lees until the following August when it was racked from barrel and prepared for bottling.
Fresh peaches, honeysuckle, wet slate, and a hint of pineapple tickle your olfactory sense on first examination. The nose is effusive and mirrored on the palate. The flavors are focused ripe peach, along with mandarin and lemon zest. There is a delicious core of sweet ripe fruit. The texture is unusually plush and voluptuous, as well as very mouth-coating. There is a tremendous tension between the acidity and decadent texture.
Even in vintages where nature punishes us, we find a way to tease the best out of this exceptional site for sauvignon Blanc. We would love to provide some handy comparisons to describe the wine, but the truth is there is no other Sauvignon Blanc on the planet that is quite like Moraga. We hope that you enjoy the sense of place that we have captured in a bottle.