2018 Moraga Sauvignon Blanc 
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes 

The 2018 vintage produced an outstanding white wine in the face of a challenging growing season. California’s severe drought continued and Moraga received a scant 8” of rainfall, less than half of what we see most years. The entire growing season was hotter than normal and we felt the full brunt of an unforeseen heat wave on July 6th, when the temperature in the vineyard hit 116O F. The nascent berries were at a particularly vulnerable stage of development when the heat hit and a substantial amount of fruit was damaged beyond recovery. The vineyard crew was deployed to remove all of the damaged fruit, resulting in a greatly reduced yield, but setting the stage for a corresponding increase in flavor concentration. After removing the damaged fruit, we removed some of the leaves in the canopy to restore proper vine balance and more closely match the rates of sugar accumulation and flavor evolution. All of this effort resulted in a late harvest that allowed plenty of “hang time” for flavor development. The first pick of our Sauvignon blanc occurred September 24th, about three weeks later than normal. The remaining fruit was picked October 3rd.

The winemaking was simple and straightforward. The grapes were pressed gently and the resulting juice was purposely oxidized in order to eliminate most of what could be oxidized once the juice had been made into wine. Approximately 20% of the freshly pressed juice went into brand new French oak barrels and the balance was used to fill stainless steel barrels. After about three weeks, the fermenting juice in the oak barrels was removed and combined with the juice in the stainless steel barrels. Moraga’s native yeast performed the magic of fermentation. In order to preserve acidity and fruit purity, we suppressed malolactic fermentation from occurring and left the wine to age sur lees until preparation for bottling. The wine received nearly a year of bottle age before release.

The nose of 2018 Moraga White Wine is overwhelmingly floral, composed of aromas of apple blossoms and honeysuckle overlaying fresh white peach. Additional fruit notes of pineapple, cherimoya, and Asian pear are evident. On the palate, the wine is bright and energetic, echoing the aroma. Additional layers of fresh apricot, mango, honeydew melon, and mandarin zest add complexity. The texture is sexy and viscous, with a mouth-coating silkiness that slithers across the tongue. The finish is lengthy and mouthwatering.

We strive to capture the essence of Moraga’s unique terroir in every bottle. There is no other wine estate on the planet that produces wines quite like Moraga. These wines are truly one-of-a-kind, limited-edition creations and we are quite pleased that you have a discerning palate that can recognize and appreciate our efforts in the vineyard and in the winery.

Scott Rich, Winemaker
Carlos Contreras, Vineyard Manager