"Our winemaking practices
are classical
techniques implemented
in a meticulous fashion."
– Winemaker, Scott Rich

Wines

The canyon locale of the Moraga estate vineyard has ancient marine soils and a distinct microclimate that clearly differentiates the property from other California appellations. The steep vineyard, planted at elevations up to 900 feet, is recognized as an exceptional site for creating wines with a sense of place. With regard to structure, ageability and elegance, the Moraga wines are more akin to those of Bordeaux than to their California cousins.

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  • 2009 Moraga Red Wine

    2009 Moraga Red Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The fourth in a series of scant rainy seasons, the 2009 vintage started with near-perfect conditions for March budbreak – dry weather and record high temperatures that led to rapid leaf development and shoot growth. Moraga received a bit of rain at the end of the month, but March marked an early end to a rainy season that normally runs into June. With a bit less coastal overcast than we often experience, average temperatures over the summer were a couple of degrees warmer than most years. The pattern continued into mid-August when we experienced ten straight days of heat that pushed the grapes through veraison, creating a scenario for very uniform ripeness. Harvest of Moraga’s red grapes began in late September, which was slightly warmer than most. Record low temperatures characterized most of October. The cool weather was punctuated with significant amounts of rain mid-month. The grapes survived the rains with no ill effects and we finished harvest by the month’s end.

    The 2009 vintage produced another exceptional Moraga Red Wine. The nose is quite complex and a little brooding, exhibiting layers of Asian spice, tar, classic cedar/cigar box, and sandalwood fragrances all heaped into a pile of red fruit and currants mixed with blueberry and a hint of tobacco. The entry is juicy, soft, and round, with plenty of mixed berries and ripe plum. The wine is beautifully structured, with soft, fine-grained tannins, and a persistent, mouthwatering finish.

    Blessed with a very unique site for wine quality, we are still thrilled and amazed at the consistency of Moraga’s wines from vintage to vintage. Proximity to cool ocean breezes and soils consisting primarily of calcareous uplifted seabed contribute to a wine that is unlike any other in the world. We continue to strive for perfection and we’re honored that you appreciate all of the effort that goes into creating Moraga’s wines. Most of all, we’re glad that we can distill the essence of a very special place and share it with you.


    Tom Jones, Proprietor
    Scott Rich
    Carlos Contreras, Vineyard Manager

  • 2008 Moraga Red Wine

    2008 Moraga Red Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The 2008 growing season marked the second consecutive year of sub-average rainfall, creating naturally balanced vines with only moderate growth and small canopies. Overall, the summer was mild, with little in the way of the extremes that might have affected flowering or fruit set. The only anomaly was that, overall, the summer was a couple of degrees warmer than normal. A few minor heat spikes occurred in late August and early September, but these are a normal occurrence at Moraga. A small storm visited the vineyards in late September, dropping ¼” of rain. October started out a bit on the warm side, but it was followed by a cold front that retarded further ripening. The Santa Ana winds kicked up in mid-October and pushed the remaining grapes to ripeness, ending the season on a very good note.

    The unremarkable weather produced a rather remarkable wine. A bit like a ballerina at the top of her game, Moraga 2008 Red Wine is a study in restrained power, balance, and grace. Consistency is a virtue, and the same aroma and flavor components that have provided the common thread of every Moraga vintage since 1989 come to play in the 2008 vintage. The aroma is interestingly complex – currant, Marion berry, black plum and the slightly herbal note of fine tobacco are seamlessly interwoven with sandalwood, a dusty mineral tone, and the floral scent of violets. The palate encompasses the same elements as the nose, along with a hint of blackberry syrup, cedar, and a blueberry component derived from the merlot portion of the blend. The French oak is exceptionally well-integrated and the tannins are berry-skin soft and smooth. This is a sophisticated wine with a very persistent finish.

    We continue to be astonished by the consistency of the wines produced from this very special site. We perceive our role to be that of stewards whose primary responsibility it to faithfully produce wines that are the distilled essence of a unique place. The fact that many of the same flavor and aroma components consistently reveal themselves with every vintage of Moraga suggests that we’re on the right track. We strive for perfection, knowing that the achievement of that goal is unlikely. That yearning, however, is what propels us to excellence. Thank you for sharing our dreams and visions.


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

  • 2007 Moraga Red Wine

    2007 Moraga Red Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    Moraga’s 2007 growing season started off at the end of a drought period, so the vines began their growth cycle with less soil moisture than normal. A warm, dry March produced near-perfect conditions for flowering and fruit set. The summer proceeded with normal temperatures and ended with a minor heat spike that started at the end of August and eased into the first part of September. The entire ripening period of September and October was marked by temperatures slightly cooler than the norm with noticeably more coastal gloom than usual. This influence was so pronounced that we did not begin picking the first red grapes until October 12, about three weeks later than we start in most years, giving us a bit more time for flavor and tannin development. The surprise was that our harvest period was more compressed than usual, ending with our final pick on October 30.

    Despite the challenges of the weather, or perhaps as a result of them, we produced a stunning red wine from the 2007 vintage. Beautiful perfumed dark fruit notes of black plum and blackberry are mingled with familiar components of tobacco and mineral, along with a hint of cassis, the common threads that tie together every vintage of Moraga. The entry is rich, round and plush. Plum, blackberry and cassis flavors mirror the aroma. This wine is the complete package: elegant, exquisitely balanced and beautifully structured with very fine-grained tannins. Full of youthful vitality with a juicy, persistent finish, Moraga’s 2007 Red Wine holds the promise of exceptional ageability.

    Most members of our year-round, full-time vineyard crew average over 15 years at the property, bringing a level of experience, care and continuity rarely seen on wine estates. As a team, we have always operated with a single focus – to produce the best wine possible from this unique piece of land. We are grateful for your interest in and enthusiasm for our wines.


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

  • 2006 Moraga Red Wine

    2006 Moraga Red Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    We rarely experience the wild swings in weather that influence the quality of vintages in other wine-producing regions and the 2006 growing season for Moraga proved to be no exception. The previous winter provided plenty of rain, so we began the year with the soil at full water-holding capacity with no need for irrigation until quite late in the year. There were no real outliers to the weather patterns that we have come to expect over two decades of farming Moraga. A warm June helped optimize flowering and fruit set, laying the tone for the balance of the year. Moraga saw mild temperatures and the normal coastal overcast that keeps things from overheating and allows great flavor development without the excessive sugar accumulation so often seen in other grape-growing areas of California. October was slightly cooler than normal with lots of coastal overcast, allowing us to pick our grapes at their absolute optimum.

    The 2006 vintage may well be our favorite to date for red wine. The nose is beautifully perfumed with seamlessly integrated oak, cinnamon spice, cigar box, and predominantly red fruit. This exquisitely balanced, though rather extroverted bottling, brims with layers of black currant, tobacco, chocolate, and the core of minerality common to all of Moraga’s wines. The 2006 Moraga Red Wine is complex and complete, possessing an unusual degree of density and concentration without heaviness and a loss of finesse. This wine has an elusive, extraordinary balance between power and elegance, great viscosity in the texture, superbly fine-grained tannins, and a persistent finish that goes on and on.

    We think that the 2006 bottling of Moraga Red Wine is a great example of what this superb site has to offer. With terroir that is absolutely unique in the world of great wines, our objective has always been to produce the best wine that accurately showcases the sense of place that is Moraga. We are proud to offer you this wine – it is a perfect reflection of the team’s extraordinary effort in a truly singular vineyard.


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

  • 2005 Moraga Red Wine

    2005 Moraga Red Wine

    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-optimal 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 later-than-normal harvest. In an unusual event, it rained on September 20, well before harvest of the Merlot which began on October 10. Picking continued as each individual vineyard block reached optimal ripeness and the final Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were not picked until November 5. It rained once more on October 17, 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 the 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 with 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 mouth-watering juiciness.

    Our goal at Moraga has always been to make the best wine possible from this unique little piece of earth and let the terroir take center stage. With the competition 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
    Carlos Contreras, Vineyard Manager
    Scott Rich, Winemaker

  • 2004 Moraga Red Wine

    2004 Moraga Red Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    Predictable weather has become a hallmark of the growing season at Moraga. Both the days and the nights are mild and generally lack the extreme temperature fluctuations that sometimes wreak havoc during the harvest in other top winegrowing regions. There are, however, subtle differences that exist from vintage to vintage and the 2004 season was a prime example. Warm weather and a lack of rain in early June conspired to create perfect conditions for a rapid period of flowering and fruit set. This together with the accumulated effects of an extra degree or two of warmth each day and a little less coastal cloud cover over the length of the season created the conditions for a significantly earlier harvest. We began picking both Merlot and Cabernet on September 11, at least a week earlier than usual. A steady pace of harvest continued until the last day on October 12, an event that normally occurs near the end of October.

    The massive nose of this wine leaps from the glass. There is a consistency that follows from aroma to flavor with multi-layers of cedar, cardamom, Asian spices, cigar box, and star anise. Moraga’s 2004 Red Wine is jammy and voluptuous and combines dark fruit flavors of cassis and black cherry. It has a remarkably long finish.

    Throughout Moraga’s history, our goal has always been to put our best wine possible in the bottle, a philosophy that compels us to occasionally reject some barrels because, they simply are not quite as good as the other barrels. The 2004 Moraga Red Wine bottling marks a milestone because it is the first time that all of the barrels produced were excellent and all made it into the bottle. Like all of our bottlings, this wine is a pure expression of our unique terroir. We hope that you thoroughly enjoy it and appreciate the effort of many loving hands in this singular place.


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

  • 2003 Moraga Red Wine

    2003 Moraga Red Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    Every growing season has its own unique characteristics and the beginning of the 2003 season seemed auspicious, with bud break occurring the week of March 14th about seven days earlier than most years. Weather during flowering and fruit set proved a bit cool and rainy, preventing the flowers from opening completely and resulting in a crop that was smaller than usual. The season progressed at a moderate pace until September 7th, when an episode of unprecedented heat caused the vines to temporarily shut down in order to conserve water. The result of all this was that the berries remained small allowing us to produce a wine with more concentration. The remainder of September was cool and overcast resulting in extended hang time with perfect fruit and tannin development. We began picking the red grapes October 17th and concluded harvest October 25th, making this the shortest harvest interval in Moraga’s history, as well as one of the smallest crops.

    When the cork was pulled from the bottle to write these notes, the aroma of the wine filled the air before it was even poured into glass. The effusive nose is filled with Oriental spices, currants, vanilla, and cedar. The small crop resulted in very concentrated flavors of black cherry, currant, vanilla, and a streak of mineral. The flavors carry through on the exceptionally persistent finish. Given this wine’s well-structured concentration, generosity of fruit, and very fine-grained tannins, we expect it to be especially long-lived. The entire Moraga team is extremely proud of this wine and is delighted to share it with you.

    Moraga’s Red Wine is born of an unusual site, paying homage to Bordeaux with our ancient seabed soils. This coupled with the sunny growing season moderated by the cool seas of nearby Santa Monica Bay gives us the opportunity to ripen perfectly the Cabernet and Merlot grapes.


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

  • 2002 Moraga Red Wine

    2002 Moraga Red Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The 2002 vintage began in an unremarkable manner – bud break in late March, followed by flowering in early June and mild temperatures thought most of the growing season. Normal weather cycles continued as the cabernet and merlot vines began their transition to the ripening phase and the berries started developing color. We began picking the first day of the merlot in the third week of September and continued on a slow, but steady pace until the second week of October. When the skies became unseasonably overcast and the weather cooled. The cool weather brought sugar production to a standstill, but very high-quality, fine-grained tannins continued to slowly develop. The last grapes were picked November 7th and the first storm of the season unfolded four hours after we finished crushing.

    Concentrated cassis, black cherry preserves, and hints of cigar tobacco and cedar are the primary aroma notes. The palate is initially soft and approachable, but backed by firm, fine-grained tannins. A mouthful of rich, spicy black cherry is integrated with black plum and a whisper of dusty minerality. The finish leaves you with a lingering taste of black cherry and a hint of tobacco.

    2002 Moraga Red Wine is neither stereotypical California, nor Old World red. It is unique in the expression of its origins – ancient uplifted seabed soils and proximity to cool ocean breezes. We are pleased to share with you a wine of such character and personality.


    Scott Rich, Winemaker
    Carlos Contreras, Vineyard Manager

  • 2001 Moraga Red Wine

    2001 Moraga Red Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The 2001 vintage was one of those rare growing seasons that allow winemakers to remain relatively relaxed as Mother Nature is on her best behavior. Mild days, without extremes of heat or cold, led to superb grape quality and a splendid balance between fruit and acidity. Picking lasted from September 3rd to October 29th and it was simply a matter of patience to wait until the grapes achieved their optimum level of ripeness and were ready for picking.

    2001 Moraga Red Wine is true to form with notes of cherry, cassis and tobacco mingled with hints of smoke and mineral. Blueberry, cassis and black olive with a bit of mineral dust dominate the flavor profile. New French oak barrels contribute nuances of vanilla and spice, as well as a bit of tannin to bolster the structure. This is a luscious wine that fills the mouth with a full, viscous texture and finishes with a juicy persistence.

    Great wines convey a sense of their origins and this wine is certainly expressive of its unique terroir. We hope you enjoy it immensely.


    Scott Rich, Winemaker
    Carlos Contreras, Vineyard Manager

  • 2000 Moraga Red Wine

    2000 Moraga Red Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    From the time that the first leaves made their appearance in the spring, the weather during the 2000 vintage was remarkably mild and well-mannered. Absent the heat spikes that sometimes occur during harvest, we were able to pick at an almost leisurely pace, waiting until the grapes had reached optimal ripeness. Although the vineyard is of diminutive size, picking stretched over a five-week period beginning at the end of September. Individual vineyard blocks were sometimes picked more than once to accommodate differences in vine age, as well as subtleties of soil and exposure. This could only be done with the year-round veteran vineyard crew that has acquired an unusually intimate knowledge of Moraga.

    The aroma of this wine immediately begins to build in intensity once poured.

    Compelling notes of berry, cedar, cassis, and tobacco meld with undertones of black olive and sweet French oak. In the mouth, 2000 Moraga is unusually powerful, even by our rigorous standards. The initial impression is that of bright, spicy currant, black raspberry, and blueberry backed by a firm structure. Loaded with fine-grained, high-quality tannins that coat the entire palate, this wine finishes with an exceptionally lengthy and satisfyingly juicy persistence.

    We feel that this is one of the finest examples of more than a decade of winemaking at Moraga Vineyards. This wine tells the story of synergy at an unusual and unique site created by nature and nurtured by man. We hope that you enjoy the gift of the land and the efforts of those who transformed it into a liquid expression of place.


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

  • 1999 Moraga Red Wine

    1999 Moraga Red Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The vintage of 1999 was a perfect example of the dichotomous nature of winegrape growing, an unusually cool spring produced a crop with fewer grape clusters than normal, dramatically reducing the amount of thinning required in the vineyard to achieve proper vine balance. The dearth of quantity, however, was mirrored in the superb quality of the grapes. The cool spring slid into a cool summer; resulting in what winemakers term long “hang time” with extraordinary flavor and tannin development.

    These near-perfect grapes were crafted into an exemplary wine that reflects the unique terroir of Moraga. The aroma is fresh and vibrant with ripe blueberry and hints of coffee, chocolate, and black pepper melded with the subtle smokiness of new French oak barrels. The entry is soft and round. Elegantly structured, the mid-palate is brimming with briary blackberry and boysenberry jam. The finish is rich, persistent, and juicy, imploring you to have another sip.

    The entire team at Moraga hopes that this bottled synergy of soil, water and sun brings you joy.


    Scott Rich, Winemaker

  • 1998 Moraga Red Wine

    1998 Moraga Red Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The vintage of 1998 was a test of patience and mettle. Cool weather during flowering and fruit set produced a small crop of grapes over an extended period of time, creating the potential for uneven ripeness. The response was ruthless fruit thinning to remove all but the earliest fruit to set, ensuring that the clusters which remained consisted only of grapes that would ripen in a uniform manner prior to harvest. To throw grapes on the ground in a vintage which produced naturally low yields from the start was an emotionally painful, but requisite act for the vineyard crew. The summer while sunny, was cooler than usual, forcing us to wait patiently to complete harvest in November. The challenging set of conditions that nature presented resulted in grapes that possessed very mature tannins and exceptional flavor concentration. While quantity was low, quality was high.

    Layered aromas of cedar, cocoa, boysenberry syrup mingle to produce a complex and powerful nose. In the mouth, the 1998 Red Table Wine is dense, structured and texturally lush. Ripe blueberry, black currant and hints of cocoa and coffee delight the palate and contribute to the persistent finish of this age-worthy wine.

    We are delighted by the balance and beauty of this wine; it truly expresses the character and sense of place that are found in the wine of Moraga.


    Scott Rich, Winemaker
    Tony Soter, Consultant
    June, 2001

  • 1997 Moraga Red Wine

    1997 Moraga Red Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    It is the rare wine that expresses its origins as to the Red Table Wines of Moraga. Each Vintage surprises us with the consistency of flavors and aromas that we have come to identify as Moraga. The 1997 Red Table Wine mirrors previous vintages with aromatic notes of cedar, tobacco, black currant, coffee. Bright, energetic fruit reminiscent of black cherry and a suggestion of blueberry cobbler round out the aroma impression.

    The entry is immediately smooth and supple. Concentrated black cherry plum, and dark chocolate flavors contribute to a palate that brings memories of biting into a juicy, fleshy black plum on a balmy summer day. Suffused with very fine-grained, silky tannins, this wine finishes with mouthwatering persistence.

    The 1997 vintage Moraga is a study of balance and harmony produced by synergy of climate, soil, and skillful hands in the vineyard. It is the magic of the natural process gently steered to transform this place known as Moraga into its bottled essence for our sensory pleasure. We are quite proud of wine and we hope that it fulfills your hedonistic expectations as it does ours.


    Scott Rich, Winemaker
    Tony Soter, Consultant
    November, 2000

  • 1996 Moraga Red Wine

    1996 Moraga Red Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The vintage of 1996 was a repeat performance of the near-perfect 1994 growing season.

    The warm, dry spring provided ideal conditions for evenly set fruit. A temperate and sunny summer was followed by a burst of heat that concentrated flavors at harvest. The outcome of this serendipitous weather pattern was a moderate crop of perfectly ripened, very flavorful grapes.

    Needless-to-say, we are excited about 1996 Moraga. This wine exudes rich cassis spice, cigar box, and berry notes that we’ve come to recognize as signature Moraga. What sets this wine apart is an exceptional concentration and intensity seen only in special vintages where all the elements of perfection in the vineyard converge.

    Generously textured and beautifully structured, 1996 Moraga is that rare blend of elegance wrapped around a powerful core. This wine delivers hedonistic pleasures for immediate enjoyment, but its unabashed youthfulness promises an evolution that will please for years to come. We are proud of this wine and hope that you will find delight in what 1996 Moraga offers.


    Scott Rich, Winemaker
    Tony Soter, Consultant
    Roberto Quintana, Winegrower
    May, 1999

  • 1995 Moraga Red Wine

    1995 Moraga Red Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    Moraga was blessed by Mother Nature in 1995. Heavy winter rains provided moisture to the soil that all but eliminated the need for supplemental irrigation. Spring flowering was met by cool temperatures and light rain that produced small, loose grape clusters. The effect of these conditions manifested itself in vines with near-perfect natural balance and little need for crop thinning. Moderate temperatures in the weeks prior to harvest ensured generous, fully developed flavors.

    Dense, saturated color hints at the pleasures to come. The heady aroma fills the senses with seductive notes of opulently ripe fruit, cedar and brambles. Subtle hints of cocoa and spice present additional layers of complexity.

    The promise of the bouquet does not disappoint the palate. The lush entry precedes bramble, mocha, cedar, and cigar notes that are elegantly wrapped around the sweet core.

    Structurally seamless, tannins coat the mouth and the flavors linger long after the last swallow.

    This wine is a testament to the best that Nature can deliver. While elegant and immediately approachable, additional age will endow 1995 Moraga with further nuance and layers of pleasure for years to come.


    Scotty Rich, Winemaker
    Tony Soter, Consultant
    Roberto Quintana, Winegrower

  • 1994 Moraga Red Wine

    1994 Moraga Red Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    Simply put, the 1994 Moraga Bel Air is the unquestioned pinnacle of our winegrowing achievements to date. It is with the experience of five previous vintages, the blessing of an ideal growing season, and the intangible mystery of great wines, that all seem to have coalesced in this exceptional bottling.

    This wine is seductively opulent, almost decadent, with ripe youthful appeal. At the same time its underlying classis structure and penetrating finish give one confidence that it has the staying power for extended cellaring.

    All of Moraga’s signature flavors and aroma characteristics are generously at play. From the saturated ruby color to the smoky, coco powder, chocolate and cassis aromas, on into the melt-in-your-mouth texture and the panoply of varied notes in the lingering finish.

    Needless-to-say, I like this wine! As one known more for understatement and soft spoken praise when describing wines, I simply find it too delicious not to celebrate its achievement. All hubris aside, it is a credit to the dedication of Roberto Quintana, the vision of Thomas and Ruth Jones and the grace of Mother Nature.


    Tony Soter, Winemaker
    December, 1997

  • 1993 Moraga Red Wine

    1993 Moraga Red Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The 1993 growing season at Moraga in Bel Air started with a warm spring. The mid summer temperatures were moderate with sunny days and cool nights followed by a hot dry September. A generous crop required selective thinning to ensure good fruit concentration. At harvest the grapes were fully mature with intense flavors insuring the quality of the 1993 vintage.

    The bouquet of this wine is immediate and complex. It is replete with aromas of smoky cedar, sweet pipe tobacco, dried herbs and mocha. Underlying are layers of black cherries and blackberries with nuances of dark chocolate and mint.

    On the palate flavors of ripe plums and cassis are abundant, with hints of vanilla, cocoa, floral notes, spice and minerals. Textually, this wine offers an integrated balance of supple texture supported by a frame of fine structural tannins.

    The 1993 Moraga is a wine that can be enjoyed now, because it shares with the 1992 vintage a compelling approachability. It will, however, mature harmoniously for years to come.


    Tony Soter, Winemaker
    November, 1996

  • 1992 Moraga Red Wine

    1992 Moraga Red Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The 1992 growing season provided Moraga with a bountiful crop. Extensive crop thinning ensured proper fruit concentration and a warm, sunny September made for a successful harvest. As a result, the 1992 Moraga Bel Air is an intense and concentrated, yet highly approachable wine.

    The bouquet is based on a strong foundation of black cherries and currants. Layers like a fine lacquered bowl; it exhibits a plethora of other nuances such as mocha, cedar, laurel, dark chocolate, tobacco and ripe olives.

    On the palate, this wine is brimming with plum and cassis flavors; accented with hints of dried flowers and mint. The texture is at once smooth, full and lush while supported with integrated, fine-grained tannins. The finish endures for some time.

    The 1992 Moraga is a seamless wine. Given this harmony, it is difficult to dissect into specific attributes. Each tier of aroma, flavor and structure contribute to an elegant wine that is supple and fleshy enough to enjoy now, yet has the intensity to carry it through years of aging.


    Tony Soter, Winemaker
    March, 1996

  • 1991 Moraga Red Wine

    1991 Moraga Red Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    At Moraga, in Bel Air, as in many areas of California, 1991 was an excellent season for grape growing. The protracted growing period allowed for extended maturation time and the generous crop required thinning by conscientious growers. Though production was more than 26 barrels, only 18 make the final blend represented in this bottling.

    The wine currently exhibits heady aromas of cedar, spice and blackberries with nuances of ripe olive and dry herbs adding intrigue. Already a complex wine, instead of simply young and fruity, the flavors render suggestions of roasted wild mushrooms, minerals, cocoa and almonds. The palate impression is initially silky and allows for near term drinkability but structural tannins necessary for aging do become subtly apparent in the finish.

    In comparison to the previously two releases, the 1991 is more refined and less austere than the firm 1989 vintage and more elegant and approachable than the heavyweight 1990. Although it will repay patient cellaring, this vintage is likely to drink better, sooner, and be appreciated for its engaging aromas and silky feel.


    Tony Soter, Winemaker
    March, 1995

  • 1990 Moraga Red Wine

    1990 Moraga Red Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The 1990 Moraga will certainly be a benchmark vintage for years to come. It is a wine which will stand proudly among the finest Napa and Bordeaux Cabernets, while defining its own unique place.

    The 1990 vintage is praised by winegrowers the world over and Bel Air is no exception.

    Not a generous year in terms of quantity, (only 226 cases), our rewards were in the extraordinary ripeness and concentration of the fruit. Truly a rare example of the fortuitous synchronicity of site, environment and human endeavor. It is both humbling and rewarding for a winemaker to work with fruit of such uncommon quality.

    The wine has an almost opaque blue black color. The aromas are immediate with cassis and toasted sweet oak, while just revealing a whole host of more subtle nuances such as: violets, plums and sandalwood. This is a massive mouth filling wine that has enough substance to more than complement its fine grained tannins. The 1990 Moraga is a wine that is too intriguing and enjoyable not to try in the near future; but by any classis measure, it will improve for decades to come. Bottled unfiltered, please allow for some sediment when serving.


    Tony Soter, Winemaker
    March, 1994

  • 1989 Moraga Red Wine

    1989 Moraga Red Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The 1989 Moraga is truly an auspicious first release. This is a wine in the Napa and Bordeaux tradition of Cabernet based wines whose structure and intensity make them worthy of extended cellaring.

    Moraga is unique in ways which yield a taste unlike any other. It’s as if one could sense the effects of the gentle microclimate and the soil; porous sandstone over a strata of limestone abounding with fossils from an ancient sea bed. Certainly these characteristics contribute to the “signature” of the place and the wine we call Moraga.

    The wine is a dark ruby color and has a wide array of aromatic sensations suggestive of blackberry and plum fruits, lavender and jasmine floral scents and many other nuances such as tobacco, cedar, mocha and vanilla. Texturally, the wine is both silky and chewy showing a gentle initial feel followed by a firm backbone of tannin and acidity. Ultimately, it is the concentration and persistence of flavor that make the wine fascinating to drink now as well as insuring its continuing development in the bottle.


    Tony Soter, Winemaker
    May, 1993

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  • 2011 Moraga White Wine

    2011 Moraga White Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    In many ways, the 2011 growing season was textbook perfection. After several years of sub-average rainfall, we finally saw a wet winter that saturated the soil profile ensuring plenty of water for the season’s first growth in late March. Cold weather during flowering in May and June caused a small reduction in the crop load. June and July were typically mild, influenced by the “June gloom” that is part of life so close to the ocean. August started out cool and finished with a bit of heat, easing the grapes toward ripeness. Cool weather cycled back in early September, followed by a mild increase in temperature, which helped concentrate flavors in the grapes just prior to harvest on September 8.

    The 2011 vintage proved to be another winner in a string of exceptional Moraga White Wines. The nose is dominated by floral notes of white flowers and honeysuckle, underlain with a bit of peach that has become one of the signature flavor descriptors for Moraga. There is also a slight talcum powder/baby aspirin component to the aroma. The flavors are bright and energetic, full of white peach backed up with tropical fruit notes, a bit of pineapple and a sexy streak of minerality. The wine is juicy in the mouth, texturally focused, well-structured and very flavorful. The finish is quite persistent.

    A little bit of curiosity led to the first planting of grapes at Moraga and sheer luck provided us with the perfect combination of soil and climate. We count our blessings each time we realize our good fortune in having such an extraordinary site for sauvignon blanc. We’re happy that we can share something so special with you.


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

  • 2010 Moraga White Wine

    2010 Moraga White Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The weather leading up to Moraga’s 2010 vintage was a significant deviation from the norm. There was nothing unusual about the beginning of the growing season – budbreak and flowering saw the sort of weather patterns that we’ve come to expect, but July was a continuation of the coastal “June gloom” that is so much a part of life this close to Santa Monica Bay. Record low temperatures were recorded on multiple days in July, but we also saw a short spurt of heat that created record highs. The overall trend continued into the next month, which proved to be coolest August since records started being kept in 1944. A significant marine layer and associated cool temperatures persisted through most of September. Overall, Bel Air saw its coolest summer since 1948. The result of this weather trend was slow ripening with incredible flavor development. We finally picked the entire sauvignon blanc crop on September 26, about three weeks later than most years and the latest start to harvest in Moraga’s history.

    This unusual vintage produced an incredibly interesting and complex wine. The nose displays a purified essence of white peach with undertones of peach cobbler, pineapple, a hint of tangerine, and gingerbread spice. The mineral component is reminiscent of wet slate after a rainstorm. This is an exceptionally rich, flavorful wine. The aromas translate precisely to the palate, but additional flavors of white-fleshed plum, citrus, and litchi are also found. The texture is round and mouth-filling, supported by a great acid structure and a very long finish.

    We are fortunate to have what may arguably be one of the most perfect sites in the world for sauvignon blanc. The combination of this exceptional site, a season of marvelous weather patterns, and a dedicated team have all conspired to make the 2010 vintage very special. We hope that you enjoy the fruits of our effort.

    To your health and happiness,


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

  • 2009 Moraga White Dessert Wine

    2009 Moraga White Dessert Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The year 2009 marked our fourth season of sub-normal rainfall. March began with record high temperatures and dry weather that was generally quite favorable for bud break. The month finished with cooler weather and a bit of rain, but that was the extent of moisture for the rest of the season. The balance of the spring and summer were unremarkable, except that average temperatures over the summer were two or three degrees warmer than the norm. A cold spell in mid-August slid into ten straight days of heat that continued into September. This is a critical time in the flavor development of our sauvignon blanc grapes and for the first time in Moraga’s history, we weren’t happy with the direction in which the flavors evolved. We decided that this presented the perfect opportunity to experiment, so we left the grapes on the vines. The dry weather continued with only a smattering of rain in October and November. We finally picked the fruit on December 11 at 42o Brix. The juice began a native fermentation about a month after picking and required a full year to reach a state of natural balance at 8% alcohol.

    We made a single barrel of this wine.

    The aroma of Moraga’s 2009 White Dessert Wine is quite effusive. Honeyed notes of tropical fruit, lemon, pineapple, and apricot nearly leap from the glass. These same flavors are found on the palate, along with tangerine, spice, and a hint of caramel. Showing through all of this is a vein of Moraga’s signature minerality. Texturally, this is a rich, viscous, voluptuous wine. Although quite sweet, it is never cloying. The high natural acidity keeps the wine in beautiful balance and helps bolster the extraordinarily long, persistent finish.

    Two thousand nine was the sort of vintage that keeps us humble and reminds us that, ultimately, we are not in control. As farmers, we must react to the challenges that Mother Nature presents to us. Occasionally, these challenges create incredible opportunities and allow us to see into realms that we could never have anticipated. We are pleased that we can share this special place and these unique opportunities with you in a glass of wine.

    To your health and happiness,


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

  • 2008 Moraga White Wine

    2008 Moraga White Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The 2008 vintage at Moraga marked the second year of sub-normal rainfall. With scant moisture in Moraga’s typically droughty soils, the vines began the year with restrained growth that led to small canopies and high fruit quality. A relatively cool July was followed by a couple of minor heat spikes in August, providing a gentle push down the road toward the final stages of ripening. As the Sauvignon blanc continued to ripen, the flavors steadily progressed from pure grapefruit to the peach, pineapple, and more tropical flavors that signal harvest time. The entire crop of white grapes was picked over two days during the first week of September.

    We are consistently impressed by the quality of Moraga’s Sauvignon blanc, and the 2008 bottling is no exception. Surprisingly complex for such a youthful wine, the nose is filled with the aroma of orange zest, Meyer lemon, peach, guava, pineapple, and a hint of attractive fresh herbs. Lean and clean on the palate, the aroma notes are echoed by the flavors, which are supported by the remarkable structure and texture of this wine. The flavors are focused and pure, uncomplicated by oak or malolactic flavors. This wine possesses that rare combination of a substantial structure derived from high acidity that acts as the perfect foil for the round, rich, creamy mouthfeel. It is exceptionally tasty and finishes with a very persistent citrusy note.

    Moraga is one of the most unique vineyard sites in the world and the wines produced from the property cannot be duplicated or substituted with any other wine. Our goal is to create wines that are as true to their origins as possible – these are wines that are about place and terroir. We trust that you will enjoy this Sauvignon blanc that is such a testament to dedicated, focused effort on a very special piece of land.

    To your health and happiness,


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

  • 2007 Moraga White Wine

    2007 Moraga White Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    Moraga received only 14% of its normal rainfall in the month of January 2007, setting the stage for droughty soils that would ensure low vigor, small canopies, and moderate crops, all hallmarks of superior grape quality. Continued low rainfall and a slightly warmer March pushed budbreak a bit earlier than most years, providing just a touch of additional hang time. The balance of the growing season continued with Moraga’s usual temperate weather until a heat wave hit at the end of August, just in time to concentrate flavors before picking on September 7. With warm temperatures and dearth of rainfall created the perfect storm for outstanding flavor development during the 2007 vintage.

    Since we made our initial three cases of Moraga Sauvignon Blanc from a miniscule crop in 1995, we have been trying to replicate that wine. We believe that we have finally made a white wine that eclipses that early effort and we feel the 2007 Moraga White Wine is our best white wine to date. The aroma nearly leaps out of the glass with beautiful floral notes complemented by layers of Meyer lemon, a hint of white peach, and exotic fruit such as guava, Asian pear, and pineapple. Bight and fresh in the mouth, flavors of sweet, ripe fruits such as pineapple, citrus, and peach mingle with signature Moraga minerality. This wine has a rich, creamy texture supported by great acidity and trace of grape tannin that provides additional structure. Overall, the wine is exquisitely balanced with a long, elegant finish.

    The world’s finest wines reflect a true sense of place, with the aromas and flavors that tell the stories of their origins and reflect the terroir that makes them unique. The combination of citrus, tropical fruit notes, and minerality that is consistently found in Moraga Sauvignon Blanc has become a signature for the wines that come from this property. We hope that you treat our wines like an old dear friend, appreciating them for their one-of-a-kind personalities, for like a good friend, these wines cannot be replaced.

    To your health and happiness,


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

  • 2006 Moraga White Wine

    2006 Moraga White Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The 2006 growing season started gently with budbreak stimulated by moderate mid-March temperatures. Summer continued with patterns that we have come to consider as normal at Moraga—very mild temperatures punctuated with periods of cool coastal overcast that allow flavors to develop at a slow, steady rate that is perfect for creating a spectrum of interesting, compelling flavors and aromas. The Sauvignon blanc grapes were picked September 8 and September 20, based on the development of succulent, optimum, complex flavors.

    Fresh, bright aromas of lusciously ripe pineapple and nectarine dance with more nuanced floral notes of honeysuckle and jasmine. Flavors follow a similar vein with pineapple and nectarine notes melded with hints of guava, citrus, and apricot, making for an unusually complex white wine. The freshness of the nose is reinforced by the crisp structure of the wine on the palate, serving as the perfect foil for the rich, round, viscous texture. The exquisite finish is remarkable in its focus and purity.

    This wine has all the hallmarks of a classic, world–class Sauvignon blanc, as well as the unique and distinct flavor profile that is unmistakably Moraga. Our tendency is toward understatement, but we feel that this is the best white wine that we have produced.


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

  • 2005 Moraga White Wine

    2005 Moraga White Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The release of Moraga’s 2005 White Wine marks the first offering of any wine grown, vinted, and bottled entirely on our property in Bel Air, California. It is truly an estate wine.

    The growing season for the Sauvignon blanc was remarkably even. Budbreak, flowering, fruit set, veraison, and harvest all occurred within a normal timeframe with no temperature extremes. The grapes were picked on the sixth and twenty-third of September, a normal beginning, but a slightly later-than-usual finish.

    Perfumed and aromatic, the nose is a complex mélange of Meyer lemon custard, melon, pineapple, and papaya. The flavor profile reflects the aroma with great precision and focus, beginning with a juicy, exotic entry that passes seamlessly into a middle palate that is full, creamy, round, and viscous. Crisp acidity provides the foil that perfectly balances the voluptuous texture and gives persistence to the lively fruit.

    This extraordinary property has always appeared as if it were custom-made for world class Sauvignon blanc. Our first estate wine reflects this. The deep gravel soils in which our white grapes are planted provide the perfect growing medium, while the canyon bottom in which they are sited is the recipient of cool air flow that helps optimize the development of exotic fruit flavors.

    We hope that you enjoy this wine; it is truly unique.


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

  • 2004 Moraga White Wine

    2004 Moraga White Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The growing season of 2004 was normal for Moraga, which is to say that it was an example of the consistency and perfection of Bel Air’s weather patterns. Bud break occurred in late March, followed by flowering and fruit set in early June. The summer was temperate and lacked extreme temperature swings. Moraga’s sauvignon blanc grapes began to exhibit their potential by the end of August and were picked on September 3rd and 7th, when peach and tropical fruit flavors fully emerged.

    This very attractive wine is aromatic, floral, and perfumed with fresh ripe melon, nectarine, and pineapple. An intricate mélange of white peach, grapefruit zest, and tangerine creates a harmonious flavor profile that reveals a core of sweet, ripe fruit. The 2004 vintage is not dominated by any single note, but is composed of layer upon layer of flavor and aroma components. Like all Moraga whites, this wine is full, viscous, and round with a luscious, persistent finish.

    We hope that you enjoy this wine; it is truly the product of a unique locale.


    Scott Rich, Winemaker
    Carlos Contreras, Vineyard Manager

  • 2003 Moraga White Wine

    2003 Moraga White Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The 2003 growing season began with budbreak the week of March 14, just slightly early, and continued at a near-normal pace for the duration of the summer, setting the stage for harvest about a week earlier than most years. Initially, the only aspect of the season that stood out as unusual was the fact that all of the Sauvignon blanc in the vineyard seemed to be reaching maturity at the same time, an event that had never before occurred at Moraga. The day prior to the planned picking, an unforecasted heat wave hit the vineyard, with temperatures soaring to near 110oF. With flavors at their peak, we took advantage of the concentration that occurred due to the evaporative loss of water from the berries and picked the entire crop of white grapes that day. After picking, the grapes were chilled to 60oF and carefully pressed.

    The aroma of our 2003 Moraga White Wine is a delightful fusion of floral, pineapple, gooseberry and mineral characters. The flavors mimic the bouquet and become more complex with the addition of Meyer lemon and ripe honeydew melon notes. In contrast to its crisp acidity and firm structure, the wine is surprisingly rich and lush. The 2003 white also possesses a modicum more concentration than normal, which is notable for a wine normally thought of as exceptionally concentrated.

    We hope that you enjoy this exceptional wine derived from an exceptional site. It is the result of nature’s work and a labor of love.


    Scott Rich, Winemaker
    Carlos Contreras, Vineyard Manager

  • 2002 Moraga White Wine

    2002 Moraga White Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The climate during the 2002 growing season epitomized one of the primary reasons for the unusual consistency of Moraga’s wines – the weather was absolutely unremarkable! One day slid seamlessly into the next with even temperatures moderated by the cool ocean of nearby Santa Monica Bay. Absent the spikes in temperature that often characterize less buffered climates, we patiently waited as flavors developed at a leisurely pace. The first week of September, we began the first of three pickings that were commenced to coincide with the optimum flavor profile for each of our seven small blocks of Sauvignon blanc.

    Alluringly exotic aromas of pineapple, grapefruit, lemongrass, kiwi, and nectarine furnish a glimpse of the flavors offered on the palate. The bright, full flavors are supported by a round, silky texture and a backbone of crisp acidity that carries the fruit to a long, persistent finish. As is the case with past vintages of Moraga White Wine, this offering is a standout among Sauvignon blancs because of its superlative structure.

    We count our blessings when we think of our association with this special vineyard. The combination of unique soils and a distinctly maritime climate influenced by the Pacific Ocean, which is within view from the top of the vineyard, have permitted the creation of exceptional wines that cannot be replicated. We hope that you enjoy our 2002 Moraga White Wine with the same passion that went into its creation.


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

  • 2001 Moraga White Wine

    2001 Moraga White Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The 2001 vintage was one of those rare growing seasons that allow winemakers to remain relatively relaxed as Mother Nature is on her best behavior. Mild days, without extremes of heat or cold, led to superb grape quality and a splendid balance between fruit and acidity. Picking occurred at two different times in order to capture the flavors of the vineyard at their prime.

    The aroma is an alluring combination of pink grapefruit, nectarine, and a hint of citrus rind. The entry is round, bright, and silky, with just the right measure of mid-palate phenolics to create the signature structure of this singular Sauvignon Blanc. The finish is crisp, clean, and persistent, with a touch of juicy Meyer lemon.

    Although Moraga white wine is wonderful to drink at present, it is unique among California Sauvignon Blancs in its ability to reward those with the patience and discipline to cellar it for an extended period. We expect this wine to continue to improve for many years. In wine, as in life, patience is a virtue.


    Scott Rich, Winemaker

  • 2000 Moraga White Wine

    2000 Moraga White Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    Nature once again smiled down on Moraga during the vintage of 2000. A mild, temperate summer faded seamlessly into a gentle fall that never forced our hand, but allowed the luxury of two separate pickings when the Sauvignon Blanc grapes were at the pinnacle of ripeness on September 7th and 14th. Upon picking, the grapes were loaded into a small basket press located in the vineyard and gently pressed to express the juice.

    The aroma of this wine nearly leaps out of the glass. A study in intensity and complexity, layers of gooseberry, grapefruit peel, and anise combine to produce a compelling fragrance profile. Faint notes of tropical fruits that are nuances on the nose come alive in the form of fresh melon, nectarine, and pineapple in the mouth. The 2000 Moraga White is one of those very rare white wines which displays a mouth-filling richness combined with an unexpected, extraordinary structure.

    The entire team at Moraga is extremely proud of this wine and we hope that you will find it expressive and delicious. It represents not only a special place, but the skill and passion of all the people who took it from vine to bottle. It is a tangible expression of the beauty of nature touched by the hand of man.


    Scott Rich, winemaker
    Tony Soter, consultant
    July 2001

  • 1999 Moraga White Wine

    1999 Moraga White Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The vintage of 1999 was exceptional in the timing of all of the events that we view as mileposts in the sensual cycles of the vineyard. The vines awakened from their dormancy in the last week in March, starting the entire cycle of vine growth, verasion and fruit ripening a bit later than most years. The cool summer amplified the trend, resulting in a lengthy ripening period. The Sauvignon Blanc was picked on September 20th and 30th. The latest harvest on record for Moraga’s white grapes.

    The resulting wine is distinctive in complexity and singular in its intensity. The degree of complexity and dynamic nature of the aroma prove a challenge to dissecting the individual components. Hints of anise, vanilla, clove spice, and pineapple come forth; a little time and air allows the aroma to shift into the realm of mineral, smoke and flowery lemon verbena. The almost oily texture is the perfect foil for the clean acidity, reminiscent of the best Sancerre. Notes of peach, lemon, gooseberry, mineral play delightfully on the palate. This wine is prototyoical Sauvignon Blanc of the most serious nature.

    Everyone who has a hand in the production of this wine is deservingly proud, from the crews that lovingly tend vine and wine, to Tom Jones who had the vision to make Moraga a reality. Words can’t rightfully convey the excitement that Moraga 1999 White Table Wine sparks in us. The only path to understanding is in the glass.


    Scott Rich, Winemaker
    Tony Soter, Consultant

  • 1998 Moraga White Wine

    1998 Moraga White Wine

    Winemaker's Tasting Notes

    The 1998 vintage was characterized by the coolest, mildest weather that we can recall at Moraga. The daily coastal overcast that is so much a part of the summer weather pattern was never breached by any September heat spells. The result was an extraordinarily long period of fruit ripening that required and rewarded patience.

    Far from shy, this wine commands attention with its striking golden color and complex array of aromas ranging from mineral to honeysuckle and nectarine. Equally compelling is the full, round, voluptuous texture. The exotic quality of nectarine apparent on the nose is echoed on the palate, along with hints of grapefruit and anise. The wine finishes with richness and persistence, and a haunting suggestion of rare dry Sauternes.

    We are very proud of this limited release of Moraga White Table

    Wine and hope that you will have an opportunity to enjoy its unique charms. We feel that it conveys a sense of place that can only be described as “Moraga”.


    Scott Rich, Winemaker
    Tony Soter, Consultant
    March, 2000

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Phone - (310) 471-8560
Fax - (310) 471-6435
[email protected]
Moraga Vineyards Owner
Rupert Murdoch
Founders
Tom and Ruth Jones
Winemaker
Scott Rich
Vineyard Manager
Carlos Contreras
Sales & Marketing Manager
Roxanne Langer

Moraga Estate is not open to the public; therefore, we do not offer tours or tastings.