The SOMM Journal

October / November 2016

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Page 72 of 132

72 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016 { cellar view } TUCKED AWAY IN THE QUIET LOS ANGELES COMMUNITY of Bel Air, Moraga Estate sits on 14 pristine acres, 6.2 planted to Bordeaux varieties. In July, The Somm Journal's Editor in Chief Anthony Dias Blue, Executive Editor David Gadd and Deputy Editor Allyson Gorsuch, along with Rachel Macalisang and Albert Letizia of Bazaar by José Andrés and David Gibbs of Augustine Wine Bar, joined Scott Rich, Moraga Estate Winemaker, for a tour of the facilities and a vertical tasting of the impressive wines. We were greeted with the 2003 Moraga Estate white from magnum, the striking fresh - ness of which after 13 years establishes the substance of the estate. "In general, the less we can do to the wines and the grapes the better. We want to show off this special site. With the Santa Monica Bay just five miles away, we have more in common with cooler regions," explains Rich. The two Moraga wines, a white and a red, are made in Bordeaux fashion: the white 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc and the red a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. "We like to wait to pick the Sauvignon Blanc until the grapefruit disappears, usually early September" reveals Rich, who practices an oxidative winemaking style. "If you can oxidize at the juice stage, it doesn't oxidize later." This is certainly evident in the 2003. Each vintage, 20 percent of the wine goes into new French oak barrels for two to three weeks, and Rich is not a fan of fining, doing as little as he possibly can; the resulting wine has beautiful weight. The Moraga Estate advanced its property in 2003 by building a cave, and in 2005 by A view of the Moraga Estate. Idyllic Acreage MORAGA ESTATE'S BORDEAUX BLENDS POSSESS POLISH WITH AGE by Allyson Gorsuch / photos by Dustin Downing An intimate group of wine professionals spent an afternoon at the remarkable Moraga Estate in Bel Air, tasting a vertical of their Bordeaux blends. Left to right: Moraga Winemaker Scott Rich, Deputy Editor Allyson Gorsuch and Editor in Chief Anthony Dias Blue from The Somm Journal, Augustine Wine Bar co-owner David Gibbs, Executive Editor David Gadd from The Somm Journal, Sommelier Albert Letizia and Wine Director Rachel Macalisang from The Bazaar by José Andrés.

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