Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Moffett Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2006

 Moffett Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2006

When I went down to the cellar to select a bottle ready to drink right now for a special celebration dinner earlier this week, I pulled this bottle for consideration. I opted for a different bottle, younger and specifically more to the liking of the special honoree of our dinner. Captivated by the chance to open this bottle, I selected it tonight for tasty casual sipping with dinner. 

This wine is from Moffett Vineyards, a 20 acre site sitting 1500 feet up on Howell Mountain on the eastern slopes at the northern end of the range overlooking Napa Valley. The producer, Trent Moffett carries on the tradition started by his parents John and Diane Livingston, Napa vintners and growers, founders of Livingston Vineyards which has been around since the mid 1970’s.

Trent grew up around the winery business and after graduating college in 1991, he went to work for the family winery and started exploring pursuing his own ventures in the industry.

He worked with the H.W. Helms brand, named after the original winemakers who had owned the family’s land in the 1860’s which he produced and sold under the brand C&T Cellars, named after Trent and his wife Colleen. They founded Moffett Vineyards in 2005 with the inaugural release of 800 cases which gained high marks from both consumers and the wine press.

The fruit for
this 2006 Moffett Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced from Moffett Vineyards’ small 3 ½ acre parcel on Howell Mountain at approximately 2100 feet elevation, a second vineyard in St. Helena from what might be the rockiest site in the appellation, that stresses the vines to produce a nice core structure to the wine. Some 442 cases were made. They also source fruit from various other sites in Howell Mountain, St. Helena, Oak Knoll, and even Childs Valley. 

Consulting winemaker Jennifer Rue joined Moffett Vineyards in 2007. The Moffett portfolio has grown to a dozen different labels including Napa Valley Chardonnay, Syrah, Grenache and a half dozen Pinot Noir's sourced from Oregon sites. 

Trent Moffett splits his time growing the Moffett Vineyards brand, and two other labels he oversees, Screenplay Wines and C&T Cellars.

I first acquired and tried this wine back in 2011. When I discovered it, after tasting it, I went back and bought the remaining stock at the local Binny's.

Now in its fifteenth year it is consistent with the last tasting when it was then approaching its 10th year, when I wrote, "this wine seems to be at its apex and it appears it won't improve further with more aging based on this and my earlier tastings."

This is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Cabernet Franc.

Wine Spectator gave this label 93 points.

Representing those Howell Mountain terroir characteristics that I tend to favor in Napa wines, this is dark inky purple color - full bodied - concentrated yet polished and smooth with full flavors of blackberries, ripe plum and currants - with the fruit seeming to trend down somewhat from my recollection of earlier tastings, highlighted by a layer of mocha chocolate, anise, and tones of black tea with a touch of oak and spice - the wine shows great balance of toasted oak and acidity.

RM 92 points.