Moon Mountain Vineyards (not the original name) has a long history of being bought and sold, including various name changes that date back well into the early 1900’s, to the beginning of Sonoma Valley’s winemaking history. Farmed primarily for Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in the 70’s, the grapes were sold to big name wineries such as Ridge, Kistler and Chateau St. Jean. A winery was not built on the property until the early 80’s where they focused on making Bordeaux varietals that they found grew well in the soil types that exist in the Mayacamas mountain range. Owned now by Diageo, the winery and vineyard focus on making wines via sustainable if not organic farming practices. All of the wineries planted 73 acres of the 286 that make up the estate are certified organic. For non estate wines they choose vineyards that follow the same sustainable vineyard practices as they do, although these other wineries may not be organically certified.
The 2005 Moon Mountain Cabernet Sonoma County ($15) comes from 6 different vineyards (32% Knights Valley, 23% Chalk Hill, 21% Dry Creek, 15% Russian River, 7% Alexander Valley, 2% Sonoma Valley) throughout Sonoma County. Composed of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Zin, the wines sees 18 months in 100% American Oak, 30% of which is new.
My Tasting Notes –
Nose – Fig, chocolate, leather, vanilla, spiced meat
Taste – Black currant, cocoa, raspberry, walnut, dried herbs, oak
Mouthfeel – medium to full body, leather but not overpowering tannins, good acidic structure
Finish – red fruit flavors linger along with a nice leathery feel, medium to long in length
We had this with a grilled portabella mushroom stuffed with roasted red pepper, fake sausage, pine nut and thyme stuffing, topped with feta cheese and a balsamic glaze along with some rosemary redskin mashed potatoes. The wine went really well with the slightly charred, grilled and earthy flavors of the mushroom along with the “meatiness” of the stuffing. It had nice dark fruit aromas and flavors up front that were rich and inviting. It took about a half hour for the wine to start showing the nuttier and herbal characteristics that provided welcome layers and a more intriguing flavor profile. This was a good Cab, especially for the price tag of $15. I could definitely see it going well with pizza or other lighter meat dishes that incorporate roasted veggies and fungus!
Image from MoonMountainVineyards.com