This voluptuos 2007 Cabernet blend - a fan favorite - has reached exuberant flavors and textures and will continue to evolve for another decade. Upon first sip, these fruit and spice characteristics overlap with subtle vanilla. Its toasty overtones are derived from the barrel-aging process in which oak from three very different regions (France, Hungary and the U.S.) is integrated into the wine. Its aromas of cherry and red raspberry commingle with spicy nutmeg and bold clove. Underlying hints of dried cranberries and fruit leather add further to its complexity. Velvety tannin and sturdy acidity give this wine a balanced mouthfeel that is at once powerful and approachable. These qualities make the 2007 vintage a wonderful complement to strong and hearty food pairings.
Vintage and Winemaker Notes
Moran Manor is a small family-owned vineyard, dedicated to a limited production of high-quality, blended red wines. We are located at the foot of Mt. St. Helena in Knights Valley - famous for its terroir of rocky, volcanic soil and its hot days and cool nights, which provide us with perfect growing conditions for red grapes. Our Estate vineyard is planted with the premier varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Anagram is our hand-crafted “Classic” blend.
A baby who wouldn’t sleep began the Moran family sojourn into the wine business. As a two-year-old, John Moran was impossible to get to sleep. Like a lot of parents, we tried to cure him of this by taking him for long car rides. From San Francisco, those rides always went north into some of the prime wine-growing regions of the world.
One rainy Sunday and 90 minutes out of the City, we came upon a large white Victorian home in the middle of a beautiful valley we had never before visited. Even though the rain was coming down in sheets, the house stood out like a pearl in the oyster. We began exclaiming, “Wow!” and “look at that!” (We didn’t have to worry about waking up John because he never did go to sleep.) When we reached the property, there was a large FOR SALE sign out front. The rest, as they say, is history.
We bought the house and the surrounding twelve acres and started two projects: the development of a small winery and the restoration of the house.
Today, Moran Manor is a small family-owned vineyard located in Knights Valley - a stretch of heaven between Calistoga to the East and Alexander Valley to the West. The estate is owned and operated by us - Rich and Carol Moran and our four children.
Always fascinated by older homes, we bought the property in 1996 and set about restoring the old Holmes Mansion. As we did more research about the house and the property, we discovered that as early as 1870, there had been grapes growing on the property for the production of wine. As Knights Valley is home to some of the most prestigious and coveted red wines in California, we asked ourselves, “Why not make the development a key part of our restoration?”
With the initial intent of making a Bordeaux-style blend, we planted a variety of red grape vines. Our vineyard now consists of approximately 65 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 percent Merlot, 10 percent Cabernet Franc and 5 percent Petit Sirah vines. Our first vintage of Anagram, our classic red blend, was released in 2002, and we have been learning and growing and going strong ever since…
After the Twisted Oak mystery case, I told myself no more wine for a while until I drink down the current inventory…this looks very interesting, though. Rats will help decide if I’m already going to break my promise to myself!
Moran Manor had an offer on Wine.woot back in early February 2011. Moran Manor Knights Valley Three Pack It was a 2005 and 2006 combination. I got one set. I think I gave the 2006 as a gift to a friend who likes younger, riper Cabernet than I do, but I definitely held onto the 2005. I don’t have detailed notes, but I remember having the 2005 almost a year ago. At that point, it seemed still on the young side, very ripe and intense, still tannic. I had mixed feelings about opening it after the fact - it wasn’t fully mature yet and I would have liked to see it at maturity, but I also wasn’t sure where it was going to go if left another 3-5 years.
I was lucky enough to get a bottle of 2007 Anagram to test and report on. Rather than drink the whole bottle myself, I brought it along and shared with family who are much more wine savvy than I am, and we had an overall enjoyable time giving it a go.
After opening we let the bottle breathe for a bit before pouring into a decanter to get a good look at the color. The color is beautiful. It’s a rich purple. On first smell, you get a nose full of cherry. Second smell and we were picking up bits of spice, but cherries were still the overwhelming aroma.
When poured into glasses, this was immediately drinkable. First taste was fruity and powerful with a good mouthfeel. You get a good sense of the Cab elements right away. No overwhelming alcohol taste. It’s a powerful wine, but it’s completely approachable. Purple fruit, hints of vanilla, hints of spice, and that cherry aroma all come through. I read the wineries description to everyone and we all got a chuckle at and couldn’t help but agree with the sentiment that the wine is voluptuous. After sitting out, the wine continued to open up. After an hour or so it was still quite delicious.
We really enjoyed the bottle overall. It was powerful, but velvety. We didn’t taste it along side food, but it would do very well with steaks, pizza, red sauce and pasta, etc. The winery mentions that it will pair well with hearty foods, and I agree. While the flavor is strong and pointed, it’s also not overwhelming.
Overall, it’s delicious, it opens up well, it’s powerful but drinkable. You’re probably gonna kill a few bottles pretty quickly.
@losthighwayz $12.50 a bottle is a no brainer. That’s a stupid good deal for this one. That said, I don’t know. Hard to rate on a price value. It tastes great. It’s worth picking up 2 bottles. It’s crazy worth picking up a case.
The percentage of wines not available to Illinois on Casemates seems to be higher than it was on WineWoot. Has Illinois become more expensive licensewise for wineries or is this just bad luck for us? Becoming rather frustrating. This seems like a no-brainer for a case.
Appreciate the efforts. Had an idea that it was something to do with our screwed up state. Hopefully you are successful in your efforts. Hate to see offers like this pass us by.
Also my first casemates grab. If it’s, indeed, a powerful wine, which I like a lot, for the price it seems a great option. So, 12 inbound. NOW, I need to go buy that wine fridge I’ve been thinking about .
I don’t know what to say except I’m really sorry. I would have sworn I made this purchase on my iPad before I posted on the forum about the split.
When I came back Wednesday at 12:02am, I saw that I hadn’t successfully completed the transaction. I immediately contacted Casemates and told them about my mistake, and could I please get 5 minutes of grace for the purchase, but I was told no. No more membership for me, but that doesn’t help you get the wine I told you was coming. I’m really sorry!
For my first time ratting, I was given a bottle of 2007 Anagram. After opening, I let it sit for about an hour before I poured my first glass. The first thing I noticed was the rich purple color. The smell was also very pleasing. With the first sip I was greeted with fruit, blackberry and cherry mainly, and spice. Vanilla, black pepper, and cinnamon were some of the spices I sensed. As I let the wine roll over my tongue, the smokey taste was really well-defined, without over doing it. It seemed to be more on the mellow side with the tannins. After a few sips, you really notice how well these flavors blend and enjoy the transition between the fruits, spice, and the smokey flavor.
I did not finish the bottle the first night. On the second night, the wine was just as good as the first. Over time, it mellowed slightly, but the flavors and effects were the same as the first night.
Overall, I can see this being a very drinkable wine. It has a nice balance between the fruit, spice, and smokey flavors. I think it will be a great wine to share on the long winter nights coming soon.
@slicknik82 The flaw, dear Brutus, is not in our corks, it is in our stars.
It’s not you, it’s definitely the cork. That shouldn’t happen with a new cork, but with an older vintage, it’s not unheard of. I’ve had bad corks with WineSmiths and Wellingtons. Sometimes the winery just gets a bad batch of corks.
Were you able to get it out in pieces, or was it completely crumbled?
@InFrom It was totally crumbled. I ended up pushing it in and then pouring through cheese cloth to separate. NBD, just thought I’d mention. Any suggestion on how to do it better since it is an older cork?
@slicknik82 people often use one of those 2-pronged (“ah-so”) cork removers to ease the cork out, rather than drill a hole down the middle. That works for me sometimes, but I’m not very adept at using it. I’ve seen it done by someone more practiced than I, who made it look easy.
@slicknik82 Just got my case today and had a similar experience. I had read your comments earlier so was aware of your issue, and was very careful to try to twist the cork before I extracted it. The cork was very moist, but just came apart. Fortunately, the chunk that broke off stayed in the neck and I was able to grab it. I then poured it through a Venturi. By the way, the wine is delicious!!
@slicknik82 - Ugh, same except I have just moved and am currently being scammed by a moving company who has all of my stuff including my good corkscrew, my venturi, my decanter and even cheesecloth…I stuffed the cork through the neck into the bottle and poured. Picked out all the cork I could and drank the rest. I’m sure that makes me a Neanderthal but hey, the wine was delicious. I’m having a bad cork week. (see Quadrant post).
Same issue as above, first bottle I tried crumbled the cork, second came out clean. VERY sour, more tannins than I expected. I’m half tempted to grump at CS, except I suspect it may partly be that it took the long route here because it looked like it was cooling down and then jumped back into the 80s here. Too strong of tannins for my household’s drinking preferences, but acceptable for cooking I suppose. If anyone in the Philly PA area wants to snag a couple bottles, LMK.
First bottle in - opened with an “ah-so” without issues. Wine is fantastic. A friend and Casemate who got some with me also reports back that the wine tastes great. Hopefully the rest of my bottles are the same . . .