This Cabernet blend boasts colors of cherry red with lilac tones and aromas of bing cherries, graphite, and lavender. Rich and generous in the mouth, this wine features baker’s chocolate, black licorice, forest spice, vanilla bean, huckleberry, and coffee bean. The dry 2006 vintage created a wine with a lot of tannin, which has helped it age gracefully in the bottle.
Vintage and Winemaker Notes
Moran Manor is 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 terrior of rocky volcanic soil and its hot days and cool nights, which provide perfect growing conditions for red grapes. Our Estate vineyard is planted with premier varieties of 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 outside of the city, we came upon a large white Victorian home in the middle of a beautiful valley we had never before visited. The house stood out like a pearl in the oyster. 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, Sonoma County. The estate is owned and operated by us - Rich and Carol Moran and our four children. Oldest son Brady Moran took over as a vineyard manager in 2018.
Now committed to making just 4 barrels of red wine each year, our 1-acre vineyard is planted to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 10% Syrah. 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…
@rjquillin Here’s the link to the community discussion, wherein the winery person speculates drink by 2014. Not to say that this might not still be delightful, and far exceed her prediction back in 2011. But a nice rat report wouldn’t hurt.
@collegebob exactly. There is clearly risk, so I guess they are saying buy a whole case because the 3-btl price markup makes it a Non-starter. I think that might be the largest premium we’ve seen. I understand shippings costs and stuff, but still…
@char2na the last one from them, not long ago was beyond decent, a similar and vintage - 07 Cab I think? And at a similar price bargain. Been meaning to review it on my blog but the pipeline just seems soo jam packed. I do remember it was a really good bargain overall. I gifted a few bottles to fellow snobs and didn’t get any complaints. I don’t think you can cellar it for that price alone, so it gets my vote. The worse that could happen is this will be an interesting enjoyable addition to your cellar. One that won’t break the bank, far better quality than anything you’ll find in your local grocery store and for far less if you do. Hence unbeatable. An automatic buy for me. I’ll drink half over the next couple years and gift the other half.
@klezman must be bottle variation on the 2007, but I think of the five I’ve been a part of, only one was “good”. Various levels of acid bomb or just mixed up flavors. I’d say cooked, but they’re inconsistent in their flaws. I wish I had better luck on this.
Lab rat!! Thanks for the opportunity!
Let me mirror my work emails by starting out saying that I hope you are safe and well. Bottle arrived this morning. I opened it around 4pm to let it breathe and grabbed a small sip first (for what are time and work other than social constructs now?). First sniff–blackberry, cherry, herbs (please don’t ask me to specify which; I spend little time in the kitchen), licorice. Swirled a bit–smell actually became a little unpleasant. Set it down for a minute, sniffed again, and back to the happy smell. Whew. First taste–very dry, tastes and feels earthy. Faint legs, and a good bit of sediment at the bottom of the glass. Definitely cabernet in there. Pretty deep purple color.
Official tasting started an hour after opening, and impressions were pretty similar, but the bad swirl smell is no longer happening. A few hours later and it’s a popping spicy cab. I paired it with sweet potato bao because that’s what I had, and it worked well, but I could see this wine standing up to a steak (don’t quote me, I’ve been pescatarian several years but still have my faint memories of lovely steak with gorgonzola). Great deal at this price. I currently sooo many reds and so little storage and am sheltering in place with a husband who only drinks white, but I think I’ll send some of these to my cab-loving sister.
A surprise package came this morning (I hadn’t checked email yesterday afternoon), but obviously a single bottle. Opened box and set wine out to warm to closer to room temp. Never heard of Moran Manor, but it looks like it’s supposed to be a quality wine. 2006, 14.3%, Sonoma Knights Valley, made by a small winery that is “dedicated to a limited production of high-quality, blended red wines.” No direct info on the blend in this one, which is called “Anagram”, but they grow Cab, Merlot and Syrah. “Anagram is our hand-crafted ‘Classic’ blend.”
3:30 pulled the cork: lots of crystals and dark purple sediment on the cork. That’s usually a good sign. On first pour, got a fleeting impression of a bit of brick color around the edges, but that may just have been an expectation given the age of the wine. The wine coats the glass; legs are very slow to form. Great woody aroma-- this wine definitely has spent some time in wood. The taste tends toward dark fruit (blackberry, mulberry), tannin, and more oak: I love it. But I’m going to put the bottle away until dinner, although I’d be happy just sipping this stuff until the bottle was empty.
I hope the case price comes in at a level I can tolerate. I’m not very good at pricing wines, but I’d guess this sells at the winery for upwards of $40. How far upwards, I don’t know, but it will be interesting to find out when it goes live.
Later: dinner tonight was an experiment, “Fettuccine with Tomatoes, Fennel, Olives, and Walnuts” from the Fields of Greens cookbook. Not the ideal choice for the wine at hand, but so it goes. The wine held its own and then some.
I didn’t notice much change in the wine after its having been open three hours. It’s still nicely woody, with good aroma and flavors. My wife, who doesn’t normally like anything over about five years old, thought this was good, and that it didn’t taste like a wine that old.
Still later: now at 1 am as I’m about to post this, the wine has softened a bit and lost some of its woodiness. But it still fills the mouth with flavor and has a long finish. I’d be in for a case if I could, but although a single bottle was shipped to me here in Illinois, IL does not seem to be a state that can be shipped to.
@DickL Now, about a day after being opened, it seems to have lost some of the fullness and good mouth feel it had initially. While there’s still a bit of wood, it’s not as nice as it was. Based on the bottle I received, I’d say it’s best consumed within a very few hours of being opened.
I continue to be perplexed by this offer. I’ve been through two cases (believe the '06 & '07?), and the QPR is just stupid. I simply don’t comprehend how they can sell it this cheap. And if you keep that information to yourself, you can legitimately pass this off at a dinner party to some folks who (ahem) think themselves to be sophisticated wine drinkers as a $40-$50/bottle wine that you’ve carefully cellared Auto-buy… with the caveat that it’s surely near the end of its charmed life. And be very careful opening, as some of the corks haven’t held up well.
@hidden1@PatrickKarcher@scott0210 I think I got lucky, I still have a handful of the '07 bottles downstairs (I had to check…for science), and I remember enjoying them. I do remember having the corks crumble as well. I must have lucked out on the bottles, but have passed these off as a much more costly wine to neighbors.
@hidden1 I have four left from the 2007 offering here previously. Of the other eight, two were awful but the other six were wonderful. In for a case; I will figure out where to put them when they get here, and keep my fingers crossed, lol.
I haven’t had the 2006 or 2007, but did get the 2004 (and I think the 2005) on a woot offer years ago. Back then, Moran Manor was on the expensive side. I didn’t drink them until two or three years ago. No notes, but I thought they were solid, fairly typical Knights Valley Cabernet (blends): good, very ripe flavors, a bit hot for my taste, a little fruit forward. In my experience this has been characteristic of Knights Valley (which is on the warm side) Cabernet since the ‘70s when Beringer first marketed a very serviceable, reasonably priced KV Cabernet beginning with the ‘76 vintage, IIRC. The ‘78 was particularly memorable. It was lovely on release, very fine at 10-12, and faded in its mid-to-late teens. Dead before it reached its majority… These typical characteristics all becoming more pronounced as styles changed over the years.
At the case price, even if half the bottles are bad, this is a steal. Get a case, don’t mess around.
I’m not a big fan of the 2006 vintage - it’s not a long lived one, IMHO - but at 13 this wine should be at peak and very enjoyable.
@irenegade I discovered it at a trade tasting. I was buying for a friend’s liquor store back then. I convinced him to order at least 30 cases (of which I bought 2 or 3 and other friends bought a couple more). For some reason, they were on a post-off (where the retailer gets a discount off of the regular wholesale price - the more you buy, the larger the discount, I think he got 20% or 25% off wholesale for buying more than 25 cases). Anyway, he sold the 25 cases that were available to the public in a couple of weeks at full retail, got another 20 cases and sold that all out as well.
@GatorFL Funny you should mention it, I was just looking at the list of things they’ve sold so far, and there are couple of wine items. And as you may have noticed, you can still buy items from earlier today, if they haven’t sold out yet. There are still some Bormioli white wine glasses, a 4-pack for $8.
Got pulled into the Meh-rathon first thing this morning, and so forgot to check Casemates until just now.
Figure I’ve got five bucks free money to play with, since I got shut out on the last IRK, so … in for a case.
@losthighwayz Would you care to elaborate as to what that offer has to do with this one?
The rats for that one all said the wine tasted sweet. The winemaker provided stats. The two didn’t seem to be in alignment.
@klezman sure. I place alot of weight on trust. I truly feel the Saxon offer was a dump sale and WD knew it but relied on the Saxon brand to move the product. You and others may or may not agree with me but I stand by this. Hence, some mistrust on today’s “special” offer is warranted (to me at least).
So why are your Saxon comments here, in a totally different thread that has nothing to do with that offer, except it’s a Friday offer.
Why not put them in the Saxon thread, or in the pub.
@klezman@losthighwayz so you think I have a systemic plan to offer bad wine? With this crowd? Please. That’s BAD business. I will say that I’ve been hunting down Saxon Brown wines for a while, have had nothing but fascinating wines in the past and may have been influenced by my excitement to get another offer up.
@klezman@Winedavid49 not what I am saying at all. I said that I had to “pause” before jumping on this offer. I would normally jump right away based on pedigree and blind trust. I feel as a consumer this is a fair statement, don’t you agree? Also, I assume the bottles are vetted by you and others at WCC before an offer goes up. I am a bit surprised the Saxon made it to the coveted Friday slot. I have been a supporter of WW and CM for close to 9 years and like many others on here (I’m sure) have come to trust the quality of wine offered on here. Like I said before not everyone or anyone will agree with me but I stand by this. I don’t think my point is without merit.
@losthighwayz Dear friend, everyone here has their palate and that definitely impacts the wine you’ll enjoy vs others, that’s part of what makes the rat program unique and fun.
WD’s record speaks for itself with very few misses. I don’t think your comment is warranted. I’d entertain it if you had bought that offer and had a real beef on the QPR, you are complaining about a wine offered on a day set aside for special offers from a winery that is well respected. In your mind it was a stinker, but you didn’t buy it so you’ll never really know…
I go to grocery outlet every week or two for the fun of the hunt and find most are crap. WD has to vet a lot of wine to find good stuff to offer here.
I took some of these from Ron based on my past experience with other vintages also offered here which were excellent.
@CorTot I suppose we can agree to disagree. No hard feelings. CT notes plus two people that bought this and concur with CT is enough for me. In fact, many times I buy on here based on palates from people that who I know align to my taste profile. I feel comfortable with my stance. Again, this is my perspective and I respect yours. You may think it is not warranted but to me it is.
Cory said it better than I could. I grew to trust WD’s palate and selections early on, more than ten years ago now.
Even with one linked set of offers I had a rather bifurcated experience - Gazzi. The Pinots that were just Pinot I loved but the ones with added Syrah were not for me.
Agreed on the WineSmith Rosé. Huge disappointment. I’ve loved all not his other wines. By “before it’s time” do you intend to imply that more time resting in bottle may offer improvement, or did you mean that it’s so innovative that our palates simply aren’t ready for it?
My other disappointment from Casemates was the QPR offer. Yeah, it was $7.50/bottle, but with a name like “QPR” I’d have hope it didn’t taste like a $7.50 bottle. It’s ok for sauces, etc, but I don’t see myself drinking it.
Overall, I’ve been pretty pleased with what I’ve bought, but I’m also pretty selective. Now…if you could get some more of those Meadowcroft Pinot Noirs…those stand out as one of my favorite buys!
@Winedavid49 Honestly, I can’t think of any stinkers that I’ve bought. There were certainly a few bottles that I ratted that I didn’t care for, and plenty of wines you offer that aren’t my style. That’s a good thing, though, trying to please all palates.
Two of my best were the 2004 Mandolina Toccata and the 2009 Toothsteijn #2 Cab Franc. Then the D’Ontspille le Black. And Vinito del Finito. And so on.
It speaks volumes that I have a hard time thinking of duds (95+% of which I tasted ratting rather than purchasing) but can rattle off a list of excellent wines.
@Winedavid49 Since Casemates, the only wine I’ve felt seriously unhappy with was the QPR - back in the day, (at least the red) the Woot Cellars offerings were all at least pretty good, and sometimes outstanding (e.g., the Emergency Holiday Provisions) so I gave it a go… on me. I have a pretty knowledgeable and sophisticated wine drinking friend who loved it, and I ended up giving much of it to him. There were a couple of bad woots - and by that I mean the wines were bad, not just lousy or not to my taste, but they should remain nameless.
@CruelMelody@Winedavid49 I love the Harvest Moon Pinots, including the 2010. The only one that was a bit different and potentially “bad”, imo, was the 2016. It seemed like a chunk of it went through carbonic maceration, perhaps intentionally, perhaps not.
@klezman@Winedavid49 ah I actually went back onto woot (don’t go there much anymore) and checked the order history, and it was the 2013. I like harvest Moon as well, not sure what happened but for some reason this one just didn’t work. I felt especially bad because I talked a friend into splitting an order with me, and I lost a little trust from him haha
Best ever (QPR) - Pavi Napa Valley Dolcetto (12)
@ $71.99 $240.00 70% off list price
Worst ever – Keller Estate Chardonnay Case
@ $109.99 $324.00 66% (But to be fair I believe All the cases were cooked, yes I did get a refund.)
In my experience with WineDavid - WCC, I have been very satisfied with all my purchasers, with a couple of minor exceptions. But is that on Me or WineDavid?? No one forced me to push the bottom on POPCORN CHARDONNAY, what was I thinking……I didn’t care for the CaseMates QPR, but my friends did. Also I don’t count WineSmiths Rose adventure against anyone. I would have never had the opportunity to try so many great wines from outstanding winemakers if not for Wine Woot & CaseMates. Thanks to the RATS, and the stellar participation from everyone on the boards.
I purchased a 3 pack, looking to gift the other two, I have a Crazy Sister (we don’t claim her) who always puts Ice Cubes in her red wine…….
I’ll offer this, maybe the wine should have had an additional reference to a much sweeter profile. ‘Hey not your topical Zen enjoy this with Hot, Spicy, Salty meals.’
First bottle I opened was corked. Second bottle I opened was fine. Very closed at first but started opening up after a few hours. It was all gone before it even finished opening up. Definitely let this thing breathe for a while before drinking. No signs of oxidation. Pretty good for a 14 year old wine at $8. Next time I open this I will let it breathe for much longer.
Once again UPS gives me a headache.
Monday I receive notice it will be here Wed, Tue a notice again expect delivery on Wed. Wednesday, after changing plans and waiting, at 1:30PM a notice that it will be delivered Thu. Now I swapped my plans from Wed to Thu and could not swap again so the wine sat in a hot truck for another day till it was finally delivered Fri.
Please give FedEx another try.
So far I have been through 7 bottles of the 2007 and this past weekend, I opened up the 1st of the 2006. All have been incredibly disappointing. Even at $8 a bottle, I am concerned this was a waste of money. Cooking wine at best.
Opened 2 bottles of the 2007 at a socially distant BBQ this past Sunday. It was a huge hit and drank very nicely with the wagu steaks and butcher sausages, etc. Both corks were intact but I had the Ah So opener at the ready just in case. The bottles were decantered and I was expecting more sediment, but it was nothing out of the ordinary. Delish!
This wine was awful. It seriously makes me wonder if Chinese scammers have gotten into the wine game here in the States, because the only other time I had wine this bad, with these shitty corks that fall apart half the time, was in China. Subsequently learned they are the world’s biggest producer of fake wine. Go figure. I must concur with the commenter who deemed this “cooking wine at best.”
@roggahide No comment on the contents of the bottle, but old wines very frequently have crumbly corks. That a cork is crumbly doesn’t seem, in my experience thus far, to correlate much with whether the contents are spoiled.
@roggahide I just opened my second bottle this evening. I specifically purchased an ah so to open them based on my experiences with the 2007 vintage and to my surprise both corks were solid and looked almost new. However, there was a LOT of sediment on the both corks. So much so I used an aerator both times to filter out the sediment when pouring. I must say I have not enjoyed these as much as the best of the 2007 I have had, but nowhere near as nasty as the bad ones. The nose seems fine on these, but I am surprised at the amount of tannins still present in a fourteen year old wine. Unfortunately I am not good enough at explaining what I am tasting as the many excellent rats on this site, but I will say I had this with left over lasagna tonight and it paired quite nicely. Some dark chocolate with it afterwards was good as well. I am not sorry I purchased these, but was hoping for something more like the 2007 vintage, which this does not seem to be.
@davidd13 Yes, to be honest I am not totally disappointed. My aunt showed me that it is quite palatable if mixed with sparkling water and lime juice. I love wine but am not quite an oenophile, if you get my meaning. Perhaps I shouldn’t have complained so vociferously… Thanks for the comments, guys!
@klezman Hey thanks for your reply! Glad to know this, I’m still learning. I still think the wine was bad, but it’s good to know that a messed up cork doesn’t automatically mean gross wine. Cheers, klezman!
Guess I’ll need to pull another cork.
The first I drank half of and gave the other half away, not in disgust, just sharing. A surprising number of bottles travel between wineaux here at work, so we can gather opinions.
First bottle tasted like a solid, aging cab. Durand had no issues with the cork. Sediment? Absolutely, but a careful decant worked fine.
2nd bottle, cork pulled with standard screw, no issues.
All is in place. Still had red fruits, resolved tannins and decent acidity; not at all flabby, but a bit on the light side and a bit too warm (temperature) actually. Chilling it down a bit now to have with some leftovers (Flannery)