Since 1984 and 17 years, the de facto estate wine of Livingston Moffett winery has been bottled under the name Moffett Vineyard. Planted in the 1960's on what was then known as the Rutherford Bench, these old Cabernet vines grown on St. George rootstock were dry-farmed on a hillside underlain by well-drained volcanic and alluvial soils. Prior to 1984, in the 70's and early 80's, the vines were sources for Chappellet, Burgess, Spring Mt., Cuvaison and Rombauer wines.
Today this site, replanted in 1999, reflects more than 30 years of viticultural advances. Among these, vine spacing has been reduced by more than half, a vertical shoot position trellis replaces a horizontal cross-armed system, a variety of new rootstocks have been paired to the soils and grafted to several Cabernet Sauvignon clones chosen from test plots scattered on the property. Production is limited to a single cluster per mature shoot.
To reflect these changes, it is fitting that the new vineyard and wines have an updated designation: that of Rutherford Estate. This eliminates the confusion of the Moffett name appearing on both the brand name and the vineyard designation. It also distinguishes nicely between the two generations of bottlings: most correctly identifying our Rutherford Appellation within Napa. Last, and most importantly, it emphasizes the fact that the winery has total control of its production from growing, producing and bottling which the Estate designation signifies.
A small juvenile crop in 2000 was harvested to provide vintage continuity and a few cases reserved for our library collection. The promise of that wine has been more than fulfilled by the 17TH Anniversary 2001 Rutherford Estate bottling and the first commercial release from our new vineyard. Only 195 cases of this wine were produced. Preview tastings with the trade, press and clients have had a positively effusive response. All of us at the winery are eagerly awaiting the public introduction of this exciting new chapter in the history of our winery.