Winemaker's Tasting Notes: Aromas and flavors include pineapple, lemongrass, butterscotch, nuttiness, lime, a hint of...Read more...
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The promise of high-quality Chardonnay is what first attracted Morgan’s Dan Lee to the Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey County. He bought land there in 1996 and planted mostly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (along with about an acre of Syrah). Although Lee’s Pinots are getting a lot of the attention these days, he still makes superb Chardonnay, including this bottling called Highland. Slightly more than half of the grapes are from Lee’s Double L Vineyard, which is farmed organically; the remainder are from other vineyards in the appellation, including Rosella’s and Lucia Highlands. The wine was barrel fermented in French oak; 30 percent of the barrels were new. (Some lots started fermentation in tank, then were transferred to barrels to finish.) The wine was aged in barrel for 10 months, and 65 percent of the blend underwent malolactic fermentation, so the wine has nice richness but still retains a racy freshness. This is a Chardonnay that’s fleshy yet bright, with creamy pear flavors, some tropical fruit notes and a hint of minerality. It’s extremely well-balanced and, at $26, is attractively priced, too.
Winemaker's Tasting Notes: Aromas and flavors include pineapple, lemongrass, butterscotch, nuttiness, lime, a hint of green tea, pear, walnut, and minerals. This wine shows richness and intensity, and the splendid integration of fruit flavors, oak, minerality and acidity that is a hallmark of well-made Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnays. Winemaking Notes: The grapes were whole cluster pressed to preserve the primary fruit flavors. The must was barrel fermented in 30% new French oak. Some lots were allowed to ferment in tank down to 7 or 8 brix, then transferred to barrel to finish. The wine is aged on the lees, with monthly stirrings over a 9-month period. Sixty-five percent of the wine underwent malo-lactic fermentation to soften the acidity and enrich the mouth feel. A month before bottling, the wine was racked off the lees, and the blend was assembled. Vineyard Notes: Some very fine Santa Lucia Highlands vineyards are sourced for this wine. The primary one is our own Double L Vineyard, which contributes 55% of the blend. There are 6 different Chardonnay clones, planted densely, to 6x5 spacing. It is organically farmed and is the major contributor of complexity and minerality to the wine. The Chardonnay clones at Double L are Dijon clones 95, 96, and 76, 4 (Martini), 15 (Swiss), and 108 (Hillside). Additional sources in the Santa Lucia Highlands include Rosella's, Vinco, Black Mountain, and the Lucia Highlands vineyards. The strong Salinas Valley winds concentrate flavors by thickening grape skins and lengthening the growing season. Vintage Notes: The 2006 vintage started late and ran about a month later than normal, due to a cold, wet spring that delayed the fruit set. The summer weather was typical for the region. The Chardonnay harvest commenced on October 6, and did not finish until November 10, with average crop loads showing intensely flavored fruit that retained much of its natural acidity. Return to Morgan Wine List
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