Morgan has released three single-vineyard ’03 Pinots, and it’s hard, fun work choosing the best. For me, it’s the Double L. It’s a firm, fairly tannic and dry wine, rich, balanced and intricately structured. Combines the taste of cherries, blackberries and coffee with smoky oak to offer intensely complex pleasure now. Should develop well over several years.
From Dan Lee’s personal vineyard, one of the coolest and most northerly in the appellation. Concentrated and intense, a dry, crisp wine of great depth and balance. The flavors of cherries, cranberries, raspberries, cola, root beer, red currants and spices detonate on the palate; the finish is fabulously long.
Another dramatically layered Pinot Noir from this fine producer and vineyard, in the Central Coast. A remarkably consistent bottling over the years, and now the ’09 is perhaps the ripest and purest yet, showing deep flavors of berries, licorice, sandalwood and tangy Indian spices. It’s a big, powerful wine, yet never loses graceful subtlety and elegance. Should…
This is a very dense, layered wine, with many intricate corners to explore. The winemaker has put on lots of lees and quite a bit of new oak, which of course adds creamy, smoky complexities. Fortunately, the underlying wine can handle it. Pure Santa Lucia Chardonnay, it’s intricate in tangerines, limes, pineapples, honeysuckle and Asian spices, with a flinty…
This is from Dan Morgan Lee’s own vineyard. It’s in the coolest northwest part of the appellation, near its boundary, and is more acidic and elegant than his purchased Pinots further south. The 2004 vintage was blazingly hot, and the grapes loved it. Big in cherry, cola, leather and spice flavors, it’s a wine to savor. Best now through 2008.
There are two kinds of great California Pinots: delicate and massive. This is massive. It’s dark, tannic and powerful in fruit, but is so rich, so complex and interesting, you just can’t keep from drinking it. Explodes with black cherry, currant, cola, mocha and smoky spice flavors. Now through 2012.
A wonderful Chard. Don’t chill it too much or you’ll miss the interplay of ripe tropical fruits, oak, creamy lees, butterscotch and oriental spices. Bright in citrusy acids and elegant, it will be great alone, or try with something hedonistic, like broiled lobster with melted butter.
Call it Chablisian for its high acidity and dry minerality, with suggestions of herbs and mushrooms that create a deep undertow to the brighter peach and pineapple flavors. This is a powerful, very complex wine, easily able to handle its share of new French oak.