2018 Morgan Winery, Rosé of Grenache, Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey County.
Dan Lee’s Morgan Winery is continuing to rise to new levels and while most people know about their quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines, you should not miss their Rhone style offerings that includes their Cote du Crows red blend, their latest Syrah bottlings and especially this new vintage of Rosé of Grenache, which is their best version to date. Morgan’s head winemaker, Sam Smith, has some great hands on experience in the Rhone, including a stint at Francois Villard and has helped craft some savvy Rhone inspired stuff, both under his own label and at Margerum Wine Company in Santa Barbara County, so it’s not surprising to see Morgan’s Rhones big elevation in quality and expressive detail. With that all in mind, I got a chance to try the 2018 Morgan Rosé which is due to be released soon and I was thrilled by the energy and mineral tones that drives this fun briskly dry pink wine, this vintage, maybe one of the all time great years for the region, shines through here with exceptional purity, ripe flavors and vigorous intensity. This wine clearly is a great bellwether to give insight on what is likely a string of absolutely stunning wines to come from this Monterey winery, following their awesome set of 2017s, this is exciting times for Morgan.
The 2018 Morgan Winery Rosé of Grenache, coming from Arroyo Seco, which was whole cluster direct press, foot treaded and cool fermented in stainless, it saw about 4 house of skin contact. It was raised for 5 months in neutral French oak & stainless steel that highlights the bright acidity with a delicate suggestion of texture, it started life with the idea of making a Provence inspired crisply dry wine. With its gorgeous faint pale hue in the glass, it looks the part, and the palate really pops with vivid and vibrant fruit adding a subtle tangy/savory element to balance things out. This very expressive Rosé is refreshingly zippy with layers of tart cherry, plum water, strawberry, pink grapefruit and watermelon as well as wet stones, rose water, a hint of sage, saline and the mentioned steely mineral core. I can’t wait to sip on this stuff, I can easily imagine enjoying this with a great array of cuisine, especially steamed mussels in a spicy broth and street fish tacos and it will be an easy choice to bring along on to BBQ’s and beach days. If you get excited for Rosé season, be sure to check out the 2018 pinks from Monterey and in particular this upcoming Morgan, it is a great time to explore the region and all of Morgan’s latest releases, including the Estate Double L Chard, Pinot, Syrah and Dry Riesling, as well as their Monterey County series wines, like this one.
($24 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive