2021 Morgan Winery, Pinot Noir, Double L Estate Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands.
The latest Double L releases, Chardonnay and Syrah, are stunning wines, but especially Morgan’s flagship Pinot Noir, which shows off the vintage to near perfection. This is gorgeous stuff with a layering of silken Pinot fruits, black cherry, wild plum and bramble berry along with deft oak, mineral tones, delicate florals, smoky vanilla and orange tea notes all folding together on the medium bodied palate. The energy and lively acidity in the background lifts the bright ruby and garnet hued Double L up and gives this Pinot its elegant core, while still allowing for a rich and rewarding mouthfeel, this year’s version has classic potential and should get even better in the coming 3 to 5 years in bottle. I was more impressed with every sip and as it opened hints of rose petal, mocha, sweet and earthy chanterelle and Asian spices came out in the glass, this is easy to love and gains tremendously with time and benefits from a cuisine that matches its graces. The current set, again, up and down the range here at Dan Lee and family’s Morgan, led by winemaker Sam Smith are nothing short of extraordinary and as mentioned in recent reviews, this winery has it dialed in and is in want of nothing joining the elite wines in the region.

The sustainably farmed Double L Vineyard was originally planted back in 1997 and today Morgan’s Estate vines are the only officially certified organic site in the Santa Lucia Highlands. The Double L ranch, located at the northern end of the AVA has north-south row orientation and cool Ocean influences that provides optimal wind and sun exposure that helps makes for beautifully balanced wines, as this 2021 Pinot shows. This bottling has multiple clones of Pinot Noir that adds complexity and depth to this wine, with the region’s sandy loam soils and long hang time giving deep flavors and color to the these hand tended grapes. The winery uses a combination of native and cultured yeasts that began fermentation in open top tanks with a gentle maceration and hand done punch downs to extract all the color, flavor and structure in the wine. After fermentation in small separate lots, this young Pinot was transferred into barriques with toasty 40% new French oak, with this vintage seeing 10 months of aging in wood before being carefully blended and bottled. This outstanding vintage’s mix of LT (La Tache), 114, Swan, 943 and Clone 4 gives this release a unique personality with a heady mix of dense, ripe and satiny fruit and savory elements. I highly recommend securing some of this wine, as well as Morgan’s rare single clone Chardonnay (96) and Pinots (RC), which are very individual efforts that deliver exceptional quality and style.
($75 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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