2020 Morgan Winery, Rosé of Pinot Noir, Double L Estate Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands.
The just released Double L Rosé maybe a one off wine and considering the fires that swept through the region in this vintage, it might be the best Pinot Noir you are going to find in this disastrous growing season, this one is fresh, delicate and a nice treat for Summer showing sour cherry, strawberry, rosewater, saline, mineral and a kiss of ruby grapefruit, very much in the style of Marsannay Rosé from Burgundy. A bit of swirling and air brings a nice texture to this pretty ultra pale example of pink Pinot from Morgan’s Dan Lee and his winemaker Sam Smith, who has really stamped his signature on the last two vintages, raising the quality dramatically here at this long time Monterey classic winery. It should be noted that Morgan also does a Tavel (Rhone) inspired Grenache Rosé as well, that wine is a yearly mainstay in the lineup, but this rarity is more subtle and less fruit forward, with this Double L Rosé of Pinot showing a more austere, serious or cool personality, both pinks will find a lot of fans. I was happily surprised to see this Pinot Rosé at Morgan’s tasting room, joining their exciting 2018 Double L Pinot Noir, which is one of their most compelling versions yet.
The organic and cool climate Double L Vineyard, in the northwest end of the Santa Lucia Highlands is one of the region’s Grand Cru sites, producing fantastic Pinot Noir and absolutely world class Chardonnay, along with small parcels of Riesling and Syrah, both of which have seen an incredible jump in quality in the 2018 and 2019 vintages under the guidance of Smith. Morgan’s latest releases are wonderfully expressive and complex wines, if you’ve not had them lately, you are missing some very special stuff. This brilliant and shiny new Pinot Rosé was crafted from slightly early picked and ultra carefully sorted clusters, as Morgan knew they weren’t going to be able to make any estate or SLH Pinots, they took extra care to find the best grapes possible to make this wine and did a direct pressing without any soaking of the skins in stainless steel tank before the wine was aged eight months in neutral French oak barrels. The Morgan Double L Rosé of Pinot Noir did not see malo-lactic, to keep its vitality, making it unexciting wine to enjoy as the Rosé season hots up. I hope this version is not just a one off, though I can’t imagine in a good year them using such great Pinot to make a Rosé, but fingers crossed, I recommend getting this while you can.
($30 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive