2017 Morgan Winery, Pinot Noir, Rosella’s Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands.
One of the best wines from the Santa Lucia Highlands in the vintage, the 2017 Morgan Rosella’s Pinot is really showing fantastic right now with great detail and expressive aromatics delivering beautiful fruit, floral tones and perfectly judged ripeness and oak treatment, this is gorgeous Pinot Noir from one of the great cru sites in the region. This limited single vineyard wine is going to be tough to get, but well worth searching for and I suggest begging the winery for some and or get on their list, as their 2018 should be even better! The estate Rosella’s Vineyard, owned by Gary Franscioni and named for his wife Rosella, and is beside the family home, is in the cool part of the Santa Lucia Highlands with a blast of cold Pacific Ocean air flowing through the vines here, which are set on the classic sandy loamy soils and farmed with exceptional care and with green practices in partnership with the Pisoni family. Dan Lee has a special set of these vines available to him and this wine is always a treat in Morgan’s lineup, especially now, since Lee brought in winemaker Sam Smith, who’s really been a lift to this classic Monterey label.

Along with the sister wine from the Garys’ Vineyard, the 2017 Rosella’s enjoyed a gentle and fermentation using traditional methods and this vintage saw about 50% new oak that adds a nice toasty/smoky accent to this dark fruited Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot. This version of Morgan’s Rosella’s spent about a year in barrel to refine the tannin and acid structure, while still allowing the wine to show a fresh balance and it has restrained natural alcohol making for a graceful and deep expression of place. The nose shows subtle wood and vivid flowery notes and dark berries that leads to the medium full palate of black cherry, raspberry, plum and currant fruits along with bramble and briar spice, a touch mineral, vanilla and orange tea. The textural quality is one of the highlights here and the vivid life force of the fruit, it has a burst of vivacious character that make it unique, it feels less dense than the Garys’ and yet it has a soft power that will allow it to shine for years and years. There is a lot to be excited about in the newest releases from Morgan, I wouldn’t miss any of their 2018s, in particular check out their organic estate Double L Vineyard collection and the single clone selections, these wines are out of the this world with the Chardonnay Clone 96 being outrageously delicious!
($65 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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