2019 Morgan Winery, Rosé of Grenache, Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey County.
Pretty in pink, the latest dry Rosé from Morgan is, a juicy Grenache led, joyous explosion of vibrant flavors on the palate with vivid fruit and crisp acidity showing ripe density and delicate mineral notes, this new version is a flamboyant Rosé expression that grabs your attention. The grapes sourced from Arroyo Seco came from a vintage that had slightly smaller yields and a mostly steady cool growing season which allowed incredible quality, intensity of flavors, pure ripeness and balance, this is a year like 2018 that will be fondly remembered, in fact from what I’m tasting so far it looks set to be a classic in the Central Coast, especially in Monterey County. Morgan, led by Dan and Donna Lee along with winemaker Sam Smith has been rocking it in the last three years with a stellar collection of outstanding and world class wines, of course, with their organic Double L Estate vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir being two of their biggest stars. That said the Rhone program at Morgan has seen a notable improvement with a set of impressive wines from their Syrah offerings to this fun and favorable Rosé of Grenache, and they are exceptional values too. The vineyards that Morgan uses in Arroyo Seco, as they explain, are subject to strong afternoon winds and early morning fog, it is these cooling influences, dry farming and loamy/stony soils that creates one of the longest growing seasons in North America and perfect conditions for quality grapes.
The 2019 Morgan Rosé of Grenache starts with a floral aromatic note, a candied cherry pop and rosewater in a steely crisp frame, it opens up with tangy strawberry, a touch of spice, wet stones, watermelon and seeped plum on the medium bodied palate. This is a dry Rosé that can really benefit from food, in particular it should have mussels in spicy broth and or briny flavors to tame some of overt Grenache fruit, in fact I can see this going wonderfully with BBQ and or pulled pork. The Rosé done in a Provençal style, with 86% Grenache and 14% Cinsault, as Morgan notes in the winery tech sheet, is produced using fruit dedicated solely to Rosé production, picked at lower sugar and higher acids. The grapes were foot stomped and left to macerate for between 4 to 24 hours, then whole cluster pressed with some going to neutral (well season used) French barrels and some resting in stainless steel tanks for about 8 months. With time in the glass this Rosé gets round and vinous with some exotic elements coming through including nice tropical notes and a hint of bumble gum/cotton candy, but not aggressively and again having food with this dry pink gets the best results, and I agree with Morgan, that it would go great along with cracked crab and served icy cold. This Rosé of Grenache is pretty and flexible with a fresh juicy character, perfect for these warm days and this Indian Summer season.
($24 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive