Morgan Wine Eden NC
Morgan Winery and Lee Family Farm: New Releases from the Santa Lucia Highlands
Even before we prepared our Report #20 The Santa Lucia Highlands: Unique Terroir, Marvelous Wines we were big fans of Morgan Winery. Dan and Donna Lee founded Morgan in 1982, built a state-of-the art winery in Salinas in 1984, and purchased the 65 acres Double L Vineyard in the northern Santa Lucia Highlands in 1996. Planted with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the Double L has been farmed organically since its founding and is certified by Monterey County Certified Organic.
Like most of the winemakers in the Highlands, Dan Lee also grows and purchases grapes from other parts of Monterey County. He is experimental by nature and works with unusual grape varieties for California such as the Portuguese Verdelho, Touriga Nacional, and Touriga Franca varietals. These grapes are sourced from Ron Silva’s Silvaspoons Vineyard located in the Alta Mesa AVA. The wines are released under Morgan’s sister label, Lee Family Farm.
The wines reviewed here are a small sample of the diverse range of high quality wines produced by Dan Lee under the Morgan Winery and Lee Family Farm labels. These wines all exhibit high quality fruit, outstanding winemaking, and are exceedingly pleasant to drink. Readers will want to try both the Morgan wines and the innovative Lee Family Farm bottlings.
Winery telephone: (831) 751-7777
Morgan 2009 Pinot Gris Santa Lucia Highlands ($17) 87+
Morgan’s 2009 Pinot Gris has a pale green tint and aromas of white flowers, citrus and lime on the nose. The palate is fresh with quite neutral flavors, a creamy mouth feel and a crisp finish. A tasty Pinot Gris, but we liked Dan Lee’s excellent 2008 R&D Fransiconi Vineyard Pinot Gris even more.
Morgan 2009 Sauvignon Blanc Arroyo Seco ($15) 88
This pale green Sauvignon Blanc reveals pleasant aromas of citrus, green melon and pear on the nose. The creamy palate shows concentrated fresh pear fruit, good acidity and crispness on the finish.
Morgan 2008 Chardonnay Double L Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands ($36) 90
The estate grown Double L Vineyard Chardonnay is Morgan’s highest caliber Chardonnay. It has a medium yellow gold hue and ripe melon and buttered toast aromas and flavors. It has good volume and a creamy texture with persistent fruit flavors, good balance and a long finish.
Morgan 2008 Highland Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands ($26) 90
The 2008 Highland Chardonnay has a yellow gold hue and very ripe aromas of dried stone fruit, toast and a hint of butterscotch. On the palate it is crisp and flavorful with good concentration and balance and a long finish. The 2008 vintage does not look to be as good as the 2007.
Morgan 2008 Metallico Chardonnay, Monterrey Country ($22) 89
The Metallico Chardonnay is one of California’s finest unoaked Chardonnays. This wine has a medium yellow gold color and a rich nose showing notes of butter and tropical fruit. The attack is soft and opulent and is full-flavored, showing pineappl...