2017 Morgan "Highland" Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay

SKU #1420722 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 A strongly mineral kick of wet slate meets with apple peels, marmalade, toast and wool on the nose of this bottling. The palate is tense and taut with flavors of lime peel and kiwi, framed by a chalky minerality. (MK)  (8/2019)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Offers mouthfilling richness, with generous flavors of butterscotch, baked apple and glazed pear, accented by a twist of citrus zest. Spicy and toasty notes fill the finish. Drink now through 2023. (KM, Web Only-2019)

Connoisseurs Guide

 We tend to think of Chardonnays from the Santa Lucia Highlands as tipping the scales on the fuller and riper end of things, but here is an example whose leaner, acid-charged style definitely runs counter to expectations. It is bright and lively, but it is also a bit stony and sparse, and it is a wine that will pair better with lighter seafoods rather than richer fare.  (6/2019)

K&L Notes

This wine is recommended among a selection of Chardonnays in our September 16, 2019 newsletter: "The Golden Era of Golden State Chardonnay." K&L Domestic wine buyer Ryan Woodhouse says: "California Chardonnay continues to be dogged by the stereotype that it is invariably big, rich, buttery, and oaky. However, this is a long way from the truth. In fact, there are so many precise, focused, restrained examples of the variety being produced right now, that when I’m asked by someone for a big, buttery style, I have to think hard about what I’m going to recommend! I would guess that bright, balanced, judiciously oaked California Chardonnays outnumber oaky butter bombs on our shelves five to one. Even brands that have long been made in that richer style have, by and large, dialed down the ripeness, new oak, and diacetyl ('butter flavor'), and are now making wines with more acidity and verve."


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Price: $23.95

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By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/11/2019 | Send Email
Keep an eye on Morgan’s wines. This longtime stalwart has been reaching new heights, with winemaking now under the tutelage of Samuel Smith. The 2016 and 2017 vintages have been moving in a more Burgundy-inspired direction. This has some lovely, subtle reductive notes mingled with pristine and powerful fruit, plus wisps of oak spice and flint.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Lucia Highlands

Alcohol Content (%): 14.2