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2014 Morgan "Twelve Clones" Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

SKU #1240230 90 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *One Star & Good Value* It may not be cheap, but this is a Pinot that outperforms at the price. It leads with a moderately deep, nicely composed nose of ripe cherries, raspberries and dried roses with a well-considered dollop of sweet oak, and its rich and continuous flavors build on its very handsome aromatic beginnings. Although moderately full-bodied, it is so lissome and lithe that it never seems in the least bit heavy, and, as free of angles and edges as it may be, it nonetheless has the structural inner bones to improve for a few years and then keep for a good many more.  (6/2016)

90 points Vinous

 Brilliant red. Zesty, spice-accented red berries and fresh flowers on the fragrant nose and in the mouth. Juicy and tightly focused; a hint of allspice appears as the wine opens up. Closes on a clean, spicy note, offering energetic cut and silky tannins that sneak in slowly. These fruit-driven, generous, accessible wines are mostly built for early enjoyment but the reds also have the concentration and tannic structure to reward at least mid-term aging. I’ve found that Morgan’s Pinot Noirs usually drink well until their seventh birthdays, at least, and the Syrahs will no doubt go even farther although, like most examples of that variety from the Santa Lucia Highlands, they’re in no way forbidding when young. Dan Morgan Lee planted his first vines in the region on a 65-acre property at the northern border of the appellation in 1997 and that property, the Double L Vineyard, now comprises 97 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, plus microscopic plots of Syrah and Riesling. The Morgan lineup is rounded out with wines made from fruit purchased from three of the region’s most esteemed vineyards, Rosella’s, Garys’ and Tondre Grapefield. (JR)  (6/2016)

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Price: $27.99
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

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.


- 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 (%): 14.3