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2017 Morgan "Highland" Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay

SKU #1420722 93 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark 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) Inner quote mark (8/2019)

91 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark 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. (KM, Web Only-2019) Inner quote mark

90 points Vinous

Outer quote mark Shimmering yellow. Aromas of spice-tinged melon and peach are accompanied by smoky oak and citrus zest nuances on the perfumed nose. Seamless and focused on the palate, displaying an appealing blend of heft and energy to the ripe honeydew, nectarine and candied ginger flavors. Closes on a subtle vanilla note, with good length and a bracing jolt of lemon zest. Raised in all French oak, 29% of it new. (JR) Inner quote mark (11/2019)

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.

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