Monday, January 15, 2018

Syrah, Grenache, Tempranillo Blend

Morgan Winery is a Salinas outfit with vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County.  The winery's location makes me think of Steinbeck, but the wine makes me think of the Rhône Valley with a splash of Spain.

Dan Morgan Lee was making wine from other people's grapes in the 1980s, and bought the winery's Double L Estate - for double luck, twin daughters - in the 1990s.  The ink wasn't even dry then on the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA papers.  The vineyard is certified organic by  Monterey County Certified Organic, and it's certified sustainable as well.

Winemaker Sam Smith used grapes from from  northern and central Monterey County to create the 2017 G 17 Syrah.  It's one of those only-in-America blends featuring two Rhône grape varieties and one from Spain, all grown in Monterey County, of course.  The mix is 87% Syrah, 9% Grenache and 4% Tempranillo.  G 17 was aged for 15 months in French oak barrels, a quarter of which were new.  The grapes came primarily from the Santa Lucia Highlands and Arroyo Seco Appellations of Monterey County.

Alcohol hits 14.4% abv, so it's hefty without being overpowering, and it retails for $22.  Just under 1200 cases were made,

The first whiffs of this medium dark ruby wine are pretty boozy, but they're loaded with black berries, tobacco, smoke, leather and spices.  The palate picks up black cherry and a ladle of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.  The wine drinks surprisingly gently, with enough tannic structure for roast or pork.  A medium finish is noteworthy and is missed when it fades away.


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