Friday, December 25, 2009

2005 Morgan "Double L" Pinot Noir - Santa Lucia Highlands

Terry post:

It was in July of 1980 when I was first in France that I drank red wine from Burgundy. I was traveling from Naples, Italy to Den Helder, Netherlands via train when I stopped over in Paris for three nights. Staying at a one-star hotel above a butcher’s shop I explored the city, ate well and drank well for not much money.

As a young man from rural Michigan I’d not experienced anything remotely like the wine which I enjoyed that trip. My experience with red wine was limited to marginal Italian reds and California reds. I remember two things vividly about that moment twenty-nine years ago: First, the overwhelming mouth-filling flavor of the wine and how it seemed to be everywhere in my palate. It was rich, ripe and flavorful: more so than I’d known before and without the overly acidic or overly tannic flavors which characterized much of the low-cost California reds which I’d consumed up to that time. Second, was how common and accessible the wine was even at inexpensive side-street cafes. I was having lunch at decidedly non-upscale restaurant and the wine was listed as, “Vin Rouge - Burgundy” on the menu. As I dined at that sidewalk cafe my appreciation for wine changed forever.

I preface this review of the 2005 Morgan Double L Pinot Noir as this wine is a close to any French Burgundy which I have enjoyed originating this side of the Atlantic. It is simply a wonderful wine which strives, quite successfully, to emulate the great French pinot noir’s of Burgundy.

My Impression: Medium plum in color. Intense but not overly so. Cherries, raspberries and spice box with just the right amount of acidity. Closing out with a luxurious, long and lingering finish that goes on forever. Superb.

The 2005’s are at their peak right now and should be consumed in the next year or so. Only 800 cases of the 2005 Double L were produced and it is available on-line for prices between $49 and $56 per bottle.

The 2005 Morgan Double L Pinot Noir is, at it’s price point, a “trophy wine” and the sort which is reserved for special occasions. And that is a shame as great wines are to be enjoyed in any circumstance. It is the wine that makes the meal special!

Christmas Eve I paired it with homemade pizza and boiled chicken gizzards, firmly believing that for those few fleeting minutes that no man on earth was dining as well as I.

~ Terry

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