Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Morgan Winery 2004 Tierra Mar  Syrah  (Monterey)

Morgan Winery

2004 Tierra Mar Syrah
(Santa Lucia Highlands)

Dan Lee and his Morgan Winery in Salinas are best known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but this wine shows that he has a sure hand with Syrah, too. The name Tierra Mar comes from the Spanish words for earth and sea – “two important parts of our terroir,” Lee says. The wine is a six-barrel selection of Morgan’s Syrah. Half the grapes come from the Morgan estate vineyard, called Double L, which is in the cool northern end of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, while 40 percent are from the warmer Paraiso Vineyard to the south. The remaining 10 percent are from Coastview Vineyard, on the east side of the Salinas Valley.

The wine spent 14 months in French oak barrels, 35 percent of them new and the remaining ones 1 and 2 years old. This is a big Syrah, dark and dense, with ripe black raspberry and blueberry fruit, along with notes of smoke, spice and white pepper. It also has fairly big, drying tannins, so you could easily lay the wine down for a few years. The more impatient could drink this Syrah now with some sort of hearty grilled meat dish.

Reviewed July 18, 2007 by Laurie Daniel.

The Wine

Winery: Morgan Winery
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Tierra Mar Syrah
Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands
Grape: Syrah / Shiraz
Price: 750ml $40.00

Review Date: 7/18/2007

The Reviewer

Laurie Daniel

Laurie Daniel, wine columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, has been reviewing wine for more than 10 years. She doesn’t use numbers, preferring to describe her recommended wines and let consumers decide for themselves. Laurie believes that bigger isn’t necessarily better; she’s partial to wines of balance, finesse and character. Her particular interests are Pinot Noir (versions that really taste like Pinot, that is) and aromatic whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Gewürztraminer.