Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Morgan Winery Chardonnay

Morgan Winery

2005 "Metallico" Chardonnay

Unoaked Chardonnays have become something of a trend in the last couple of years. Dan Lee has been making one at Morgan Winery in Salinas since 2001. I’m a fan of zingy, high-acid whites, but when Lee first told me he’d produced an unoaked Chardonnay that hadn’t undergone malolactic fermentation, and he was using grapes from the Arroyo Seco and Santa Lucia Highlands AVAs, two relatively cool areas, I was a little skeptical. Wouldn’t the wine be simply too tart? I needn’t have worried.

Metallico has consistently been extremely appealing. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks, then racked to 3-year-old oak barrels for brief aging. That time in barrels, along with lees stirring, softens the wine and gives it roundness, without imparting overt oak flavors. The resulting wine, which sells for $22, is a pure expression of Chardonnay: lean and a little minerally, with bright lemon, green apple and pear fruit, along with good length and racy acidity. I’d happily drink it with fish or shellfish, or even as an aperitif on a hot summer day.

Reviewed August 17, 2006 by Laurie Daniel.

The Wine

Winery: Morgan Winery
Vintage: 2005
Wine: "Metallico" Chardonnay
Appellation: Monterey
Grape: Chardonnay
Price: 750ml $22.00

Review Date: 8/17/2006

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.