2015 McIntyre Vineyard Chardonnay
Chardonnay at its best is a reflection of vineyard and respected winemaker. For this limited release, we went to one of the Highlands’ most experienced growers: Steve McIntyre.
The McIntyre Estate Vineyard is just a couple miles south of our own Double L Vineyard. Steve McIntyre helped “write the book” on sustainable farming; his was one of the first vineyards to be “certified sustainable” by CCVT. His concientious farming techniques, combined with mountainside soils and close proximity to Monterey Bay create a perfect terroir for growing sensational Chardonnay.
The fruit for this bottling (clone 96) was harvested on the McInytre Estate on September 12. The 2015 growing season saw a continuation of California's long drought. The lower than normal rainfall totals and dry winter led to early budbreak. Throughout the Highlands, 2015 yields were down but fruit quality was very high.
Hand sorted grapes were gently whole cluster pressed, preserving the fruit, flavors and natural acidity. Barrel fermentation in the finest French oak began with Montrachet yeast, and the wine was allowed 10 months of barrel aging (33% new). Ninety five percent of the wine was allowed to go through secondary, malo-lactic fermentation, adding a touch of butter and rounded mouthfeel to the McIntyre‘s tropical fruit character and bright acidity. This gives us our trademark “Morgan Balance.”
In the glass, the Morgan “McIntyre Vineyard” Chardonnay displays a beautiful light straw and golden hue. On the nose, classic apricot flavors are joined by notes of toasted caramel and summer squash. On the palate, those elements are echoed with lemon curd and graham cracker characters. A touch of butterscotch from the ML and barrel aging is balanced by bright acidity and a long finish. This is an elegant, layered Chardonnay with a myriad of pairing possibilities. It should be served at cellar temperature (not too cold) and will go well with flavorful seafood and poultry dishes, as well as a buttery steak. It will reward short term, proper cellaring.