2016 Double L Pinot Noir (Clone 777)
"777" is one of the so-called "Dijon" clones. Originally from Morey St. Denis in the Cote d'Or, it is at the heart of some of Burgundy's greatest reds. This clone's typically smaller berry size and bunch weights make for intensity in both the fruit flavors and aromatics. Great color, forward fruit and spice, and a soft, elegant structure are hallmarks of 777.
The Double L Vineyard’s location in the northern end of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA affords Morgan the chance to grow the finest cool climate wine grapes. Planted on northeast facing terraces overlooking the Salinas River Valley, the north-south vineyard row orientation provides optimum sun exposure and access to the strong afternoon breezes. The winds moderate the afternoon temperature, thickening the grape skins and concentrating flavors. The vineyard is the first in the Santa Lucia Highlands to achieve both organic and sustainable certifications.
The spring and summer were mild with no extreme cold or hot periods, but mildew control was a challenge. Happily, no rain in the fall resulted in clean fruit, and this wine was harvested on August 30th, 2016.
The grapes were completely destemmed after hand sorting. Native yeasts began the whole berry fermentation in open top tanks. Manual punch downs provided supple texture and soft tannins. The wine was transferred to a combination of medium and medium-plus toast Burgundy barrels, 50% new, for malo-lactic fermentation and 10 months of aging.
This wine shows seductive aromas of cranberry, sassafrass, and a hint of raspberry pie. The wine is rich but still smooth on the palate; the aromas are supported by flavors of intense tart cherry and subtle baking spices.