2017 Tondré Chardonnay
Chardonnay at its best is a reflection of vineyard and winemaker. For this limited release, we went to one of the Highlands’ most experienced growers: Joe Alarid. Joe has been growing here long before the area was an official appellation, and is one of the S.L.H.’s most respected wine growers.
Originally planted in 1997, the Tondré Grapefield is one of the Santa Lucia Highlands‘ premiere estates. This is the second year Morgan Winery has sourced both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for Tondré Grapefield single vineyard wines. Tondré is located in the center of the Santa Lucia Highlands, just to the south of Soberanes and Garys’ Vineyards.
Hand sorted grapes were whole cluster pressed, preserving fruit flavors and natural acidity. Barrel fermentation in French oak began with Montrachet yeast. Ninety-five percent malolactic conversion and 10 months aging in 33% new barrels added a touch of butter and rounded mouthfeel to the Tondre’s tropical fruit character and bright acidity – giving us our characteristic “Morgan Balance.”
In the glass, Morgan’s Tondre Grapefield Chardonnay displays a beautiful golden light straw hue. On the nose are notes of lemon curd, matchstick, and vanilla bean supported by lemon pith and a hint of sea salt on the palate. This is an elegant, layered Chardonnay with a myriad of food-pairing possibilities. It should be served at cellar temperature (not too cold) and will go well with flavorful seafood and poultry dishes. Medium term, proper cellaring will be rewarded.