2018 McIntyre Vineyard Chardonnay
Chardonnay at its best is a reflection of vineyard and respected winemaker. For this limited release we went to Steve McIntyre, founder of sustainable farming in the Santa Lucia Highlands.
The McIntyre Estate Vineyard was one of the first to achieve a Sustainability in Practice certification. McIntyre combines conscientious farming techniques with the propertys coastal influences to grow sensational Chardonnay. The 2018 growing season saw below average precipitation, though reservoirs remained full after a very wet 2017. January and February were warm, resulting in premature budbreak in select parcels, and increasing worries of frost as nighttime temperatures dipped below freezing on February 23rd and 24th. No harm was done, and the remaining months of 2018 saw classically cool seasonal temperatures - an epic year for Morgan’s cool climate varietals.
Hand sorted grapes were whole cluster pressed, preserving fruit flavors and natural acidity. Barrel fermentation in 100% French oak (25% new) was followed by nine months of barrel aging. In the glass, the Morgan “McIntyre Vineyard” Chardonnay displays a beautiful light straw hue. On the nose, grilled pineapple is joined by notes of nutmeg and toffee. Those elements are echoed on the palate by lemon meringue and green apple. Ninety-five percent malo-lactic fermentation adds a touch of butterscotch and rounded mouthfeel to the McIntyre’s tropical fruit character and bright acidity. This elegant, layered Chardonnay should be served at cellar temperature and will go well with flavorful seafood and poultry dishes, as well as a buttery steak. It will reward medium term, proper cellaring.