2020 Double L Chardonnay (Clone RR)
Located in the well-drained foothills above the Salinas Valley, the Santa Lucia Highlands Appellation is California’s most distinctive region for growing terroir-driven wines. Strong afternoon winds and coastal fog originating from nearby Monterey Bay flow through the AVA, resulting in one of the longest growing seasons in North America.
Conscientiously farmed since the original plantings in 1997, today Morgan’s Double L Estate Vineyard is the only certified organic vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands. Located at the northern end of the AVA, the vineyard’s unique north-south row orientation provides optimal wind and sun exposure.
Plentiful rainfall in the winter and spring months contributed to good growth conditions and bud break early in the 2020 season. Cold and windy conditions during bloom in late May moderately reduced crop sizes. Summer saw typical weather – vine and cluster health were excellent, with high-quality, clean fruit. Wildfires in early August challenged Santa Lucia Highlands growers to monitor smoke exposure and select only unaffected fruit for harvest.
Hand sorted grapes were whole cluster pressed, preserving fruit flavors and natural acidity. The juice was barrel fermented with native yeast in 100% French oak (33% new), followed by ten months of barrel aging.
Clone RR refers to the “Roger Rose” chardonnay clone, a hybrid of Dijon and Musqué clones. Roger Rose blends the early ripening, disease-resilience, and good set of the former, with the effusively tropical aromatics of the latter – creating a layered and lifted chardonnay.
In the glass, the wine displays a beautiful light golden hue. Perfumes of butterscotch, pineapple, and squash blossom are supported by pear and lemon meringue on the palate.
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