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The “Twelve Clones” Pinot Noir is drawn from the finest vineyards of the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation, including Morgan’s own organically farmed “Double L” estate - which, in the 2009 vintage, accounted for 53.5% of the final blend. The “Twelve Clones” designation denotes the original diverse Pinot plantings at the Double L vines here capture the warm morning sunshine from their elevated east facing terraces overlooking the Salinas River Valley. Strong afternoon winds and evening fog from nearby Monterey Bay create a cool Region I type climate. The resulting long growing season allows for gentle ripening, creating intense flavors with balanced acidity.
The growing season started slowly in 2009; cool, wet weather in late spring delayed the fruit by 5 - 10 days. August was more temperate, with less fog than normal. Warm weather allowed sugars to catch up, but not necessarily flavor. Patience was key in determining when to harvest.
The grapes were picked then hand-sorted in the vineyard. Upon arriving at the winery, the grapes are sorted a second time before being destemmed. Whole berry fermentation is started using native yeasts in small, open top tanks. Three times each day the cap is gently punched down by hand. After fermentation, the wine was transferred into a combination of 45% new and one and two year-old French cooperage. The wine aged for almost a year before being bottled.
This special wine demonstrates the power and finesse of Pinot Noir from the Santa Lucia Highlands. It displays aromas of pomegranate, cherry cola, strawberry jam with a hint of spice. Flavors of black cherry and chocolate are complemented by notes of black tea and spices. Perfectly poised fruit/acid balance make this incredibly food-versatile. It is a wonderful accompaniment to roast chicken and grilled salmon, as well as almost any duck, beef, or lamb preparation.
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