Tom Tomlinson from Morgan Winery came by for a visit the other day and I got to tug on his sleeve about nerdy wine things for a little while. While I feel mildly comfortable with French regions, France's centuries of vinous heritage and structure making things fairly predictable, I'm just now beginning to investigate our own west coast.
The map of California seems dauntingly complex, particularly considering that anyone with a vineyard can approach their wines from any direction. That is to say, a person on a certain road might go minimalist in their style, allowing for the fruit to speak for itself in a light, fresh style while someone else just down the road a piece might pick later and over-extract and yield a heavy, high-alcohol wine that tastes completely different.
So this is where I find it difficult (and expensive) to explore like I did with the various French portfolios available to me, especially in these days of woe and want. And this is where it's great to meet people from the wineries. I've seen Morgan around but have never tried their work before earlier last week. I ended up really enjoying what they do. I found their wines to be thoughtfully constructed and in line with how i generally like my wines, i.e. reflective of their grapes. By which I mean i like my wines to express grape and region, not the winemaker.
So I'd suggest looking for Morgan out there in the world, as well as the restaurant, in time. There's a very fun, fairly affordable Syrah/Grenache blend as well as a lovely single-vineyard Pinot Noir (rosella's) that shows nice red fruit and a bit of spice. I await eagerly their Pinot Gris, as it sounds like it might be right up my alley. And it just occurred to me that I could be extra wine-nerdy and start saying that things are "right up my valley."
I don't think I'll be doing that.