Morgan “Metallico” chardonnay review

2 11 2010

In this extension of the dreaded California chardonnay week, we review Morgan Metallico 2008 chardonnay, at $18.

Bias alert!  I’m doing this series because I don’t generally like California chardonnays — so if I can recommend one, it’s probably good enough for most people.  I am not a normal, impartial judge of this kind of wine.

Hey!  Maybe I should figure out exactly WHY I hate all California chards!?  Maybe it’s the oak?  That’s why I bought this Morgan: the “Metallico” is named for the metal containers used instead of oak barrells in fermentation.  It’s from Monterey, which is yielding some delicious wines these days.

Great!  No oak!  But, I didn’t like it.  It tasted a little weird, on day 1 and day 2.  Tart citrus combines with sweet tropical flavors, which seems like a great balance.  But the tartness verges on sour.  And the sweetness verges on — well, just weird.  

I keep complaining that California chards are too oaky and too buttery.  Morgan says that it addressed both problems here.  No oak barrells.  And — surprisingly — no “malo-lactic fermentation,” which gives buttery taste by converting malic acid to lactic acid.  (This mutes the naturally tart malic acid in chardonnay grapes.)   But it still tasted a little buttery, somehow.

Maybe I’m just too hard to please.  Maybe I’m just a total jerk.  But whatever the reason, unfortunately, this oakless wonder is:

Not recommended.

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4 responses

2 11 2010
scott schreiber

We get it…you dont like California Chardonnay’s….I happen to think that if you want a predictably good, white table wine, California Chardonnay’s are hard to beat…and the more oakey, and buttery the better. Chardonnay’s belong in oak barrels, other whites perhaps do better in Stainless tanks….just sayin’

2 11 2010
wineguider

Thanks for your comment! I did recommend the $20 William Hill, which is everything that you say, oak, butter, flavorful. I’m trying to find more that I can recommend, any suggestions? I’d love to hear them!
-Wineguider

3 11 2010
that guy from Schug

I’ve got a suggestion, stop blogging about Chardonnay! You clearly don’t have a concept about malo-lactic fermentation, in factyou told one reader it’s like adding chemicals. Did you know that virtually every white burgundy (that’s chardonnay from that place in France) goes through ML, and yet it hardly tastes buttery at all?

I’ve got no problem with someone who wants to be funny online and knock something they don’t like, but don’t make a business out of it. Wineries aren’t factories pumping out widgets; it’s a product of nature made by hard-working people that have been at it a lot longer than you have, judging by your level of “expertise”. In fact the chardonnay in question was featured at Craft in Atlanta for a long time (yes, the ’07 vintage) and did quite well for their discriminatiing customers and sommelier.

Next time try following your own guidelines: “I can’t promise that I will give a positive review, but I can send you the review before I post it. This way, if you don’t like what I said, you can tell me not to post it.” Funny though, I don’t think I sent you that sample!

3 11 2010
wineguider

Dear Schug guy,
Thanks for commenting. You make an excellent point! I claim no special expertise here. I will emphasize that further on my About page. I was actually aware that most chardonnay undergoes malo-lactic fermentation; I believe I said that in the Bogle review.

And I do need to keep in mind my admiration for hard-working people in the wine business. In this series of reviews, I don’t think anybody could mistake me for some neutral, impartial judge because I was clear that I don’t like these wines — so, if I can recommend one, it’s probably darn good. I’ll go back and insert a “bias” disclaimer to this effect in each of these reviews.

As for following my own guidelines, pre-approval of my reviews is for people who write in asking me to review a wine, not wineries. “Adding chemicals” came up in the Kendall Jackson comments, where I answered, “I’m not making any accusations about added chemicals in any wine, but I am highlighting that some California chardonnays have certain flavors that strike me as altered, unnatural…” So I don’t understand your point there. Although I’m sure my wording IS clumsy when it comes to malo-lactic, since I’m not a winemaker. I’m sorry if I bungled a reference to this process somewhere.

Thank you sincerely for your input.

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