Morgan Cotes du Crow’s Syrah/Grenache Monterey 2014: This 53 percent grenache and 47 percent syrah blend is from vineyards in central and south Monterey, where it does get hot enough to grow fine Rhône grapes. Morgan’s owner, Dan Lee, who is a pioneer of Monterey’s pinot-pumping Santa Lucia Highlands appellation, has been on the board of the Rhone Rangers for a dozen years, so he knows his way around this delicious fruit.

Full of blackberry and raspberry notes and a lovely wild edge of spice and earth, this is a great bottle for its price, which is suggested at $18 but often found on shelves for cheaper. It pairs particularly well with a bit of char from the grill — not just meats but hearty veggies like roasted eggplant rolled around goat cheese, too.

As for the punning name, they wanted to call it Crows Hermitage, but the feds nixed that idea. Cote du Crow’s it is!



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