We’ve never met a wine from Morgan Lee that we didn’t like. Or love. From Two Vintners Wines to Covington Cellars to his Full Pull partnership with Block Wines, Morgan Lee makes amazing wine. His array of wines is so large that we decided to focus on just a few that we have enjoyed recently – a Grenache Blanc, two Syrahs and a Syrah-Cab Sauvignon blend from Two Vintners, and a value red from Covington. Read on for details.
We first purchased Morgan Lee’s Syrah at Covington Cellars, where he became the winemaker in 2007. In the same year, he founded Two Vintners in a partnership with the owners of Covington Cellars, David and Cindy Lawson. “The winemaking philosophy has always been simple; work with great vineyards and don’t mess it up.” Although we were fans of Morgan’s beautifully balanced wines for years, we didn’t meet him until 2018 at the Auction of Washington Wines Winemaker Picnic and Barrel Auction (pictured here). Not only is he a talented and skilled winemaker, but he also is one of the nicest guys in the WA wine industry.
More than a dozen Two Vintners wines include two of our favorite Syrahs, Some Days Are Stones and Some Days Are Diamonds. Morgan picked the names from John Denver’s 1981 hit single, “Some Days Are Diamonds (Some Days Are Stone).”
Covington Cellars wines range from Cabernet Franc to Sangiovese and many more, including Rough House, discussed below. More recently, Morgan also became partners in a venture called Block Wines with online wine retailer, Full Pull. Here, he creates terroir-specific single varieties, from single blocks within single vineyards.
2017 Some Days Are Stones Syrah ($50)
Smell this Syrah and you know it comes from The Rocks District AVA in Washington. This is funk to the max, sourced entirely from Stoney VIne Vineyard. Aromas of earth, olive and celery lead into earthy and meaty flavors textured with dark berries. This vintage sold out, so keep eye out for the next one so you don’t miss out on an amazing wine. In case you’re wondering, Some Days Are Diamonds is wildly different, and more reminiscent of Northern Rhone Syrahs.
2017 Lola ($35)
Lola is a beautiful blend of Syrah (64%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (36%). Morgan named the wine – the first vintage at Two Vintners – after his black lab, Lola, who greeted visitors in the tasting room. Sadly, Lola recently passed away, but this popular wine will continue to commemorate her. The 2017 vintage features entirely Rocks fruit from Yellow Jacket Vineyard. As a result, a balance of dark red fruit and meatiness combine into a beautiful, approachable wine. We purchased several bottles and loved it so much, we ordered more.
2017 Syrah Columbia Valley ($25)
According to Morgan, his Columbia Valley Syrah is “the muse that started the whole operation that is Two Vintners … the motor that drives our winery.” In 2017, this Syrah was sourced from four different AVAs that give this wine a funky combination of earth and red fruit. At a $25 price point, this wine is also one of Washington’s best Syrah values. To really appreciate it, give it some time to decant before pouring. For example, we recently opened the 2015, which is showing beautifully now.
2019 Grenache Blanc ($25)
We loved the 2018 vintage of this beautiful white wine, with its spicy, mineral-driven flavors, and still have a few bottles in our cellar to enjoy. But the 2019 is now available. It’s a beautiful balance of crisp acidity and fruit flavors of citrus and melon. This means it checks our boxes for a refreshing white wine. Sourced from Boushey and Olsen vineyards, Morgan calls it an exotic Spanish white, which increases in popularity with each vintage. We understand why.
Covington Cellars Rough House 2014 ($25)
We first tried the 2014 vintage, and loved it. And we are happy to have a few more bottles in our cellar, which we ordered from Full Pull. Only 350 cases were produced. This red wine blends 53% Cabernet Franc and 47% Merlot. The 2015 is available now, with the same Cabernet Franc/Merlot blend. Rough House is Covington’s red table wine, named after owner David Lawson’s Naval Reserve Unit. The back label notes the wine is “a tribute to those who serve, and who have served in the US Armed Forces.”
In conclusion, we love Morgan Lee’s wines, at Two Vintners, Covington Cellars and Block Wines. And we particularly encourage your support of these stellar Washington state wineries during these difficult times. We have purchased these wines at the winery, at retail outlets and online at Full Pull Wines. And we know we will continue to do so, vintage after vintage. So what are you waiting for?
Previous stories about Two VIntners:
- Our Favorite WA Wineries in 2019
- 2020 BBQ Reds
- 2020 Warm Weather Whites
- What’s in Our Glasses in April 2020
- Celebrate WA Wine Every Month
- Maltby Wineries in The Vault
- Auction of Washington Wines Raises More than $4m
Margot and Dave