Morgan, Santa Lucia Highlands (California) Pinot Gris R & D Franscioni Vineyard 2006

California vintners have not had all that much success with pinot gris, a grape that produces wines ranging from crisp and light (as in northern Italy with pinot grigio) to honeyed and luxuriant (as in Alsace). Too many Golden State versions seem unsure of their stylistic identity, and so end up tasting muddled. This vibrant 2006 from the always reliable Morgan winery is a delicious exception. It tastes of pears and sweet apples, has plenty of balancing acidity, and while rich remains fresh and lively. A great warm-weather choice, it will pair nicely with cool summer salads made with chicken, crab, or lobster.