2016 Melville Chardonnay
2016 Melville Chardonnay Pale straw in color, with intriguing aromatics of lemon peel, crushed rocks and minerals coming through initially. On the palate, notes of fresh ginger, kumquat and dried straw mingle with impressions of saline, fresh sourdough and D’Anjou pear. The mouthfeel is vibrant, with a touch of oiliness on the mid-palate along with an energetic streak of acidity that anchors a voluptuous and polished finish.
There is no place on earth quite like the Sta. Rita Hills. The highly unusual east-west (or transverse) mountain range, close proximity to the cold Pacific, consistent coastal fog, and steady afternoon breezes together create ideal conditions for growing cold-climate Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah. Ron Melville and his sons recognized that these exceptional conditions, combined with their commitment to “winegrowing,” would result in wines of remarkable quality. Melville Vineyards was established in 1996 in the heart of the Sta. Rita Hills and has since become one of the most highly-regarded estates in California.
With the guidance of Head Winegrower, Chad Melville, Melville’s full-time vineyard crew nurtures their 120 estate acres organically, paying close attention to the health of both the vines and the soil. Farming aggressively, yet carefully, and with the utmost respect to Mother Nature, helps encourage the vines to produce small amounts of intensely flavored/concentrated fruit. At the time of harvest, they consider the wines to already be made, and strive to not interfere with their natural path in the cellar. To this effect, they maintain a minimalist approach by aging their wines only in neutral French oak and stainless steel and utilize whole cluster fermentation to contribute to the depth, structure, and complexity of their wines.