2018 Melville Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay
2018 Melville Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay: Central Coast, California
Winemaker Notes: Bright sun-gold in color, with vibrant notes of salted apricot, tarragon and grilled Meyer lemon coming through on the nose. Fresh impressions of watermelon rind, fuji apple and jasmine frame a rich and plush mouthfeel on the mid-palate while a crisp streak of acid anchors the wines energetic and focused finish.
Chardonnay is the world’s most famous white-wine grape and also one of the most widely planted. Although the most highly regarded expressions of the variety are those from Burgundy and California, many high-quality examples are made in Italy, Australia, New Zealand and parts of South America.
Santa Rita Hills is an American Viticultural Area (AVA) located at the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley in California‘s Central Coast wine region. The appellation is encircled by the Santa Ynez Valley AVA and is one of the USA’s most respected cool-climate viticultural areas, best known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. The vineyards in Sta. Rita Hills benefit from the Pacific Ocean’s cooling influences on three sides with the coast 16 miles (25km) away to the west, south and southeast.
Melville Winery is a Californian wine estate producing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah wines in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. The estate was founded in 1989 and remains family-owned and operated. The estate consists of 49 hectares (120 acres) of vineyards in three neighboring sites in Santa Barbara County. A range of different clones and blocks are planted on a variety of soil types here, to provide Melville with numerous production options for its range of Pinot Noirs. Vines are planted at over triple the density of the average premium Californian vineyard. This allows Melville to achieve roughly the same output while limiting the yield of each vine. The grapes are manually harvested on a block-by-block basis.