Melville is one of the few truly family farm operations left. As so many wineries have been snatched up by multinationals, it was refreshing when I called and Chad Melville himself answered the phone.
But don’t get me wrong, just because this is a family operation and all the fruit is estate grown on the family farm, does not mean that it isn’t world class, because it is. When Chad Melville took over winemaking duties – the wine press just seemed to up the ante with annual ratings now firmly in the mid-90s.
They’ve also become a fan favorite of the Nicholas faithful – easily finding a cellar spot next to the premier cru Burgundies. However, as if it couldn’t get any better, Chad’s 2021 Estate Chard just knocked the cover off the ball – coming in at 96 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
This one hits on all cylinders and is an amazing value to boot. It’s a must-have cellar selection for Burgundy and Coastal Chardonnay lovers alike. Taken from the sandy western slopes of the property, the vineyard is under constant bombardment by ice cold ocean winds.
96 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The 2021 Chardonnay Estate is scented of white peaches and quince with savory undertones of salted almonds, meringue and lemon peel. Medium-bodied, concentrated and expansive, it offers slowly unfurling savory layers, refreshing acidity and a long finish driven by a pleasing touch of anchoring texture. This is juicy and appealing yet layered and intense!
94 Points, Jeb Dunnuck
While just bottled eight days before this tasting, the 2021 Chardonnay Estate wasn’t showing any worse for wear and has a rounded, layered, medium-bodied style as well as beautiful honeyed minerality, some classic Sta. Rita Hills salty citrus-like fruit, terrific balance, and a great finish. It’s a gem of a cool-climate Chardonnay from Melville that readers will love. It should represent a great value as well.