What I can say is that Melville’s wines are perennial winners – almost preying on vintage variations in weather as opposed to having to react to them. The 2017 marks the third straight year with 95+ scores – and to my shock – an even better price!?!?
Founded by Ron Melville and winemaker Greg Brewer (Clifton-Brewer), the two built a little dynasty in the heart of Sta. Rita Hills. Year in year out, the duo produced wines consistently scored in the mid-90s by EVERY wine publication. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate wrote that they are “continually blown away by what Melville Winery puts in a bottle”. Wine & Spirits Magazine has included them on their list of Top 100 wineries… in the World!
Now with Ron’s son Chad at the helm, the winery is reaching even more dazzling heights. The 2017 Melville Pinot is the latest in a parade of absolute stunners from the winery. Chad is very much the conductor of this wine as much as the winemaker. He carefully selects micro-lots of some of their most famous single-vineyards – to blend into a harmonious whole even greater than the sum of the parts.
Already having 95 points from Wine Enthusiast – the 2017 is both brighter and more brooding than its predecessor that was last featured on Nicholas Wines back in April. Why such a short tenure? Our 56 case allocation sold out before a second missive was possible.
Our 2020 allocation has been cut in half – a mere 28 cases but with a consolation prize of an even better price making this one of the best values of the entire year.
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95 Points, Wine Enthusiast
Crisp aromas of raspberry sorbet and cherry-mint glaze meet with a touch of green herbs and menthol on the nose of this bottling, which enlivens the senses. Fresh strawberry and blistered tomato flavors arise on the sip, backed by eucalyp- tus and pine-needle touches, making for a glass that’s guzzled quickly.
94 Points, Jeb Dunnuck
Coming from vines around the estate, the 2017 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills is based on a mix of clones and was 60% destemmed and brought up all in totally neutral oak. It’s a classic Melville Pinot Noir that jumps from the glass with its spiced red and black fruits, dried flower, marine-like salinity, bay leaf, and forest floor aromas and flavors. Balanced, medium-bodied, and elegant on the palate, with light tannins and nicely integrated acidity, it can be drunk today or cellared for a decade.
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