2011 Melville Chardonnay Estate Santa Rita Hills
Chardonnay - 750ML
  • IWC 91

This product is
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This product is
out of stock

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IWC 91
Stephen Tanzer's IWC, December 2012
Bright yellow-gold. Musky pit fruits on the nose brightened by subtle anise and floral scents. Chewy faintly bitter orange pith peach and tarragon flavors are broad and deep but are brightened by a dusty mineral nuance... Bright yellow-gold. Musky pit fruits on the nose brightened by subtle anise and floral scents. Chewy faintly bitter orange pith peach and tarragon flavors are broad and deep but are brightened by a dusty mineral nuance. Finishes with very good breadth and a lingering note of bitter herbs.
Color & Type White
Varietal Chardonnay
Country USA
Region California
Sub-region Central Coast
Vintage 2011

Label

This wine is 100% from Melville’s Sta. Rita Hills estate and is a combination of clones 4, 76, and 95, along with Mount Eden, Hanzell, Hudson, Wente and Melville selections. The estate’s chardonnay is planted predominantly on the west side of their estate where they have several different types of sandy soil.

Because the west side receives the brunt of brutal, ocean winds and has only poor soils, Melville feels their chardonnay always captures the vibrancy, minerality, and concentrated flavors that are hallmarks of their appellation. Fruit is harvested by hand then gently whole-cluster pressed, cold settled overnight and transferred by gravity to barrel for fermentation in neutral French oak barrels (10 to 20 years old), with zero malolactic conversion. Sur lie aging takes place without any lees disturbance.

Winery

Melville

In 1996, founder Ron Melville's desire to grow cold-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah brought him to the Sta. Rita Hills where he established his winery, situated amongst the beautiful rolling hills where the grapes are grown exclusively in their three estate vineyards.

Melville currently has 120 acres under vine. The soil is mostly Lompoc dune sand, interspersed with clay loam and shallow hard pans of Monterey shale. The estate currently has 16 clones of Pinot Noir, 9 clones of Syrah, and 6 clones of Chardonnay - all on a variety of low-vigor rootstocks. All blocks are fermented in small lots and isolated through their entire period of elevage, which provides Melville’s team with an ongoing exhibition of how they can fine tune vineyard practices in order to achieve the most unmanipulated and site-specific wines possible.

Melville “grows their flavors,” using no new oak and adding only yeast.