|Color & Type
Block M is a windswept mesa on the west side of Melville estate, lying adjacent to their Terraces block. Sitting atop a sun exposed mesa with several feet of botella clay soil, the extremity of Block M is enhanced by the gravitational pull of three exposed sides, forcing the roots to search deeper for sustenance.
Block M is made up of equal amounts of clones 114 and 115. The lesser known 114 is lush, velvety and textural with an elegantly pliant internal core, while clone 115 delivers fruit at a higher pitch and a more structurally pronounced personality. The marriage of these complementary components is what renders Melville’s Block M bottling so complete. 30% of the fruit is gently de-stemmed with 70% remaining as whole clusters.
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.