This is 100% Melville fruit from their Sta. Rita Hills estate, and is a collection of 16 pinot noir clones. 40% of the fruit was fermented as whole-clusters with 60% gently de-stemmed in small (1.5 ton) open-top fermenters. Total skin and stem contact averages 30 days (7 day cold soak, 2 + weeks of fermentation and 1 + week extended maceration). From the press, the wine is transferred directly into neutral barrels (10+ year old French oak), where it remains sur lie without sulfur until June, when it is gently racked for the first time and prepared for bottling in August.
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.