2018 Melville Sta. Rita Hills Syrah

Syrah - 750ML
Reg: $39.94
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WE 95 JD 94 W&S 94 VN 93 WA 92
WE 95

Wine Enthusiast, September 2020

Extreme amounts of cracked black pepper spice up the crumbled lilac, dark-black-plum and snappy red-currant aromas on the dynamic nose of this cool-climate bottling. There's a wild zestiness to the palate, where the...
JD 94

jebdunnuck.com, August 2020

The 2018 Syrah Estate Sta. Rita Hills is another rocking value. Seeing roughly 40% stems and all neutral oak, this deep purple/plum-colored 2018 gives up gamey, Northern Rhône-like notes of peppery herbs, tapenade, smoked...
W&S 94

Wine & Spirits, October 2020

This radiates coolness in its scents of smoke and pine needles, lavender and clove. The flavors are rich blackberry compote, but the wine has the acidity needed to deliver a precise finish.
VN 93

Vinous, August 2020

The 2018 Syrah (Sta. Rita Hills) is very pretty and delicate. Whole clusters add striking aromatic top notes redolent of dried flowers, mint and herbs. In the glass, the Estate is gracious and light on its feet. Silky...
WA 92

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, October 2020

The 2018 Syrah Estate has a medium ruby color and bright, lifted scents of cracked pepper and mint with touches of olive and tar and a core of fresh blue and black fruits. The palate is concentrated, layered, fresh and...


Color & Type Red
Varietal Syrah
Country USA
Region California
Sub-region Central Coast
Appellation Santa Barbara
Sub-appellation Santa Rita Hills
Vintage 2018
Size 750ML
Percent alcohol 13.9%
Closure Cork

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.

The fruit for this wine comes exclusively from Melville’s Sta. Rita Hills estate and is a combination of two different Syrah clones (Estrella and Clone 99). The Estrella is from Donna’s block which is planted on well-drained, nutrient-deficient sand. The neutrality of that soil always lends an intoxicating, high-toned bouquet of flowers and spice while the Clone 99 from Block I is planted on denser sandy-loam soil, bringing depth and richness.

70% of the fruit is gently de-stemmed with 30% remaining as whole clusters. It’s all fermented in small 1.5 ton open top fermenters. Total skin and stem contact average 30 days (7 day cold soak, 2+ weeks fermentation, and 1+ week extended maceration). From the press, the wine is transferred directly to neutral barrels (5-20 year old French oak) where it remains sur lie with no sulfur until May, when it is gently pressure racked for the first time and prepared for bottling in August.