2020 Melville Chardonnay Estate Santa Rita Hills

Chardonnay - 750ML
Reg: $37.94
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WA 93 JD 92 VN 92
WA 93

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, March 2022

The 2020 Chardonnay Estate has rich aromas of peaches, honey, chamomile and baker's yeast with gentle herbal tones. The palate offers bright freshness and nutty, honeyed fruits, and it finishes long and textural.
JD 92

jebdunnuck.com, May 2022

One of the best values out there in California Chardonnay has to be the Estate release from Melville, which seems to always deliver the goods. Their 2020 Chardonnay Estate Sta. Rita Hills reveals a vivid gold hue as well...
VN 92

Vinous, October 2021

The 2020 Chardonnay Estate is vibrant and super-expressive. Scents of lemon confit, mint, white flowers and pear lend energy throughout. Pretty tropical accents add an exotic flourish. This is a terrific example of...


Color & Type White
Varietal Chardonnay
Country USA
Region California
Sub-region Central Coast
Appellation Santa Barbara
Sub-appellation Santa Rita Hills
Vintage 2020
Size 750ML
Percent alcohol 13.4%
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.

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.

Introducing the exquisite 2020 Melville Chardonnay Estate Santa Rita Hills, a true gem from the bountiful vineyards of California's Central Coast. With its captivating golden hue and a label that exudes elegance, this wine is a pure delight for both the eyes and the palate.

On the nose, the 2020 Melville Chardonnay Estate reveals a symphony of aromas that is sure to enchant even the most discerning of wine enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in a sensory journey as notes of ripe peaches, honey, and chamomile dance harmoniously with hints of baker's yeast and delicate herbal undertones. Each inhalation unveils new layers of complexity, drawing you further into the allure of this remarkable wine.

As you take your first sip, be prepared to be captivated by the vibrant freshness and the nutty, honeyed fruits that caress your palate. The 2020 vintage showcases the perfect balance between richness and brightness, resulting in a wine that is both luscious and refreshing. With each sip, the flavors evolve harmoniously, leaving a long and textural finish that lingers on the tongue and invites you to take another indulgent sip.

Renowned wine critic Robert Parker's Wine Advocate awarded the 2020 Melville Chardonnay Estate an impressive 93 points. In their tasting note, they praised the wine's rich aromas and highlighted its bright freshness and nutty, honeyed fruits. Another esteemed critic, Jeb Dunnuck, bestowed a score of 92 points upon this remarkable wine. He commended the wine for its vibrant acidity, medium-bodied richness, and classic Sta. Rita Hills marine-like nuances.

This exceptional Chardonnay from Melville is a true testament to the winery's commitment to producing wines of exceptional quality. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, the 2020 Melville Chardonnay Estate Santa Rita Hills is a wine that will continue to evolve and delight for years to come. Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with a delectable seafood dish, this wine is sure to elevate any occasion to new heights of sophistication and pleasure. Uncork a bottle, savor the moment, and allow yourself to be transported to the sun-drenched vineyards of Santa Barbara with every sip.