About Melville 2018 Chardonnay Estate, Sta. Rita Hills
Situated amongst the beautiful rolling hills of Western Santa Ynez Valley, Melville is dedicated to producing exceptional cold-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah grown exclusively in their estate vineyards throughout the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. Founded in 1989, Melville is a family-owned and operated estate winery, upholding its tradition as one of the most highly-regarded estates in California.
Grapes for this wine are 100% Sta. Rita Hills estate fruit. A combination of clones 4, 76, and 95, along with Mount Eden, Hanzell, Hudson, Wente and Melville selections. The chardonnay vines were planted in 1997, predominantly on the west side of the estate. Because the west side receives the brunt of brutally cold ocean-winds and grows in nutrient deficient, well-drained soils, the fruit always captures the vibrancy, minerality, and concentrated flavors that are hallmarks of the appellation. The densely planted vineyard 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 (15+ years old), with zero malolactic and sur lie aging without any lees disturbance.
Jeb Dunnuck scored this 93 points saying "Looking first at the 2018 Chardonnay Estate Sta. Rita Hills, its medium gold color is followed by a spicy, salty bouquet of crushed citrus, iodine, honeyed minerality, and white flowers. With good richness, bright acidity, and a medium-bodied mouthfeel, it's going to keep nicely for 10-12 years."
Wine Enthusiast scored this 93 points saying "This winery’s Chardonnays have existed on their own unique plane since the days when Greg Brewer was the winemaker. There’s a yogurt-like dairy kick to the nose alongside orange peel, dried pear and sea salt. The palate is zesty with acidity and loaded with a range of citrus-peel and pith flavors plus a flash of guava, with a grippy texture pushing into the zippy finish."
The Wine Advocate scored this 92 points saying "The 2018 Chardonnay Estate has a soft nose of white peaches and quince with touches of baker's yeast, beeswax and chamomile. The palate is medium-bodied, round and silky with lovely dichotomy of tangy uplift and perfumed fruits, finishing long and layered."