One of my favorite stops in Lompoc, Melville continues to impress with their outstanding new releases. The wines are simply fabulous, intense and terroir driven.Former winemaker, Greg Brewer, of Brewer-Clifton pedigree, led highly talented winemaker Chad Melville for many years. Chad is now in charge of all winemaking. I had the chance to sit down with him and talk about this transition as well as discuss his current lineup. Chad is a downright awesome guy with a huge passion for farming his 82 acre vineyards.
The vineyards were first planted in 1996 by his father Ron Melville and his brothers. They decided to utilize 14 different clones of Pinot Noir and 4 different clones of Chardonnay, as well as Syrah and Viognier. The Melville Vineyard has reached such acclaim that nearby superstar winery, Foxen, utilizes Melville Vineyard fruit in their excellent single vineyard bottling of Pinot Noir. The 2014 Melville ‘Estate’ Chardonnay (WWB, 93) is an outstanding value out of California which shows poise and opulent fruit. This is a wine to buy by the case. Not to be outdone, their 2015 Melville ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 93) is an other ridiculously good value that stands up there with the best Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara County. Learn more about this outstanding producer of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah at http://melvillewinery.com Here are the simply awesome new wines by Melville.
2014 Melville ‘Estate’ Chardonnay- This ‘Estate’ Chardonnay bottling is a combination of eight different clones. This wine opens with a bright bouquet of creme brulee, lemon curd, tangerine rind and butterscotch. The texture is absolutely gorgeous, as this wine delivers ripe flavors of banana, butterscotch, Meyer lemon and suggestions of nutmeg. This is lithe and delicious wine that has a wonderful minerality. Drink 2017-2027- 93
2013 Melville ‘Verna’s’ Chardonnay- This wine was sourced from the Verna’s Vineyard, located near Los Alamos. The wine begins with a bright bouquet of nutmeg, kumquat and roasted hazelnuts with cream brulee. The palate is lithe and deep, showing flavors of vanilla cream, buttescotch, creme brûlée and white peach. This is gorgeous and is drinking beautifully at this juncture. Drink 2017-2023- 91
2016 Melville ‘Estate Clone 76’ Chardonnay- This Chardonnay was sourced from a single block in the Melville Vineyard. The wine opens with a bright bouquet of nectarine, Bosc pear and Pazzaz apple. This leads to ripe flavors of Gravenstein apple, lemon curd, and pink grapefruit as the wine shows a citrus edge. Drink 2017-2022- 90
2014 Melville ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir- This awesome wine was sourced from all 16 clones of Pinot Noir from the vineyard and they utilized 40% stem inclusion. This wine begins with a bright bouquet of rose petals, red cherry and red raspberry with orange rind accents. Ripe red fruit flavors are on display with pomegranate juice, guava puree, red cherry and a hint of tangerine. This is feminine while maintaining a nice intensity and balance. The 2014 ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir is one of the great values in Santa Barbara Pinot Noir. Drink 2017-2027 -93
2015 Melville ‘Terraces’ Pinot Noir- The 2015 Melville ‘Terraces’ Pinot Noir is a standout wine made by superstar winemaker Chad Melville. Sourced from five clones of Pinot Noir this wine was sourced from the west side of the vineyard. This gorgeous Pinot Noir wine begins with bright aromatics of nutmeg black cherry, black truffle and white pepper. The palate is plush and dense as the wine currently shows ripe flavors reminiscent of red cherry, red currant, guava and forest floor with Shitake mushroom. This has a wonderful combination of dark fruit and terroir. Drink 2017-2028- 93
2015 Melville ‘Sandy’s’ Pinot Noir- One of the best wines that I sampled at Melville was their 2015 ‘Sandy’s’ Pinot Noir. This gorgeous wine as sourced from the back of the property, where the Pinot Noir is grown there is fine sand. There is a highly Burgundian nose of red cherry, red raspberry, black truffle oil and crushed mint. This shows a more feminine edge, with red fruits and orange rind that connect to a wonderful saline streak. Lithe and delicious, drink this gorgeous wine within the next ten years. This has a wonderful structure considering the heat of the vintage. Drink 2017-2027- 94
2015 Melville ‘Block M’ Pinot Noir- The 2015 ‘Block M’ by Melville is a stunner. They have utilized 70% stems on this wine as grapes are sourced rom the top of the Estate vineyard. The wine begins with bright aromatics reminiscent of wild mushroom, peat moss, black cherry and black raspberry liquor. The palate is poised and rich, currently displaying ripe flavors of black tea, black cherry, mint, black cherry and a striking salinity. This is simply gorgeous wine that will cellar well for a decade or more. Drink 2017-2029- 94
2015 Melville ‘Anna’s Block’ Pinot Noir- This wine comes from vines sourced in the back of the vineyard. The wine begins with aromatics of black tea, black cherry compote and wild blackberry with black truffle oil. This has an outstanding minerality as the wine shows dazzling flavors of Mandarin orange rind, black cherry, black raspberry liquor and hints of loganberry jam. This yields a nice salinity and deep fruit profile. Drink 2017-2027- 94
2015 Melville ‘Estate’ Syrah- This great wine made by superstar winemaker Chad Melville begins with bright flavors of Parma ham, black olive, black tea and coffee grounds. This leads to flavors of black cherry, black olive, mint and thyme. This has wonderful structure and dark fruit flavors. Drink 2017-2025- 92