One of the great Napa wineries, Melka Estates was founded by Philippe and Cherie Melka. They produce an absolutely epic wine lineup that rivals the best in the valley. They source from some very exciting vineyards including La Mekerra in Sonoma and Jumping Goat in Napa Valley. The wines are powerful, focused and highly concentrated, showing immense range and terroir. Philippe Melka is a Bordeaux native that has a master’s degree in enology. He has a long resume, with previous stops at Château Haut Brion, as well as Dominus Estate and various stops in Australia and even Chateau Petrus. He has been in Napa on a full time basis since 1994 and has served as consulting winemaker at some of the great wineries in Napa, Sonoma and Washington State. He is truly one of the great consulting winemakers in the world. Philippe partners with his wife, Cherie, to craft the wines. She also has a highly impressive resume with previous stops at Bealieu Vineyards and Silver Oak prior to starting Melka Wines. She handles all business decisions for Melka as well as helps with the blending.
The Melkas have crafted some new releases that were simply marvelous, coming from the warm, 2015 vintage in Napa and Sonoma. One of the great Merlots that I have tried all year, his 2015 Melka Estates ‘Mekerra La Mekerra Vineyard’ Merlot (WWB, 96) is a scintillating new wine that shows beautiful intensity and texture. This will have an exceedingly long life in the cellar. I absolutely adored the 2015 Melka Estates ‘Metisse Jumping Goat Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 97) which is the varietal at its best, showing insane range and a gorgeous mouthfeel. Learn more about these exceptional wines at https://www.melkaestates.com
2015 Melka Estates ‘Mekerra La Mekerra Vineyard’ Merlot- This Knight’s Valley Merlot was aged for 22 months in French oak (60% new) prior to bottling. The wine starts off with aromas of chocolate, spice box, mocha and tar on the nose. The mouthfeel and texture to the wine is phenomenal. Mocha, anise, creme de cassis and blueberry compote flavors all come together marvelously in the glass. The texture and viscosity is sumptuous. Drink 2018-2035- 96
2014 Melka Estates ‘Mekerra La Mekerra Vineyard’ Proprietary Red WIne- This wine is a compelling blend of 51% Cabernet Franc and 49% Merlot that was aged for 21 months in 60% new French oak. The nose is pretty and highly perfumed with rose petals, red currant jelly, red raspberry cordial and Christmas spice. The palate shows wonderful viscosity and tension, showing a really nice range of fruits from blue to dark to red fruits. The fruit weight her his marvelous as dark cherry, red raspberry cordial, and blueberry compote flavors with smoky undertones. There is is wonderful purity of fruit here. This is a complete wine that has a long time in the cellar. Drink 2018-2040- 96
2015 Melka Estates ‘Metisse Jumping Goat Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon- The Jumping Goat Vineyard is located in the Spring Mountain AVA near Spottswoode which was planted in the mid-1990s. This inky colored wine is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Petit Verdot that was aged for 21 months in French barrels. A glass-staining purple, this starts off with intense aromas of rose petals, creme de cassis, Turkish coffee and black olive tapenade with lighter earthy tones of damp earth. The mouthfeel is intense and highly viscous with creme de cassis, mocha, anise, sandalwood and espresso bean. The range and mouthfeel here is insanely good. This stunning wine will cellar marvelously for decades. Drink 2018-2040- 97
2015 Melka Estates ‘Metisse Martinez Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2015 ‘Martinez Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon is a stunning bottling that was aged for 22 months in 85% new French oak prior to bottling. The Martinez Vineyard is located on Prichard Hill perched on top of Oakville. Melka Wines is the first winery to put the vineyard on the bottling. The wine is an intriguing blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Petit Verdot and 20% Cabernet Franc. The wine shows exotic spice with deep creme de cassis, green bell pepper, mocha and anise aromas that build in the glass. The palate is exceedingly dense and plush with intense anise, creme de cassis, black olive tapenade and black cherry cordial flavors that impress. Drink 2018-2040- 96
2016 Melka Estates ‘Majestique Paderewski Vineyard’ Red Wine- This Rhone style wine is a blend of 40% Grenache with 28% Syrah and 32% Mourvedre that was all co-fermented. The wine was aged for 20 months in French oak prior to bottling. The nose is very pretty showing red rose petal and Christmas spice with red fruits that connect to lighter smoky tones. The palate shows bright acidity and wonderful richness and intensity. Smoke, pipe tobacco, red cherry Starburst candy and milk chocolate connect with light tannins. Showing good acidity and a soft texture, this is an outstanding effort from this great vineyard in Paso Robles. Drink 2018-2030- 94
2015 Melka Estates ‘Mekerra La Mekerra Vineyard’ Proprietary White- This 100% Sauvignon Blanc wine saw extensive barrel aging (22 months in 80% new French oak). The wine starts off with heady aromas of smoke, white peach, gooseberry and unripe pear. The silky texture to the wine is marvelous and shows a wonderfully rich viscosity. Nectarine, Pink Lady apple, apricot and lychee flavors all connect with a good minerality. With a wonderful motuhfeel and a silky texture this irresistible Sauvignon Blanc will cellar marvelously over the next decade. Drink 2018-2028- 94